A few months ago, I became concerned that the Blind Tarot was blind in more than just name. I stopped posting images of the cards while I worked through these concerns, but now that I have a better idea of what I am doing, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
When I drew the first few cards in the deck, all that I knew was that I wanted the deck to be black and white, entirely female and emotionally instinctive. One of the first cards I drew was The Lovers – two women leaning back upon each other with their dark hair entwined.
These women, or women like them, went on to populate the rest of the deck - drawn with long, black hair and a black outline on the white background. To me, the deck represented a journey of the same woman ( or at a least similar women, the faces aren't that consistent) throughout the different events of each card. The woman I chose to draw was one I felt I could best represent with my art style, and one who was closest to my own sense of identity. I never thought of her as being Caucasian, but rather as being entirely colourless.
But I am not creating this deck for my own use and I know that others will not see things through the same lens that I do. I am creating this deck for others, with the hope that they will look at each card and be able to intuitively connect with the message it is presenting. With that in mind, I can no longer ignore that the message I was presenting was inadvertently a very white one. And I'm not okay with that.
There have been some barriers to amending this, the biggest being adapting my art style and accepting that I will not be able to represent every person, nor make every person happy. I also worried that race would become the focus of the deck and feel gimmicky and disrespectful.
In the end, I chose to have two versions of the women throughout – the black outlined, white background version that already existed, and a new white outlined, black background version. They are inverted versions of each other, keeping one another in balance rather than just representing skin colour.
It’s not going to be the perfect solution - god knows I am still tweaking my art style to adapt to the switch - and there will be those who disagree with my representation or wonder why I have focused on this and ignored that. But I am glad to be trying in my own small way and to no longer be putting these changes into the too-hard basket. So, this is me doing my best to raise my voice, even if it only comes out as a croak.