• Our Halloween Deck

    With just 22 hours left before the Kiddy Katz / Spooky Cats campaign is over, we want to give a great big thank you to all of you who have shared and contributed to our campaign. The support has been really appreciated.

    There’s still time to guarantee a New Years gift for yourself or a friend.

    Here’s a little insight into what went into a few of our Spooky Cats cards…

    The 4 of Cups is inspired by a stuffed toy I always wanted for Christmas but never got. It was called “My Pet Monster”. Like many toys, the commercial appeared on television and captivated me. Looking back on it now, of course, the same toy doesn’t seem so exciting, but I remember how it made me feel. I’m inclined to think that it was a popular toy at the time and possibly they had sold out and so Santa just wasn’t able to deliver lol.

    One of the things I enjoy about creating imagery for decks is that you can add personal things into the cards without necessarily having to take away from the overall meaning of the card. Most of the cards include personal meanings to me, but will probably not mean anything specific to anyone else.

    With the 4 of Cups, I thought I would recreate that mood all over again, only this time the little figure has the “My Pet Monster” costume and is trying to enjoy Halloween.

    So as you can see I had to take quite a few liberties with the design, just to make it appear more interesting, since the real character is in the face. Since I didn’t want to wipe out every feline aspect, I decided to keep the face uncovered. For the most part though it does bear some similarities.

    I enjoy reading about some people’s thoughts on the “energy” behind cards. I’ve even heard some readers say that certain decks are “soulless”. Not mine thankfully, but it does remind one that some readers do pay attention, not just to the imagery on the cards, but the personality behind them.

    In this link you can see the commercial that influenced me as a kid.

    Next up is the Three of Brooms.

    The little kitty looks out into the distance. This was inspired by the many nights I sat looking out into the distance at my parent’s house. This is one memory that has become a recurring theme and was and is very important to me. The horizon was full of promise. There was, what appeared a kind of phantom Ferris wheel, along with the shimmering lights of a Carousel; complete with the plastic horses that bob up and down. It was very beautiful, almost like the promise of a child’s view of heaven.

    When I eventually grew up, the Carousel disappeared. In reality it was never really there. Instead what I was seeing was a faraway town. To this day, though, I still see the dancing Carousel far in the distance. It still shimmers like it did when I was just a child.

    Every time I see the Three of Wands and the figure looking out into the distance, I always think about the feeling I used to get when I looked out and thought I saw something really great.

    For our next card we visit The Devil card. It made perfect sense to use the theme of the deck to lead me in certain directions! Since much of Halloween for a child involves costumes and becoming someone else for a day, some of the costumes made perfect sense.

    This costume was really influenced by the movie Problem Child. This was one of my favourite movies growing up as a kid and my particular favourite scene was Jr not really being invited to the little girl’s party. The reason being is that the little girl feels Jr isn’t a “real kid” because he’s adopted. Rather tragic, but of course Jr gets his own back; dressed as a mischievous little devil he completely ruins her party.

    For those wondering about the little creature to the left of our costumed devil; that would be a Devil’s Coach Horse, (although I grew up knowing it with the unflattering name of “Coffin Cutter”) It was my neighbour who gave it that name, but now in the days of the Internet, a google search confirms that that name “Coffin Cutter” is actually is a nickname of a particular Crayfish.

    Regardless, the Devil’s Coach Horse used to scare me when I would play around in the dirt with plastic army figures.

    To round this little article up, we’ll close with the 6 of Cups.

    The greatest of joys! As a kid growing up in Ireland, there was little fanfare in Halloween merchandise. A few cheap plastic masks, sparklers, and fireworks for the adults. As you can imagine then, some of the best fun was actually creating our own masks, usually hewn from the back of Rice Krispies boxes, and coloured with pens, but sometimes paint brushes.

