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$6,052 pledged of $38,500 goal
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By Theresa Pridemore
$6,052 pledged of $38,500 goal
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About

I am creating the Portland Tarot deck at a rate of a card per week, with the aim of completing all 78 cards by October 10, 2014, but I need your help to get there.

Each card is a stand-alone work of art, created through a process of blending original photography with digital collage to create crisp yet surreal images that visually and tonally evoke my adopted home town of Portland, Oregon.

While Portland is the inspiration for this quirky, character-driven and symbol-rich deck, you don’t have to live here to resonate with the energy of this place or to appreciate it as a backdrop for Tarot.

In addition to the unique visual slant of the art, my goal is to create a final deck package that is beautiful and well-designed. I'm KEEPING IT LOCAL and printing the deck in Portland, Oregon.

In Progress Box Design - Exterior/Lid
In Progress Box Design - Exterior/Lid

The key design elements of the finished deck I will be printing next year:

  • The cards will be a bit larger than average (3" x 4.75"), allowing for more image while being easy to shuffle

  • The card stock will be thick enough for lasting use and has a nice smooth texture with a matte coating to prevent glare

  • The deck will come with a 100 page booklet

  • The deck and booklet will come packaged in a beautifully-constructed box with a velvety-soft finish

  • The whole thing will be printed locally in Portland, Oregon where I can personally assure the high standards of the finished product

Mockup of Possible Design for Deck Box, Booklet, and Card Backs
Mockup of Possible Design for Deck Box, Booklet, and Card Backs

Making a deck is a massive undertaking, but I’m ready! I’ve completed 10 cards to date, collected a large repository of landmark and accent photos, and have finished studio shoots for subjects from 16 cards. But I have a lot of work ahead of me to complete the remaining 68 cards that comprise a standard 78 card Tarot deck.

  • Priority One: Print a minimum of 2,500 decks locally and sustainably (including interpretation booklet and box)

  • Priority Two: Get the funds I need for incidental expenses that I come across in creating the art and getting the deck out into the world (equipment, props, costumes, promotion, etc.)

With your backing I can get at least 2,500 of the finished decks printed and can have a fund at the ready for all the costs I will incur during the creation of the artwork.

Each piece takes an average of 40 hours to complete (including photographing my subjects, collecting background photography, and putting together the final illustration) and costs me an average of $50 in various photo shoot expenses.

I'm running a Kickstarter now because I need funding to finish making the art (overhead only, NOT for my own time) and I'd rather spend my time making art instead of later running a second Kickstarter to fund the printing. Efficiency!

If you want to learn more about my approach, check out The Lovers card process.

To get more info about the project and see all the art I’ve completed so far, go to the official web site for The Portland Tarot.

Death in Progress Art
Death in Progress Art

Death

Death represents rebirth, regeneration, and shedding of the old. The subject, Brooke, had a strong connection with the Death card and suggested the day of the dead candy skull makeup. (It's a pretty popular costume choice in Portland for Halloween.) Behind her is the Vista Bridge. I chose to take a colorful, hopeful take on the card in effort to buck the trend of seeing this card as dark and frightening.

The Chariot in Progress Art
The Chariot in Progress Art

The Chariot

This is The Chariot, starring my good friend, Tarot muse, and frequent collaborator Cynthia Lopez. (She made my Kickstarter video!) This is the illustration that started this whole project. If you're curious to know more, it's a great story, and you can read it on The Portland Tarot web site.

The Magician in Progress Art
The Magician in Progress Art

The Magician

This in-progress card stars my good friend and mentor Lee Moyer. He is a powerhouse of creativity and manifestation in his own right, and it seems even more fitting to have him in the Magician card with a deck of the Portland Tarot within the image, since he is part of the mojo helping bring this deck into the 3D world.

The Star in Progress Art
The Star in Progress Art

The Star

This card features derby player Juvie Hall, with a dual scene incorporating the Hollywood Theatre and the Japanese Gardens, showing the tension between the energy of reaching to express our true self and passion in a world where we are expected to perform.

The World in Progress Art
The World in Progress Art

The World

In a Portland Tarot deck, well, the World is actually Portland itself. And since Portlandia (the statue) had so many similarities with The World card, I thought it fitting for this card to be an homage to the statue. Springtime is the period in our city when everything seems right with the world, and so I chose a wreath of cherry blossoms instead of the usual laurel.

Here are some questions I'd ask if I were in your shoes...

78 pieces of artwork? Is she going to actually finish it?

There is nothing I’ve wanted more than to create a Tarot deck. I’ve had a blast so far, and with all the support I’ve received, there’s no way I will back down!!! I am 100% committed. So, the answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes.” The bigger question is, are you going to join me on my journey? I hope so.

Do I need to know or care about Portland to enjoy the final deck?

