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
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