Our latest interview is with Brant Pallazo, the creator of the Moon Baby Tarot - a tarot deck based on the Hoi Polloi tarot. First marketed in 1972 as a game for children, the Hoi Polloi has remained a favourite deck among collectors despite its low print quality because of its funky take on the original Rider Waite Smith deck.
Brant knew the quality could be improved to contemporary standards while preserving its mid-century aesthetic. The deck was re-coloured and re-formatted so that the images could be printed in modern tarot dimensions. The original old gothic font didn't suit the style of the deck so it was replaced with a fun '70s style font. The result is a fun, updated take on a classic vintage deck.
The Kickstarter for this deck has finished and it was fully funded within 7 hours!! Enchanted Gypsy will stock the deck, so keep an eye out if you would like to purchase!
Brant will have an etsy shop and will have high quality art prints of the most popular cards in the deck and other fun goodies.
Where in the world do you call home?
I live in the capital city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA
What was your first experience with tarot and when did you fall in love with it?
I actually grew up about 45 minutes away from New Orleans which is a major hub for Voodoo and other Magical practices. Jackson Square is a city block and is sort of where all the action is. There are tons of street performers and venders selling handmade products. Among these artisans are tarot readers set up all over the streets. As a young person I spent many weekends there with my family and friends. So, I really grew up seeing tarot readers and so for me tarot has always been normal and I never really had any negative ideas about tarot. For me, it’s just always been normal and fun.
It wasn’t until I grew up that I really learned about how to use the cards. My love for tarot really began when I started collecting decks. My vintage deck collection is my prized possession. There’s nothing I enjoy more than searching for and finding a deck that is hard to find.
What made you want to create your own tarot deck? What was your inspiration?
The Hoi Polloi is one on of the first vintage decks that I got at the start of my collection. I absolutely fell in love with it! It came out in 1972 and had everything- a fun ‘70s vibe, Rider Waite Smith based, amazing colors. The only issues I had were that the cardstock was thin and poorly cut and hard to shuffle and the printing was not very good. Shuffling is such an important part of the reading for me. I’d say I’m kind of an aggressive shuffler actually. I always wished I could use the Hoi Polloi more easily. It just wasn’t satisfying to shuffle.
When the Pandemic started I lost my job. I was left in a place I hadn’t been before in my life. I didn’t have the answer this time, I didn’t know what to do this time. I have always been interested in art. I’ll pretty much try any medium. I’ve experimented with acrylic painting, weaving, macramé, pastels, gouache, watercolors and the list could go on for pages. I hadn’t really ever worked with digital media though, so I decided to turn the lemon that life gave me into lemonade by exploring and learning photoshop. It was an excellent help to keep me focused on something good and fun and really kept my mind off of my unemployment.
I started learning photoshop by editing, reformatting and recoloring the Lovers card from the Hoi Polloi. After I finished that card I moved to another and then another. Pretty soon I had worked my way through all the cards and really developed my photoshop skills.
What would you say is unique about your deck?
It’s hard to find a Rider Waite Smit