Monday, March 19, 2012

There Are 78 Cards in a Tarot Deck

Many of you know that I have taken on the challenge of completing my own tarot deck. This is not an easy task, but I knew that going in. I knew I was up to the challenge.

Right now, you're thinking that I'm giving up. "Uh oh," you're saying. "It proved to be too much for him."

That is incorrect. No fear, fellow adventurers. The deck continues. I am, however, working more slowly than I had intended. But just so you are aware, there are SEVENTY-EIGHT cards in a tarot deck. I know I'm statin' the obvious here, but that's a lot of paintings! More importantly, it's a lot of GOOD paintings.

There are a lot of tarot decks out there. A LOT. But out of the majority of them, I am not a fan of the art. I've heard from some of you that this isn't an uncommon feeling. It is easy to see why, now that I'm elbow deep in it. Creating 78 cards is a huge task and people probably cut a lot of corners. Keeping your interest up is one, publisher's deadlines another (for those artists lucky enough to HAVE a publisher), and the sheer amount of time that it takes. Not to mention coming up with your own version of seventy-eight tarot cards. This is not a task to be taken lightly.

The key for me, however, it this: Tarot is an ancient and wondrous art form. Let's take all of the "hocus pocus" out of it. Tarot has been around for a long time. Just the 22 cards of the major arcana can be traced back to 1440, where they were found in Italy. They were denounced as far back as that as well. The tarot has been linked to Egyptian and Israeli culture. Religious and secular groups have used the tarot as reference, story telling device, and even divination. The tarot has a rich, complex history.  A tarot deck should honor that majesty rather than just getting dumped out there in quick flash of mediocrity.

So, if I'm going to do this deck...and I am doing to do this deck...then it should not be rushed, it should not be 78 sketches that I did in my spare time, it should not be thrown together, and it should not just be a copy of all the other mainstream decks out there. My goal is to infuse every painting with the honor and magic they deserve.

--- Geraud 

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