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The Fantasy Art Tarot Deck

Our latest interview is with Mercedes Auman - the creator of The Fantasy Art Tarot Deck. The deck is filled with unique artwork by Mercedes and has the fantasy realm in mind. A lot of the designs and characters within this deck are from Mercedes' previous artwork and stories that she has created over a few years.

Each card is hand drawn, inked, then painted in watercolour - gold ink is added to certain pieces. Each card is then scanned, placed in photoshop, and edited. A long process, however one that is certainly worth it to produce such a beautiful deck.

Where in the world do you call home?

Buffalo, NY

What was your first experience with tarot and when did you fall in love with it?

Actually, my mother first told me about tarot. She would visit this place called Lily Dale a few hours from our home. It’s a place full of mediumships and spiritual healers and she likes to travel there once every few years. However, I never physically experienced tarot cards until I was in college. Unfortunately, that first encounter was a bad experience. I had a reading from a friend who was brand-spanking new to tarot and honestly didn’t know what she was doing yet. I felt awful afterwards. When I told a different friend about my reading they explained to me that was not what tarot is about and that it should never make you feel down, but help guide you or lift you up to work toward being your most authentic self. Then a few years after college my close friend who does tarot reading and is an empath re-introduced me to tarot and really put it all into a different perspective for me. She really opened my eyes to how loving it can be.

What made you want to create your own tarot deck? What was your inspiration?

Honestly, my friend that I mentioned above. She is very comforting and explains everything in detail, and she has a very loving aura. She even commissioned me once to make her very own personalized deck exactly how she envisioned each card. Just going into detail and feelings and visuals of each card with her really showed me the depth and emotion of tarot, and the visuals alone really made me interested and inspired to draw some of the cards and characters how I envisioned them.

Aside from your own deck, do you have a favourite deck? If so, which one?

I absolutely love the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck by Matt Hughes. It is a beautiful and very detailed yet simple deck. It is created in an art nouveau style, which I adore. Each card has gold foil. As soon as I saw his deck I knew I needed to support the Kickstarter of it. I needed this deck, Matt Hughes has beautiful artwork. I actually own his recent Dreamscape Oracle deck as well.

Do you have a favourite card (either from your deck or just the card in general)? If so, why is it your favourite?

My absolute favourite card no matter the deck is the High Priestess hands down. The first time I learned about her I was like, “yes this is the one. She is my favourite card.” I love everything about this card and how it looks. The High Priestess is beautiful, full of wisdom, knowledge and intuition. The High Priestess is very spiritual, she has a lot of meaning and I was immediately drawn to her.

We are living in such crazy times. How has the pandemic affected your creativity?

It has been both positive and negative. If anything, it made my creative juices flow more. Being in a pandemic and having to break down our working schedules, I got to be home quite a bit in the beginning of 2020 and that allowed me to work on more art and not get distracted. The negative thing however is it put a pause on commissions from coming in because people really weren’t looking for art (and understandably so). I know so many people that were laid off and weren’t able to get an income. No one wants to spend money on art. They need to focus on bills and make sure they can get food.

Oddly enough though, it was a blessing in disguise. Being in quarantine allowed me to focus on artwork for myself and gave me the opportunity to come up with my tarot idea and sketch out all of my designs.

What have been your challenges in creating this deck?

Time. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done as fast as I’d like, along with researching and figuring out international shipping. I’ve never done this before and I really wanted to try and offer the lowest price that I could find while getting a box to ship that I could fit everything in. My eyes were bloodshot from staring at my computer screen for so long reading, watching videos and researching for the best shipping.

This deck is based on your fantasy artwork – what sparked your interest in this genre of art?

I have loved the fantasy world since I could remember. Everything is mystical and magical with the fantasy genre and as a child you of course want magic to be real. And as I got older, not only do I still want magic to be real, but I believe the unimaginable can come from fantasy art and stories. It is a get away from the world, especially as of late. Fantasy takes you to a world of magic and dreams.

How will you celebrate when the deck is finally published?

A lot of relaxing for sure. Probably have a nice dinner with family and my boyfriend but, lots and lots of relaxing. I don’t want to touch my computer for months after this.

What is on offer for people who pledge?

Of course, the Tarot Deck itself along with its booklet.

I offer two types of stickers, Zodiac Stickers and black and gold simple tarot stickers, both holographic. A bookmark with 2 crystal illustrations, front and back, that I designed, cardstock prints and posters of artwork from the Major Arcana in my deck are all available. And my favorite stretch goal reward, if we reach it, is a decorative tarot spread mat with a design I created printed on it. It will be a nice mat to lay out all of your cards on to view and to do readings.

To add a little magic and fantasy to your tarot collection, click here:

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