    The 6 of Cups is usually viewed as revisiting childhood.
    In the 6 of Cups for the Kiddy Katz Tarot, it features an elderly Kiddy Kat, complete with Apple Pie in the window. That card was inspired by my grandma who I looked after in her later life and who passed to the other side last year. With these kind of decks I feel that I can add a little bit more personality into them. Obviously every deck has its personality; King’s Journey, Twisted Tarot Tales etc, they all have a different feel to them. Regardless of the deck, it’s inevitable that the artist will leave behind their personality in at least a few of the cards but I really feel these last few decks resonate the most with me.

  • New Spooky Cats Tarot Cards

    I think my favorite card has to be the High Priestess Tarot Reader. She’s reading with a few of the unused, but fully finished, card images from our Kiddy Katz Tarot (6 of Coins, 4 of Cups and 9 of Cups to be precise) and has a little spider overseeing her readings.

    Another favorite is the 4 of Wands, as the owner of the house peers out the window looking for trick-or-treaters but perhaps finding none…or at least, that is how I feel myself at times lol. The past few years I’ve had a pumpkin bucket full of candy and no one seems to show up. Then again I think the idea of trick-or-treating has never fully taken off in my local town.

    I also like the Ace of Cups where we see two kids coming up the pathway; the one in front with a pumpkin mask. I am also rather fond of the 7 of Cups and 2 of Pumpkins as they feature the iconic Freddy Krueger costume! lol

    We’re still happily working on our Spooky Cats Tarot each day and will continually update the Indiegogo campaign page when we have more sketches and finished cards. The deck celebrates that most spooky time of year.

  • The Spooky Cats Tarot

    I’d like to introduce you to a whole new set of Kiddy Katz cards; this time with a Halloween inspired theme. We call it the Spooky Cats Tarot, although it has a more Halloween holiday feel to it.

    If you’re like us, you’ll probably enjoy the feeling of Halloween long after Halloween has past, so I feel that the deck will be enjoyable to read with, regardless of the time of year.

    The deck is full of fancy costumes, jack o lanterns, creepy spiders, bats and much more.

    The good thing about working on a new deck is the ability to keep sharing new artwork during the campaign to draw attention to our Kiddy Katz decks, but also to give our followers a little Halloween themed Spooky cats artwork each day. (Update: The deck is now complete)

    The Spooky Cats deck consists of the suit of Pumpkins (Coins), Brooms (Wands), Swords and Cups and of course the Majors. To the left is our 2 of Brooms where our kitty is dressed as a kind of Dracula character.

    My world was a little rocked in August when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It came as a shock to me as I never thought myself a great consumer of sugar, although I must admit that as an Irishman I had grown fond of Irish Whiskey over the years and it must have taken its toll.

    At first I did not want to accept that I was diabetic, nor did I want to sign up to all the clubs and groups they advise you to be a part of. I didn’t want to officially “join the club” and I probably won’t, even though I have accepted that I have diabetes. I was in shock for a time, and started feeling depressed. I thought about announcing it on Facebook but thought better of it. Hurricane Harvey had struck the U.S, and Houston and other parts were badly affected. My diabetes blues paled in comparison. I decided that Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I would keep drawing cat images. I do not know if anyone will like them, but I do. When I wake up in the morning and see what I drew the previous day, it is these simple things that allow me to not feel too annoyed about now being a diabetic. It allows me to take my mind off my worries.

    Of course I see the irony in drawing tonnes of candy in many of these cards when I’ve been completely sugar free throughout it’s creation. Candy corn, tootsie rolls and gummy worms feature among the candy in this deck, but alas I shall see none of it throughout Halloween…alright, so maybe a few, who knows lol.

    There is something very therapeutic about drawing pictures everyday and I thank, not only those who buy my artwork (in whatever form it takes) but I am also grateful to those who hire me for their own projects.

    Thank you for reading this article and for your continued support. If you think you may interested in this deck, you can check out our store page when it becomes available.

