The Attic Shoppe added Sepia Stains tarot art to their print shoppe. So if you’d like to have any of my lovely (though a tad scary if you’ve read their back stories) ladies on your wall, now is the time to get them. Follow this link. 🙂
I wrote this entry on the practical side of creating packaging for a deck. It offers a few suggestions on what you should consider as far as materials, costs and miscellaneous details are concerned. It’s the checklist I use when packaging an open edition deck. I get all crazy when it comes to the limited editions, but I try to keep my wits about me when it comes to the decks openly sold. I say try.
If I had my way all my decks would come in fabulous containers where you opened them up to find the deck lovingly wrapped in rich materials. Just getting to the deck would be like opening up the most gloriously gift wrapped birthday present. The companion book would be full color and contain not just the details about the cards, but also a serious of related trivia, art, and general beautiful page clutter. All of this would come within another large package of beautiful make and design. Yes, I want to be the fairy tarot godmother who touches her magic wand to a deck and a Cinderella scene explodes around it. I do start out with that type of scenario in mind. Fortunately for me I’ve developed a reflex that smacks me in the head in those times and screams slow your roll and edit woman!
Editing is very important. Toning down of my packaging comes after that and my open editions become more practical and affordable for my potential customers. I’ve learned to temper some of that enthusiasm by keeping one side attractive but simple and allowing the other side to be more over the top. Open edition practical, limited edition more extravagant. Sometimes I try and meld the two by offering a –not limited edition– but limited time sale on more unique packaging for a deck. I do this mostly for The Isidore Tarot. I have an autumn edition that is available each autumn. I have the Devil is in the Details special edition I created special for some of my goth-centric friends. This is my happy medium and the deck is popular enough for me to do this.
Ultimately the most important thing is the deck of cards. Packaging is fine but it means little if the deck itself doesn’t hit well with people. I’ve had a few experiences with buying a tarot deck that came packaged with all the bells and whistles only to find the deck itself felt like it was printed on cheap cardboard. Having gone through the whole nerve-racking process of card printing I know the printing part can be difficult, so I don’t fault the deck maker so much for that. It’s still disappointing though. I don’t want to disappoint so my first focus is the deck.
Of course, with all that said, there are a few exceptions to my personal rules. Deck popularity plays a lot into things. I have two versions of The Isidore Tarot – full packaging and just the deck. Just the deck is exactly that. The deck comes in a box and I include a organza draw string bag for those who prefer a bag over the box. I keep it affordable and put it one sale often. The fully packaged deck is stored in an organza drawstring bag within a labeled tin. I put flower petals in the tin because I just think it’s a nice touch to the packaging, not to mention I love my flower petal drawers I have as a result of that extra. It comes with a companion book. It’s an extremely popular deck and my baby so I like keeping it in nice clothes, so to speak. I want to make it available to everyone while still retaining that special packaging that doesn’t get too outrageous cost-wise.
This entry should be called how to avoid packaging work. I have my mini tarots sitting in front of me and they’re naked. I feel like I should put a blanket over them so they don’t catch cold! This one is done. I’m still working on packaging for the Halloween mini and the Black Ibis mini. I’m leaning towards small tins though. I love the idea of these tiny cards being in an equally tiny tin. Something I can tuck away in my owl bag and take with me. With that thought, I should be back to my work and start price checking small tins! 😉
The Moon finds me yet again, though in the tarot tradition. Today’s Moon card is from my Sepia Stains Tarot and is very different to the other moon cards of the tarot I’ve illustrated. My brief definitions for it in the deck’s companion book go back to older traditions regarding this card, but with this deck brief meanings also go along with the story behind the card. The meaning is better represented in the snippet of writing from the Black Ibis graphic novel that accompanies the artwork and card meaning. It’s how I see the moon as an entity and how I’ve come to view it within this deck. For me it can be somewhat negative or positive depending on how I’m feeling in that moment, but there’s always an underlining beauty to it that I always feel. From that snippet of writing:
“The moon… for so long she was my mother lost to the night. When I woke to my room as a child and my mother was not there, I would go to the window and look up into the night sky and see that brilliant crescent glowing above and I would speak to her. And I swear to you she answered back with soft words and blessings cast upon my forehead to keep me safe… to keep the fear and loneliness at bay. The moon… she was my keeper. Then life found me… the turbulence of war found me… and when I was at my lowest I looked up towards the night sky and saw her there in full bloom; this is how I knew it would be alright.”
A small note about the design of this card: This is the third edition version of the deck. My card’s character–Bone, the second sister–has some coverings where she was naked in the original. The nudity always made the deck difficult to get printed. Pop stars can move around nearly naked these days but I can’t get a piece of art printed because there’s the suggestion of breasts. Then one night, just as I was falling asleep, Bone leaned in from my thoughts and whispered: I’ll always be me. A butterfly might be nice. And so it was she had a little more depth added to her card. I find her absolutely beautiful and like her third incarnation a great deal.
Ah, the Hierophant. Not even a traditional one but the very non-traditional one from my Sepia Stains Tarot. I’m not sure if ironic is the right word but it feels appropriate. This card represents rules and tradition. I don’t follow any organized belief system, though I have beliefs. I don’t even move through life in a very traditional sort of way. However, there are some areas of my life that I find I can’t be anything but traditional with. Typically this means family. I don’t care the circumstance or what is going on I feel a need to always honor my family and be there for them… even when it can be difficult. Right now I feel a great distance from my aunt and an inability to help her as I should be. I feel like my need for family tradition is being challenged at the moment.
I like my Sepia Hierophant. Her name is Bex, the book keeper. In my story my Sepia deck maker said of her “Bex was a woman I watched grow up. Her father was the keeper of the Cinder & Ash Cabaret -a very strange and wondrous place- and she would perform there with the children theater on Sunday mornings. This was as close as her father would allow her to come to the underground religion. For her part, Bex made her own rituals out of the time she spent there.” Bex made her own traditions.