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Interviews with Deck Creators

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Our latest interview is with RJ Kinner, the creator of The Kinner Tarot Deck - a project that started with one Halloween-themed illustration that grew into a stunning, full, black and gold tarot deck.


As an illustrator and author, RJ loved having the freedom to communicate anything she wanted within the boundaries of an almost 600-year old tradition of tarot.


Kickstarter -The Kinner Tarot Deck


Where in the world do you call home?

I currently live in Rexburg, Idaho, a small town in eastern Idaho. Yes, it snows a lot. But I’ve also lived in Wyoming, the California Foothills, and the coast!


What was your first experience with tarot?

Honestly? It’s kind of embarrassing. My very first experience with the tarot was watching the opening sequence of Disney’s The Haunted Mansion when I was a kid. The opening credits feature some of the Rider -Waite tarot deck, and for some reason, I was fascinated with their design. I didn’t know what they were, but I was drawn to them. As I got older, the fascination stuck with me, and here we are!


What would you say is unique about your deck?

The style. It %100 came from a crowded space in my head that needed to get out. I started out as an illustrator making extremely detailed ball-point pen ink drawings years ago, so I guess this was an extension of that.


What cardstock and finish will be used?

330Gsm stock with a matte finish!


How long has it taken you to create this deck?

Technically, I started mid-September 2021 with my first card, Death(the first incarnation, I redid it later). It was meant to be nothing more than a fun distraction from my other project, illustrating one of the books I’ve written. The constant grinding of trying to find publishers was getting to me, and I was on the brink of giving up writing and art completely. One day I decided to create a tarot card border, just for fun, and ended up finishing the card. Then I started on The Moon, and then The Sun. I just kept going, now 6 months later, I’m about to finish the deck!


Why did you decide on a black and gold theme?

Black and gold always gave me the feeling of an ethereal world, just slightly apart from our own. Things exist on that plane of being that couldn’t exist here, but I could create it. Something about it just seemed right for my tarot deck.


What card are you most proud of and why?

I’m a fan of The World and the Hanged Man. They were both fun to create, and the webs on The Hanged Man allowed me to loosen up a bit mid-deck, and just create what I wanted to.


What impact would you like your deck to have on its readers?

I want people to connect with this deck the same way I did. This was more than just a project for me, it was regaining my confidence as an artist and as a human being. I want people, be it readers or collectors, to pick up the cards and see parts of themselves reflected in their meaning, as I did.


What have been your challenges in creating this deck?

In a word? Finances. I have very little (meaning none) disposable income, so getting this project off the ground has been tough. The incredible support from the lovely Kickstarter community has overwhelmed me. I literally couldn’t have done any of this without them, and I am eternally grateful.


How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?

Buy a box of Junior Mints, and keep right on working! There’s lots to do!


What is on offer for people who pledge?

We’ve got a couple of things! Tarot card Stickers, signed prints, even personalised tarot cards! You come up with an idea of what you want on a card (Examples: The Artist, The Gardener, The Cuisiner, The Finder, The Weaver, etc) and I’ll create it for you! The most popular reward tier so far is The Kinner Tarot deck! You’ll get one of the first-ever printed decks, with the option for me to sign it for you!


To add this gorgeous black and gold deck to your collection, click here:


Kickstarter -The Kinner Tarot Deck


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/rjkinnerart


Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rjkinner_art/






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Updated: Mar 17, 2022



Our latest interview is with Matthew Breer, the creator of the Divine Tarot of the Unicorn - a beautiful, colourful custom-designed tarot set. Every card design was lovingly created by Matthew in honor of his mother.


The Divine Tarot of the Unicorn is a beautiful deck based on the Rider Weight tarot decks with other influences, a personal flair, vibrant colors, and a look into the wisdom of tarot depicted in a world of unicorns in honor of Matthew's mother.


Kickstarter -Divine Tarot of the Unicorn


Where in the world do you call home?

Well, that’s not an easy question as my home is anywhere, I hang my hat and I don’t own a hat 😊. I’m originally from Colorado, spent most of my life in Oklahoma, and Texas, but I’m based out of Texas and travel the world, although Cambodia has a special place in my heart and if I had a hat, it’s the place where I might hang it. So that’s where I’m at the moment but specifically, I’m in Siem reap Cambodia home of Angkor Wat the world's largest religious structure, covering over 400 acres. Perhaps one day I will make a set of cards based on Angkor wat.


What was your first experience with tarot?