  • Animal Totems Part 2 ; The Insects


    Ah, normally I do not buy into the whole trigger warning thing but I recognize that many have a fear of insects; in particular spiders. Why upset my readers if I can avoid it? Yet, for those not offended by our smaller inhabitants of earth, I share with you some which I have encountered over the years, mainly in Ireland, but further afield too!

    The first totem post focused more on animals. This time around I wanted to focus more on insects.

     Featured here are photographs that I took, mostly about ten years ago, of the insects that exist in Northern Ireland.

    I openly state that I do not know of their true names, but only that they wander about amidst the wild flowers and trees outside my home.

    In the Twisted Tarot Tales we feature mostly animals, but insects also play a big part too. The spider, the bee and the ant play the role of attacker in some of these cards.

    When I was younger I used to squash insects but as time passed, I felt bad about it. I try not to do that anymore and instead lift them and set them outside. Generally I look at it that they all have a right to live since God saw fit to put them together with body parts and life.

    That being said, even to this day I am guilty of sentencing some of them to death. It is not maliciousness you understand, but out of fear. I do not like the wasps because i’m always told they have a really bad sting. That and unlike honey bees they can keep stinging without worrying about dying.

    On the right we see the paper wasp. In Ireland we do not have those. When I first set foot in America and was in Ohio, I encountered these and I must say to you, they were a bit strange to me. They were a much bigger wasp than I was used to. I didn’t like them all that much. I admit I did kill a few and later found a full nest below the trailer I was staying in. They seemed to be as big as the huge dragonflies of Florida which I encountered four years later. The dragonflies, of course, were not a concern. I just do not like things that sting or bite and will avoid them if I can. In the U.S my favorite insects were the fireflies.

    To the left we see another photo I took in 2007. Again I do not know their names, but these bugs were found, mating i suppose, amidst the whin bushes ( also known as gorse bushes) which grow around N.Ireland and Scotland, England etc.

    Sometimes when I was much younger I would follow some of the insects to their homes. I think what I learned about the insects was more the vastness of what God created. Millions of creatures exist, and many have yet to be discovered in the caves and jungles of the world. We tend to think that everything has been discovered, but news species are still being found today.

    On the left is a strange creature believed to be a nymph. It was discovered after researchers from the University of Harvard trekked for three weeks to explore the untouched rain-forest of southeast Suriname.

    While creatures like ants, spiders and bees exist in our Tarot deck, some of these creatures which i speak of, currently, do not. I show them, rather, to share with you a little of my photography but also to share the little world that exists in our own. They exist in a world where many giants roam about. Even a rabbit or fox is giant to them, never mind cattle or humans.

    Below right is what I refer to as the C3P0 beetle, only because I do not know its name and it reminds of the Star Wars cyborg. I took this photo out in Belgrade, Serbia when i traveled through there in 2007. Perhaps an Eastern European may have seen this beetle before and be able to identify it.

    I will relay a funny story. I normally am pretty understanding about people being scared of bugs, i mean I mentioned earlier that I do not like wasps. So one day Christine lets out a scream upstairs while I was downstairs. I thought she’d done something drastic, like accidentally cut herself doing whatever, it sounded very serious. So I rush upstairs to see if she’s OK. Turns out there was a little spider in the bath tub. I admit I got a little frustrated and said something a long the lines of “come on, it’s just a spider”…

    So the next evening I’m sitting at the computer and above my head I see this big spider, I mean big for the UK / Ireland. It shocked the hell out of me. Normally I lift the spiders in my hand and set them outside but not this one…

    God has a sense of humour! Yes, here I was figuring out how the hell I was going to get this spider out of the house. Ok so it’s no Goliath Bird Eating Spider, it’s no tarantula, I get it, but you have to understand that for all I knew it had come in on some foreign imports. Was it poisonous?

