Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Our latest interview is with Charlotte Mui. She is the creator of the L'Œil de L'Âme Tarot deck. L'Œil de L'Âme, means 'third eye' in French, and refers to both the intuitive elements within each card as well as the method in which you need to read them.
The cards, based on the RWS deck, are delicately illustrated with watercolour on paper over the course of two years and are the illustrative manifestations of how Charlotte views the world.
To back this intuitively inspired deck, click here:
Kickstarter - L'Œil de L'Âme Tarot
Where in the world do you call home?
I was born in Hong Kong and have lived here all my life.
What was your first experience with Tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
I was fifteen when I first discovered my aunt’s tarot decks and other occult goodies hidden away in the back of a shelf. Out of curiosity and a love for the occult, I taught myself to read them using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and the accompanying tarot books. Since I am an artist, I loved that you could tell stories and see your own life reflected through visual imagery and link them up to form narratives.
What made you want to create your own Tarot deck? What was your inspiration?
Since I encountered tarot decks rather early, I’ve also spent more time reading them and learning about the imagery - however, I couldn’t feel at ease with the Rider-Waite-Smith deck as they didn’t resonate with me as much. So it’s been my dream since 2010 to create my own deck and I’ve been playing around with my own reimaginations for years before I finally decided to complete the full deck design nearly a decade later.
Aside from your own deck, do you have a favourite deck? If so, which one?
I do have to admit despite the slack I give the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the original does have its own pedestal. However I also love The Universal Celtic Tarot by Floreana Nativo, but it’s mostly because it was gifted to me by my partner so there’s a bit more of a sentimental thing.
Do you have a favourite card (either from your deck or just the card in general). If so, why is it your favourite?
From my own deck, I love The Fool and The World, which are the first and last cards I painted of the Major Arcana, so I’m not sure if it’s a sentimentality thing again. The cards represent both the beginning and the end of a journey and it certainly represented an emotional journey for me in 2019.
We are living in such crazy times. How has the pandemic affected your creativity?
Not much really. I feel for everyone and I’ve also spiralled into some rather dark times during the beginning of the pandemic but here in Hong Kong, it’s been a roller coaster ride since the beginning of 2019 that everything’s kind of just smushed together. Also, being raised in a city like Hong Kong, we’ve just been adapting nearly every moment of our lives so I think I’m also rather numb to the crazy by now. That actually sounds sad now that I’ve written it.
What have been your challenges in creating this deck?
Nearly every step was a challenge until I overcame it while creating this deck haha! It’s my first large scale project in which I committed a year and a half to painting all of the cards while trying to juggle life and a full time job, so not only was finding time to work on it a struggle, I’m the type to make a lot of revisions with my work in which I can have up to 5 different watercolour renditions of the same card. But right now, my biggest challenge is to find a printing company that I love and trust to print these cards -- I have a back-up printer and an extremely expensive high-end printer if things don’t work out but neither are my first choices. So I’m still on the search to find a way to manufacture this labour of love.
The deck is unique in that the major arcana are very colourful, the minor arcana (Aces to Tens) are black and white, and the court cards are monochromatic. Why did you choose to design the cards in this way?
The colours reflect the way I read the cards, where you could essentially interpret everything you need to know from the Major Arcana cards and the Minor Arcana are there as clarifications and for more details. The Court Cards (or Face Cards) are in a league of their own in which I often use to read personalities -- in order to tie in the link between the Major and Minor Arcana, I also intentionally selected colours that match the Court Cards with their respective suites. (Red/Fire/Wands, Blue/Water/Cups, Green/Earth/Pentacles, Purple/Air/Swords).
How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?
I’m definitely going to take a very long nap first, then I’m gonna enjoy a nice meal with my family and friends who’ve been so supportive through out these two years.
What is on offer for people who pledge?
I have several reward tiers that are groupings of the deck itself, stickers, postcards, readings, original paintings, and a customised portrait of you or a loved one painted in the same style as the L’Oeil de L’Ame tarot deck.
To add this delicate, watercolour tarot deck to your collection, pledge here:
Kickstarter - L'Œil de L'Âme Tarot