My first experience with the tarot was stumbling onto my mother’s deck when I was about 4 years old, thinking that they were the most interesting thing I had ever seen, and at that age they probably were. I specifically remember the magician card and wondering what all the cool things on the table were for, Incidentally, the magician is one of my birth cards so I find it fitting that I was so drawn to it specifically oh so many years ago. Needless to say, I’ve been dabbling in tarot and such things ever since. so, I would say I fell in love with it at the young age of 4. Being exposed to the imagery at such a young age probably drove me to pursue the arts in my education.


What would you say is unique about your deck?

This deck was created to honour my mother. She passed in 2020, she was a strong woman who loved unicorns, roses, beer steins, and dream catchers. my style is unique often changing drastically depending on the purpose or intent, it can be a little colorful, and jarring for some but what great art isn’t? So, I would say that this deck is unique for many reasons as it depicts a world of unicorns with my personal flair, an embodied connection to the things my mother loved and cared for while keeping in line with the standard tarot symbology.


What cardstock and finish will be used?

(S30) Standard Smooth for the basic deck with standard finish

(S30) Standard Smooth with standard finish with Holographic (front) + silver gilt edge for the LUXURY LIMITED EDITION


How long has it taken you to create this deck?

It’s been in the works both physically and mentally for several months and I started it in September of 2021 so about 6 months. with many hours of work put into it each day.


You made this deck in honour of your late mother, what about her inspired the cards?

Well, there are a lot of elements in the cards that echo her essence as it were, but firstly and most importantly she had a love for unicorns. From a young age I always remember her having art, statues, clothing, and personal items with a unicorn theme, so I felt it only fitting that a deck in her honour be unicorn-themed. Additionally, I have included many elements throughout the cards that either remind me of her or are things that she loved or cared for. For example, the rose, which I have substituted for the wand is something she has always loved, in fact, every Mother’s Day and valentine’s day I would give her a single rose growing up as a child.


What card are you most proud of and why?

Wow, that is an amazing question, in that is so hard to choose as I love all of them so much. But if I had to choose a favoured card, I would choose the strength card as it above all else reminds me of my mother and the strength she has shown me throughout the years, from losing her husband, my father before I was even born, to enduring the struggles of many strokes and everything in between. She was a strong woman with a giant heart and a will like no other, I am truly grateful for all she has done for me throughout my life strong, gentle, protecting, and nurturing in ways only a mother can be. She was always there for me with love in her heart and showed the kind of strength, conviction, and love that can only be admired.


What impact would you like your deck to have on its readers?

Well after tearing up over that last question, I can only hope that people will use and enjoy the deck as much as I have enjoyed creating it and it is my sincere hope that it will be an emotionally positive Healing experience for its users.


What have been your challenges in creating this deck?

Honestly, it’s been a joyful experience, almost therapeutic, on occasion tearing up due to the subject matter, and the unconditional love and light I felt while creating the cards. I truly enjoyed almost every minute of making the deck as it went from my mind to the finished card.


The cards are based on the Rider Waite system, what other influences did you draw upon?

The Builders of the Adytum (BOTA) deck, and the Thoth deck, I borrowed concepts and ideas that I felt intuitively appropriate. For example, the Rider Waite deck has only one child on the sun card whereas there are two on the Bota deck. I have opted to incorporate two young unicorns “horsing around” much like the (BOTA) deck.


How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?

Well, my wife and I are expecting so I will most likely be preparing for the new arrival. While perhaps continuing or starting my next project a cat, witchy, and or ladybug-themed deck in honor of my grandmother is very much in the idea stages only.


What is on offer for people who pledge?

Well, I would like to emphasize the LUXURY LIMITED EDITION, this deck has a Holographic (front) + silver gilt edge and comes in a custom tin. Only 101 of these decks will ever be printed. But we are also offering a standard deck, a deck from our previous Kickstarter, coloring books, guides, and much more that can be best described on the Kickstarter campaign page.


Divine Tarot of the Unicorn Facebook page :

https://web.facebook.com/DivineTarotoftheUnicorn/


My website:

https://www.breersartandthings.com/


Facebook Page:

https://web.facebook.com/BreersArt


To add some unicorn magick to your collection, click here:


Kickstarter -Divine Tarot of the Unicorn







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Our latest interview is with Marco Rocchi and Fabio Maggio, the dual creators of Catomancy - The Kitten Tarot Deck - an adorable kitten-themed tarot deck.


Marco is an Italian artist, illustrator, and comic book writer/artist with many publications under his belt, however, Fabio has designed the art for this deck.


Kickstarter -Catomancy


Where in the world do you call home?