    I reacted in the same way I would seeing the spiders in the states. In the states a few people would laugh at me for being a bit concerned with spiders etc, but we hear all these horror stories of poisonous spiders dissolving human flesh that I didn’t want to take my chances. In America I was warned about the brown recluse spider, and this spider in my living room, I must admit, looked a little like it

    So it turned out that the spider was probably called Giant House Spider, the largest spider in the UK, though it appears they can grow much larger. I learned something in that some spiders in the UK actually do bite. I have only been bitten by spiders in the U.S and Egypt, but not in the UK. And yes, the Giant House Spider does bite but is not poisonous.

    Alright so maybe I was exaggerating. In the photo it doesn’t look too big of a deal. It was sucked up by the vacuum cleaner, and that was the end of him…

    Until I see him walking past me the very next afternoon. A tough sucker! So I scooped him up and put him outside.

    Thanks for reading this Twisted Tarot Tales Insects article

    (ABOVE: an excerpt from the Twisted Tarot Tales companion book. The rat and seagull are just a few of many of the animals and birds found in the deck)

  • Animal Totems

    Besides the metaphysical, you may have picked up that I have a keen interest in nature and animals. This interest inspired the inclusion of a lot of animals in the Twisted Tarot Tales. All in all there is about 25 different insects, animals, birds and marine life in Twisted Tarot Tales (The shark was an exclusive to the Indiegogo campaign, but 24 are still available)

    In the deck I consider these totem animals. A totem ( A word thought to come from the Ojibwe word dodaem) is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe. While the idea of having animal spirits that represent groups of people exist all over the world, the idea is probably more popularly associated with Native Americans through the word totem.

    On the right we see a totem pole from the Tlingit people in Alaska. In aboriginal

    Canada and the United States, the practice of creating totem poles seems to be uniquely found in the western part of the continent, particularly Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska.

    All kinds of animals were carved into the poles and often the top features birds like ravens or eagles and sometimes the mythical Thunderbird.

    According to the site warpaths2peacepipes.com, the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes, found in Alaska and British Columbia, included animals like frogs, geese, sea lions,beaver, mountain goats, wolf, bear and Thunderbird on their totem poles.

    (ABOVE: an excerpt from the Twisted Tarot Tales companion book. The rat and seagull are just a few of many of the animals and birds found in the deck)

    One of my fondest memories visiting the United States was seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Whether that be possums in Ohio, or armadillos in Florida, it’s always nice to see them in the wild (when back home you’d only ever see these kinds of animals in a zoo, although even at that we don’t actually have them there either!)

    While normal tourists to Florida, and specially Orlando, will visit Universal Studios and Disney World, my brother and I decided to veer off the tested and true path. Admittedly I would have liked to take a trip into the Everglades with a guide but we had run out of money (this was near the end of our trip) Still we did manage to see one alligator lol

    Here’s a picture i took of the alligator which was below a bridge near Orlando. There’s something nice about seeing these creatures out in nature but of course with the likes of an alligator…it’s nicer when they are at a distance!

    There’s something special about animals. With pets we sense it more easily due to the fact that, for the most part, they trust us enough to get close to us.

    Below: Another portion of the animal totem section of our Twisted Tarot Tales companion book.

    We had a cat that came to us one winter and he was very hungry and sick. It was almost ten years ago now, and my parents took him in. He has a growth on his nose, and so his nose appears a bit longer than regular cats but it never seemed to bother the cat, and therefore it never bothered us. We named him smokey. He’s still living over at my parents place.

    I laugh at this picture because smokey is as old as my boots. I still have those boots but they are a lot rougher now…steel toed working boots…Italian made, so maybe there is something to be said for the Italian craftmanship lol

    I realise I never talk much about pets, in fact I seemto remain quiet about a lot of the things in my life, because sometimes I figure that no one would care to hear about the things important to me. However since this section of the newsletter is about animals, I figure why not?

