Let me start with a massive thank you to everyone who has reached out to me over the past months with messages of support and questions about the release of the deck. That so many of you are invested in the creation of this deck is my main driving force, so thank you for motivating me to get back to working on it. Hopefully this post will help to answer your questions and reassure you that the deck is still going ahead, if a little later than anticipated.
Where have I been?
Those of you who follow me over on Instagram might have noticed that I went a little quiet for a few months. I had some freelance jobs come up (yay!) and had to drop my other projects to meet their deadlines. I’m hoping I can share some of those jobs with you in the future because they were really very special to me. My son also started school in February, so I have been adjusting to working shorter days to fit in around his new schedule. I wouldn’t say I have a handle on it yet, but I’m getting there.
How much of the deck is left to go?
Here’s a breakdown of the work I have left:
- Seven cards haven’t been started at all (The Chariot, Judgement, The World and all four Pages)
- Three cards that I drew early on no longer fit my approach to the Major Arcana or need to be elaborated on (The Devil, The Lovers and Temperance)
- Four or Five cards need are half completed or need to be significantly altered.
- Thirty-something cards were drawn in ink and need to be traced digitally and modified to fit in with the rest of the deck.
- The Little White Book needs to be written and designed.
- I need to settle on a printer and start that ball rolling.
It sounds like a lot, but I’m excited by how far I have come, so it is not too overwhelming… most of the time. The hardest thing has been trying to keep my style consistent over such a long period. Moving from ink to digital illustration has completely changed my approach and, as the deck has evolved, I've found that some earlier cards no longer fit stylistically. Take the Death card, for example:
The card on the left was one of the first I ever drew for the deck (I was never happy with it), whilst the one on the right was finished today. Both cards portray the same concept - the painful ending of one thing (the scissors) and the start of another (picking up a new thread/falling into the endless possibilities of the universe), but I cannot imagine the two sitting comfortably within the same deck.
Here's an example of one of my simpler editing jobs:
In this instance, the image is almost identical, but the shading needed to be simplified and the lines cleaned up to better match my more recent cards. It still took me hours to complete. You can read more about my editing process over in this post.
Don't get me wrong, I'm really happy with my progress and the development of my style, but it does make my job a lot harder. I need to get everything ready to publish before my style shifts on me again!
So... when will the deck be completed?
Honestly, I have no idea. I'm aiming for this year, but life tends to make its own plans. When I started the deck at the beginning of 2017, I was confident it would take me 6 months at most. That obviously didn’t happen, but I promise that it will be published eventually, even if I'm an old lady by that point.
If you’re worried you will miss the release, you can sign up through this form for an email alert when the deck is ready to be purchased. You can also follow me on Instagram for more regular updates and behind the scenes shots. If you're particularly impatient, digital prints and original ink versions of my cards are available over on Etsy - I've even made a few of the cards into little vinyl stickers.
Again, thank you all for sticking with me. Your support means more to me than I could ever express and I hope the journey is worthwhile for you all in the end.