No! In fact, I am doing my utmost to make sure the deck appeals to a general audience. The city is my muse, but you don’t have to know it to find meaning and enjoyment from the deck itself. The symbols and imagery within will be universal, if more quirky and subversive than a more traditional deck.

I've funded other deck projects on Kickstarter. Isn't your target budget a bit high?

I realize that I have a higher-than-average target compared to most other card decks funded on Kickstarter, but my parameters are also different than many of them. Between the magnitude of the project (including up-front costs to completing the artwork), the added cost of printing locally (instead of overseas, where most deck companies go), and choosing a printing route of a higher quality, it will take a chunk of change to pull it off. After researching more affordable routes in printing, I strongly believe that taking the high road is the way to go.

There is currently no extra room in my budget to put money in my own pocket. Every dollar in my target goal goes straight back into the project.

The Made in Portlandia “Arts’n’Crafts” Upgraded Deck

This Kickstarter-only limited edition deck will be custom-printed on a nicer stock, at a slightly larger size than the standard deck. The box will be decorated by myself or another local Portland artist and finished by me. These decks will be numbered and each one is going to be a totally unique piece of art.

Posing as a Card Subject

Many of the people who have posed for cards so far have revealed that their participation proved to be a powerful experience, during and after.

I am very deliberate about who I collaborate with as a subject for each card, and the person I cast must fit the card’s meaning in some way, either in their personal story, or in the person they are actively working to become. For some of my models the card they posed for served as a totem for them, setting the tone for their chosen inner and outer journeys at the time.

If you are feeling called to partake of this reward, then I know in my bones you are meant to be in this deck. I am eagerly anticipating getting to know you!

If you choose to claim this reward level, we will schedule a call or meeting so I can get to know your story and more about your current inner and outer journey. I’ll get a sense of your likes and dislikes, working to understand you and your personal style. (This is something I am highly regarded for in my business, as clients often claim I have a special knack for deeply listening and “getting” who they truly are and what they are reaching for.)

From there, I will choose a potential card or two for you from those that I have yet to illustrate, on which you will have an opportunity to give approval. I’ll pitch my suggested design direction to you, but you will also have the opportunity to contribute your own input and insights. Every card I create is a collaborative process between me and my subject. Whatever meditations you bring to the table about the chosen card will flavor what I create.

Then we’ll make plans for the photo shoot, including makeup and hair. You’ll have a luxurious and fun half day of art play in my studio, from which you’ll get a couple of outtake images that you’ll be free to use however you like, within a couple of days after the shoot.

The Process for Creating the Moon
The Process for Creating the Moon

When the illustration is completed, you’ll get a framed and signed 14" x 20" metallic print of the artwork that you can hang up at home, as well as twenty 5" x 7"s of your finished piece to hand out to friends and family.

The entire process is guided by intuition and creative play, and your presence will forever be enjoyed in readings worldwide. Plus you’ll have the beautiful satisfaction of knowing you supported an artist in creating something truly special that will live on for future generations.

High-End Fine Art Deck and Carved Box

This is a special offering for high-level “patron saint” contributors for this project. This one-of-a-kind offering includes higher-quality print, large art cards — each hand-signed by me. I will work closely with the local marionette artist Geahk Burchill of CastIron Carousel to design a unique wooden box that he will then hand carve. You may also opt to include a symbol in the carving that is of personal significance to you. In addition to the custom deck and box, you will receive a framed and signed 14" x 20" metallic print of your choosing.

Rewards That May Require Travel

For folks taking advantage of the Tarot Night or Posing as Deck Subject rewards, it is not out of the question to request that I travel to you. However, in most cases I will not be able to cover this cost out of my own pocket, and we will have to discuss arrangements before you make your pledge. Contact me to discuss your particular circumstances, and we can go from there. (In the case of the Posing reward, I request that you come to my studio so we can make use of my equipment there, but if you are passionate about being a participant and travel is not possible for you, I am willing to find a way to accommodate.)

I am a self-employed graphic designer, web developer, and business consultant, and have been managing my own successful design and development business for nearly seven years. I moved from Mississippi to Portland in 2002.

Since I started reading Tarot in 2008, I’ve wanted to make my own Tarot deck, with ideas for styles, imagery, and specific card slants that could meet the needs I had begun to crave in a deck for myself.

I bring a huge reservoir of experience to this project, between my own design and Tarot experience and the incredible support of my various team members.

Kickstarter Credits

If you want to know more about my Kickstarter video or the other people who made this Kickstarter possible, I posted credits on The Portland Tarot website.

Risks and challenges

Potential creation delays: There is a possibility that, due to specific constraints around my style for acquiring source images, the deck art will not be completed by my estimated due date. I have done my best to give a realistic timeline, and feel that a card a week (barring additional financial support that might allow for more) is a realistic assessment of what I can do within my current workload, especially if I front load as many of the photo shoots as I can.