    To the left is Russell, our pet dog. He passed away about two years ago now but he’s still “my dog” if you get what you mean. Even though he’s gone I still feel he is not “gone”, but just on a different plane. That probably sounds crazy on the surface, but I’m sure pet owners will understand.

    I believe animals have spirits and in my crazier moments, have toyed with the idea that animals have souls like humans. Maybe that is not so crazy? I don’t know.

    Sometimes my brothers and I would joke that he was like a wise Yoda, especially in his older years. He had that old man “knowing” look, you know the one where the eyes have seen a lot of things through life. There used to be this show called School Around the Corner on Sundays and it featured school kids around Northern Ireland competing in choirs. Russell would always sing along with them in a strange dog like singing voice.

    It’s a certain pitch of voice when the children sing that sets him off in song. Amazing dog and we miss him. I imagine my dad misses him especially since he used to sit on my dads lap in the evenings while my parents watched TV.

  • Drawing the Mother Figure Over the Years

    Just like we did with the Lovers cards in our Valentine’s edition of the newsletter, this time around I think it would be nice to showcase all of our Empress cards throughout all of our Tarot decks so far, for Mother’s Day.

    Our first Empress card was in the King’s Journey Tarot. It’s a great card depicting an expectant mother being pampered by a group of gnomes. Bringing the salt from the earth, the gnomes cleanse her feet.

    It seems like a lifetime ago that I drew the images for King’s Journey, yet if memory serves me it was little over 7 years ago.

    The next card is from Simply Deep Tarot. This card was designed to portray the Empress figure in a kind of peaceful setting. She has air of grace about her as she looks at the butterflies.

    Next up is an alternative version of the Empress card for Twisted Tarot Tales (i’ve left the Chinese Propaganda Empress until last, even though it was drawn before TTT, as it’s a card that is a bit more a personal and therefore a more lengthy story attached)

    Our alternative Empress is part of the exclusive “movie edition” which was available through our Indiegogo campaign in 2016. It features the Alien xenomorph queen from the Alien franchise. Believe it or not this was the very first card thought up for the Twisted Tarot Tales deck, though not the first one actually illustrated. Christine felt it would be a perfect representation of a mother in a horror format and I totally agree.

    In the movie “Aliens” she viciously fights her human counterpart Lt Ripley. She’s protecting her brood of course, who take the form of what appears to be leathery type eggs, like that of the kind of reptilian eggs one might find buried on a beach left behind by turtles but more otherwordly. Of course these hold the now famous “face huggers”, conceptualized by the great Swiss artist Giger.

    I must admit that I was very fond of drawing already existing characters, not because I wanted to rip a pre-existing character off, but rather as a form of showing people another side to my artwork; drawing recognisable characters. This was one my favourite things about comic book art when I was a teenager. You could find a dozen artists all drawing the same character, but their artwork would be very different, so much so that no matter what character some artists would illustrate, you could recognise their work. I’m told all the time that my artwork is recognisable but I am not completely convinced. I think in the world of Tarot art it is; mainly because the comic style is not as common as other styles.

    Since then we’ve put together Freddy Kruger, Jason from Friday the 13th and a few others but we’ve never shared them online. Perhaps near the end of the year we may release a small amount of them as cards.

    Our “official” Empress in Twisted Tarot Tales was inspired by a movie called Cats Eye, written by Stephen King where it features a little girl being tormented by an evil creature in her bedroom. In our card she is playing with her toy doll, with the creatures in the background.

    Finally we get to one of my favourite Empress cards;  the Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot’s Empress. it’s a card  that I can relate to on a personal level. The Empress in this deck is depicted as a farmer, which is exactly what my mum was when I was growing up (and still is with my dad). My mum was more a housewife, but was accustomed to helping my dad off and on throughout the years.

    All the animals featured on this card have all been on our farm at one point or another; pigs, sheep and chickens and of course the rooster doing the familiar crowing every morning.