Mario:

I was born in Florence, in Italy, and have always lived in this wonderful city, so much that I have become anesthetized to its charm. Currently, my home continues to be here, but I would really like to take some time off and travel the world.

Fabio:

I was born in Marsala, in Sicily, but for both the purpose of study and work I recently moved to Florence. Despite I have been welcomed with open arms, I can't but continue to call home my native land, Sicily.


What was your first experience with tarot?

Mario:

My father has always been passionate about esotericism and in his collection, he owned several decks and books for reading tarot cards. I must admit, however, that I have never been involved in the same way as my father. Personally, I love more the aesthetic and playful aspect of tarot cards even if I confess to being fascinated by the meaning they bring with them.

Fabio:

Honestly, this is my first experience with tarot, both as a creator as well as a simple user, I was involved mainly as an artist rather than as an expert on the topic.


What would you say is unique about your deck?

Mario & Fabio

We know we are not the first to create a cat tarot deck but we tried to put our effort into creating something unique as an interpretation of the tarot card with particular attention to the kitten cuteness.


What cardstock and finish will be used?

Mario & Fabio:

The paper stock will be 330gsm black core, smooth finish with natural gloss, premium quality, on the card. There is not an extra lamination layer, the paper processing creates a surface smooth and looks a little bit glossy. Everything is FSC certified (CE marking certified).


How long has it taken you to create this deck?

Mario:

The idea of creating a tarot deck dedicated to cats came to me a long time ago. I cannot keep cats at home because of the allergy of my partner, but I live in a block really full of cats. They have always given me the idea of being the guardians of the neighborhood. Hence the desire to create an artifact, the tarot deck, that assigns them a role as "guardians of destiny".

Mario & Fabio:

The deck is still a work in progress even if we have already created all the designs. Both of us are professional artists and we could not totally stop our activities so we are waiting for the end of the Kickstarter to finish it. Maybe the longest part has been the ideation phase which took at least three months.


The art is absolutely adorable. What made you choose this style for your cards?

Mario:

When I chose Fabio to create the designs I knew he was good, but he still managed to outdo my hope. For the style of the drawings I had some ideas that I shared with him and he was able to express them even better than my expectations.

Fabio:

As for the research of the style, I honestly started drawing kittens on kittens, following my instinct and letting my inspiration flow until I found the shape that best represented the idea we had of this deck.


What card are you most proud of and why?

Mario:

My favorite card is The hanged because for me is the emblem of this deck, cute and unconventional, and the first card that Fabio redesigned after we started working together.

Fabio:

For me The hermit, because I love sphinxes and grumpy cats. And he has the pullover, he looks like an old man! Oh... he's adorable!


What impact would you like your deck to have on its readers?

Mario & Fabio:

We want to give to the readers only good vibes consulting our tarot deck.

We also wanted cat owners to recognize their beloved furry ones within the arcana of this deck, their behaviors, and habits.


This deck is a joint effort – how did you find working as a team?

Mario:

Originally I was supposed to create this deck by myself but unfortunately at Christmas, I had an accident involving my right arm just before I went into the making phase and I had no way of being able to work independently. Out of this misfortune came the idea of asking Fabio if he would be interested in giving me, literally, a hand. The project has changed because he did not lend himself only as a designer, but we have reinvented everything to better suit his style and I am convinced that CATOMANCY has only gained. So I was mainly involved in managing the Kickstarter campaign. However, I decided not to completely withdraw from the artistic process and I still remain the author of the colors. Fabio:

I enjoyed working with Marco very much, we were very much in sync regarding the ideas we had, although he was the creator of the deck he left my work flowing, he was always open to discussing and accepting any changes to meet my artistic vision.


What have been your challenges in creating this deck?

Mario & Fabio:

I think that the most challenging part was the creation of the Kickstarter campaign because it was our first attempt as tarot deck creators and the impossibility to completely dedicate to it because of our work commitments.

We also decided to pay particular attention to the environment using only sustainable raw materials and certified manufacturing companies.


How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?

Mario & Fabio:

We will only take a breath for a while, relaxing with a celebration dinner between us just before we start the next project in the pipeline!


What is on offer for people who pledge?

Mario & Fabio

We created several pledges in addition to the tarot deck, 2 wooden stickers, a wooden pin, a reading cloth, a poster, a T-shirt, and some more limited edition rewards like personal commissions from the artist and a personal fortune-telling from your neighborhood CATOMANCER.


To add some adorable fluff-ball kittens to your collection, pledge here:


Kickstarter -Catomancy


https://www.facebook.com/MR.MarcoRocchi

https://www.instagram.com/pastrocchietto

https://www.instagram.com/_maybean_






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