Potential printing delays: I already have an established relationship with a local printer of my choice and we have done the beginning work of pre-planning all the physical details for the final product, so I don’t anticipate any surprises here. We will remain in close contact over the course of the project and I will get on their schedule far in advance, sorting out any remaining questions well before I am ready to print.

Potential surprises on ownership that affect images: The only other potential risk that I can foresee is running into a situation where I create a card that has some ownership issue of which I am not aware, and I end up having to recreate the card art at an inconvenient time. For each piece I make I carefully review rights concerns, ask the appropriate permission, and try to make sure there are no specific usage fees on images. (As a specific example, when I began to embark on a card for which I wanted to use the classic “Welcome to Portland” stag sign, I discovered the city had recently begun charging a moderate fee for usage of that image in photos and illustrations. While I am happy to pay this, I might run into situations less documented and more costly that would require me to go back to the drawing board after having begun work on a piece.) Having said that, because my in-progress work is so public (allowing for commentary from other informed parties) and I am so dedicated to researching permissions concerns (which includes access to legal aide), I don’t anticipate this being a major roadblock to timely completion.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Wallpaper Three Pack: A downloadable set of three desktop wallpapers of these three completed cards: "The Chariot", "The Lovers", and "The World". And my immense gratitude for your support!

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    A Shiny Art Print: One 8" x 10" metallic print of a major arcana piece of your choosing. International backers please add $5 for shipping.

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    Major Arcana-Only Deck (2013 Edition): Eager to get your hands on a version of the deck to use or give as a gift this year? Get this 4 x 6 edition of the deck, which contains 22 Major Arcana cards from The Portland Tarot in a stylish envelope. The Major Arcana deck will ship in October of 2013. International backers please add $5 for shipping.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Just the Deck: A copy of the finished deck, including interpretation booklet and box. International backers please add $5 for shipping.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Deck + Art Combo: A copy of the finished deck, including interpretation booklet and box and one shiny 8" x 10" metallic print of a major arcana piece of your choosing. International backers please add $7 for shipping.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A Deck for Now (Major Arcana-Only), A Deck for Later (Full Portland Tarot Deck): Get one 4 x 6 edition of the deck, which contains 22 Major Arcana cards from The Portland Tarot in a stylish envelope, shipped in October of 2013. Then get a copy of the full, finished 78 card deck, including interpretation booklet and box, shipped in October of 2014. International backers please add $10 for shipping, as items will be shipped separately.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    A Deck for You, A Deck for Me: Get a copy of the finished Portland Tarot deck for you and a friend, and two 5" x 7" art cards ("The Chariot" and "The Moon"). Decks come with interpretation booklet and box. International backers, please add $7 for shipping.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Tarot'n'Tarot Sandwich: A Tarot reading session with me (in person availble only for those in Portland, Oregon). Plus a copy of the finished deck, with interpretation booklet and box. (Tarot reading can be scheduled anytime after May 2013.)

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Big Three Print Pack: Three signed, 12” x 18” metallic prints of major arcana pieces of your choosing. Plus a copy of the finished deck, with interpretation booklet and box.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Made in Portlandia “Arts’n’Crafts” Upgraded Deck: A slightly larger, Kickstarter-only version of the deck with a signed, one-of-a-kind box that has been customized by myself or another local Portland artist and finished by me. (Most boxes will be decorated by a different artist, and you will be able to choose your favorite from a library of options to be made available when the boxes and decks are complete. First backer gets first choice, and so on.) And your name in the deck book credits as a major contributor.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    A Night of Tarot (Portland Only): I’ll cater a dinner party for you and up to five of your friends at your place and do readings throughout the evening. You'll get six signed, completed decks to distribute as you like. Also, your name in the deck book credits as a major contributor.

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    Pledge $3,750 or more About $3,750

    You as a Card in The Portland Tarot: Collaborate with me on your placement in a card of my choosing (that you get to approve), from the cards remaining to be illustrated. After getting to know you and your story, I'll plan the scene and we’ll schedule a half day photo shoot at Cogflower Studio. Your photo session will include makeup and hair, and the resulting image will serve as source material for your card’s illustration. Get a signed and framed 14” x 20” metallic print of the final piece for which you posed, twelve 5” x 7”s to share with friends, and six signed copies of the completed deck. And your name in the deck book credits as a major contributor.

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    Pledge $8,000 or more About $8,000

    An Exquisite Fine Art Deck and Hand Carved Box: A large display version of the deck, each card signed by me. Comes to you in a hand carved, wooden box created by artist Geahk Burchill and co-designed by me. Optional inclusion of a personal symbol embedded within the box design. And your name in the deck book credits as a major contributor.

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Funding period

- (35 days)