    The chickens were kept for eggs, the pigs were mainly for pets, and although we’ve had sheep, generally speaking we would have kept an eye on the sheep of a fellow farmer who was renting some of my dad’s fields

    I never knew it but my parents were quite poor for many years, especially when we were much younger, despite the fact that they worked long hours on our potato farm. I look back on it now and chalk my not knowing their financial struggles up to the fact that my mum and dad never argued in front of us kids about money issues (in fact I can’t remember a single time they ever properly argued about anything), and they bought us enough things for us to never know that they might not have very much money.

    My mum was and is also a big believer in only paying for what you can afford. I’m sure they may have taken out loans etc when it came to their farm business, but my mum didn’t believe in credit cards. It’s the same thing today. That doesn’t mean us kids got everything our hearts desired, but in many ways I am glad. It taught me that life isn’t a shopping cart where everything is handed to you.

    My parents worked at building their farm from the ground up and from an early age I enjoyed all the joys that living in the country afforded.

    Probably the best years of my life were during the time spent when we were without computer games, internet and all of that kind of thing (all of which seemed to be introduced into my life with my mid to late teens) and I tend to think that had these things been more widely available in Ireland and my parents had given them to us very early on, I may never have taken the time to learn how to draw pictures. (I spent an incredible amount of time learning to draw)

    We did, of course, have the TV and I enjoyed shows, mainly American shows like the Fall Guy, the A-Team and The Equalizer. I don’t remember much about The Equalizer other than that my dad enjoyed it and I wanted to be like the main character Robert McCall (played by Edward Woodward).

    Life on the farm was great, but as I got older I started to get a little tired of some of the work.

    I used to milk cows on my Uncle’s Farm as a teen, and on my parents farm, used to help harvest potatoes.

    Probably the worst job when it comes to potatoes was actually gathering them from the field. Sometimes this would take place in winter, and so you’d be out in the freezing cold while gathering them from the ground, and other times from a harvester.

    The nicer part about working with potatoes was separating the bad potatoes from the good on the potato machine (I guess their real name is a potato sorting or grading machine) indoors in my dad’s shed.

    Sometimes i’d be at the back throwing out the really bad ones before they get to the next person, and of course the more people you have sorting them, the less chance there is that any bad ones will get through. The best job in working with potatoes was taking the full bags of potatoes off, stacking them up and putting a new bag back on.

    As time passed however, it was hard to make a living from selling potatoes as we weren’t selling to shops directly but instead working through a middle man. That and there was a continuing growing surplus throughout the country and the demand wasn’t there. Add to that the increase of potatoes from Cyprus, among other countries, along with the rising cost of fertiliser and sprays to protect the potatoes from blight, and it was getting to where we were only breaking even. Not good! Farming potatoes is the kind of thing that takes tremendous time and resources and when you’re working and paying out more than you can make, you have to make a big decision. In my parents case they found a much better prospect

    They moved into working with beef cattle. However there was one thing that I felt continually drawn to and that was drawing pictures. When I’d find myself doing everything from hauling hay bales to cleaning ditches I was also thinking up ideas for what I would draw when I get back to the house. It was my only real passion. Sometimes it is difficult to truly know how best to spend one’s time. I suppose I felt very sure in myself that art was what I was “supposed to do” even though I know that certainties can change over time as we change too. So in the recent years I resigned myself to “making it work”. Any money I make pretty much solely comes from doing art. Financially it’s sometimes enough, and other times it falls short. That’s where faith and determination come into play I suppose. It’s long hours but it’s something that fulfills me.

    So I look back and I am grateful for the childhood I had. Watching and learning how to plant things, watching how a business is run, (and the obstacles one can face) and looking after and being around animals. It was a good childhood and I owe at least half of it to my mother.

  • The Lovers in Tarot

    After creating a few decks over the years, we’ve created quite a few “Lovers” cards of varying themes and looks.

    Our first was when I co created a King’s Journey Tarot. This was quite an unusual looking Lovers card in that it was more battle themed rather than a traditional depiction of love.

    King’s Journey is a unique deck where we follow one character throughout the entire deck of cards. (With a Spirit suit and two additional Majors the total number of cards are 94 instead of the regular 78). From the Fool, considered our first card, to the World card, considered our last, coming after the minor suits, the Fool character changes in appearance the whole way through (with the exception of his clothing, which was kept very similar in theme and color to be easily identifiable)

    In King’s Journey the Lovers card features the young fool character doing battle with his inner demon. Having defeated his “darkness” he has been granted the right to court the Emperor’s daughter (The Emperor appears in the background with his daughter. Similarly in the Emperor card all three appear too)

    While it’s certainly a different view of love, it deals with a common theme that is sometimes crucial to confront if a relationship is going to work. Sacrificing or overcoming a part of yourself that brings negativity to the relationship.

    A few years later we created a more traditional version of the King’s Journey Lovers and occasionally this has been included as a bonus card.

    Next up is our Simply Deep Lovers card. This has more of a Victorian feel to it and is in a picnic setting. It was designed to be a little bit flirty but not overtly so.

    Of all of the lovers cards, it’s probably the closest we’ve come to a more romantic feel to the card.

    Since being published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, we’ve also released a borderless version of the deck which is available on our site  along with a Simply Deep mini deck, for those that like to collect miniature versions of their favorite decks.

    Our next Lovers card was the military uniformed couple in the Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot, seen below, who are depicted celebrating a marriage.

    It’s a very different Lovers card than is traditionally depicted because they are in uniform. It’s more formal and less romantic. Above the couple can be seen spiritual beings, the Phoenix and Chinese Dragon inside a heart.

    About a year after starting on the Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot, we created our “green mutant” lover in what would become The Twisted Tarot Tales deck. This is probably one of my favourite Lovers cards that I’ve drawn because it is much more wacky and the colors pop making it very comic bookish.

    I wrote a few pages about the message behind this peculiar version of the Lovers card in the Twisted Tarot Tales companion book and the fact that looks can be deceiving in the imagery.

    I originally illustrated another card for the lovers depicting a wolf type being in love with a woman. It never made the cut even though I personally liked it but maybe one day it will make a return.

    One of the great things about depicting a universal concept like love is that there are many ways it can be depicted and they can all be true. The Lovers in the King’s Journey recognizes that relationships can be hard and often need something of a sacrifice to make them work. Sometimes that sacrifice might be our inner demon. The Simply Deep Lovers depicts a secret get away between two romantic partners; that much needed intimate time. The Chinese Propaganda version depicts marriage, I suppose I would say, in a more rigid practical way, a “uniform” way, and the Twisted Tarot Tale green mutant card represents, in my view, the truest form of love; protecting a loved one.

    I think for me that aspect of love is worth more because anyone can say they love you, but without any action, without any outward sincere show of affection, especially in the hardest parts of life, then what is there to believe in? How can we be sure that the love is as real as the hallmark cards say it is! lol

    Upon final completion, Christine wanted to depict two crash test dummies in love. To me, this image reminds one of a bit of a reckless relationship. It’s still a relationship. Not perfect, and the couple are, at least symbolically, depicted as being damaged (or about to be damaged). It could be argued that this particular couple are built for it, that’s their purpose, but in a human sense that hurt can still be difficult (forgive me if I am rambling. I have been unwell for the past week and may be making less sense than I imagine).

    No doubt about it, this crash dummies card is creepy. It depicts a car crash, and even if it is in a test zone, we are all far too familiar with life and its tragedies. Some people were not too thrilled about this deck for that reason alone; it does not shy away from the horror in life, but for me personally it is more honest that way. I value honestly, and I try to be honest, most importantly to myself and the Lord. If I can’t be honest with myself, how can I be honest with you?

    That goes for readings too. I would only want a reading from an honest person who is able to come to terms with the fact that life has tragedies. Read more about that in my article from last edition called “Foresight” . Again, sorry for my rambling. I have spent the past few days visiting deceased loved ones, looking into NDE and feeling genuinely under the weather but I shall bounce back very soon!

    The next Lovers card we created was the Winter Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot (Aka our “Year of the Rooster” version). I see this card as a card where we see the idea of love through the eyes of a child. He’s created an ice/snow creation of two adult lovers. Maybe they are entirely figments of his imagination or maybe they are a depiction of his parents.

    It’s been about 6 or 7 years since I illustrated my first Tarot card and since then I’ve drawn about 8 Lovers cards through the various decks and bonus cards. In my own life I like to think I’ve learned a little about love too!

  • Chinese Propaganda Tarot PDF

    On the 28th of January 2017 we officially released the Winter Chinese Propaganda Deck and have complete the free downloadable printable PDF that goes along with it.

    It would be easy to simply throw together a PDF, it’s not hard, but I like to have them coloured nicely along with various imagery from the cards. It takes a little bit longer to produce, but I think it’s worth it.

    All being well we’ll eventually release our Chinese Propaganda Art companion book sometime next year. Most of it was written over 2 years ago, but it’s ended up being one of those projects that takes a bit of a back seat.

    The Chinese Propaganda Art companion book goes into the some of the ideas behind the imagery, which is probably a bit of an added bonus with this kind of imagery since it deals with a whole other culture and time period.

    In the meantime enjoy our free PDF printout. Even if you don’t have either the original Propaganda Art Tarot or the Year of Rooster Edition (winter edition), you may find it useful for aiding in the readings of other decks.

  • Happy Chinese New Year

    It is the Year of the Rooster in China.

    The rooster is the tenth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 and 2029. The rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality.

    We’re excited to announce that we have finished the completion of an Oracle deck of cards that we’ve put together to be released in time for the Chinese New Year.

    The Oracle deck has 50 cards in total, all with a unique message contained within. With messages taken from actual fortune cookies, we feel that these will be a great accompaniment to Tarot readings, perhaps used as clarification cards for clarifying the outcome card in readings.

    The cards are Bridge size 2.25” x 3.5” (57mm x 89mm) and ships directly from our printer.

    This is our first venture into the world of Oracle decks and has been a lot of fun illustrating the cards. Since the focus is solely on the fortune cookie, we originally planned for the background of each card to be a carbon copy repeated throughout the deck.

    For the most part this is true, but there are a few little changes here and there with the menu!

    I must admit that it’s a very different deck than any we’ve done before. it’s the first card deck we’ve ever produced that doesn’t have people or animals. The deck is now available on our site.

  • The Winter Chinese Propaganda Art Deck

    I really feel that 2017 is going to be a great year for creativity. I always think that 7 is a lucky number, maybe because it’s a spiritual number.

    We’ve finally completed the Winter Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot, our Year of the Rooster edition of the deck. This takes our original Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot and gives it a wintry feel. This version of the deck has around 30 new artworks. This makes the Year of the Rooster edition a deck with over a third of the cards being comprised of completely new artworks.

    It’s not bad for a deck I originally intended to be “winterized” in the same manner I winterized the King’s Journey Tarot deck; taking the existing imagery and altering it slightly, or, occasionally, dramatically, but still retaining all of the main imagery.

    Most of the deck still retains the same imagery in the original Chinese Propaganda Art Tarot but with over 30 new images I really think it is a great stand alone deck.

    To mark this occasion we’ve decided to depict a rooster on the back of the cards. This will be the third time the backs have been changed on our Chinese themed deck, with the first being changed due to political reasons which would have prevented publication. So for anyone that has the first edition, you truly have a collector’s item! Those backs can’t be printed anymore. It’s unforeseen, but when you walk the less traveled path sometimes these kinds of things happen. So, a whole new back for this one!