Contemporary Illustrated Tarots

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You’ll not be surprised that I am a fan of contemporary illustrated tarots decks, though you might be surprised by how many of them there are. There has been a strong current of contemporary illustrators taking on the challenge of illustrating tarot cards in the last few years and the results are, for the most […]

The Tarot and Chess, Part I

Photograph of chess pieces on a chess board
I’ve played chess as long as I can remember. Not well, mind you. I thought I played well until my friend Ethan beat me in roughly 7 moves when we started playing in Mrs. Hoffman’s 4th grade class. My father taught me the rules early, over a variety of chess boards, though the one I […]

A Serious Post About a Silly Game

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As I wrote about in my last post, I’ve been immersing myself in Joseph Campbell’s seminal text, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Being plunged so purely into the essence of mythology is revivifying. Being bathed in the the totems and talismans of cultures from across the world and watching as they’re woven into a […]

Change of Direction

There’s nothing more irritating than starting over. Professional artists do it all the time. Dan Clowes has said that it’s better to redraw an entire page than to regret it when the piece comes out. I don’t like agreeing with him (he’s one of my least favorite visual storytellers), but in this case I’m forced […]

The Hierophant WIP 01 & 02

Here are some peeks at the Hierophant. I posted two so that you can see a little more clearly my working process. The most drastic change between the first and the second is in the girl in the bottom right-hand site. Let me know what you think in the comments!

The Unhappy Hierophant

The Hierophant card represents the traditional, orthodox teachings of religion considered suitable for the masses. She is the ruling power of organized religion. jasonbeamstudios.com/site/g_thehierophant.asp (NSFW) I don’t think there’s an unhappier card in the Tarot deck than the Hierophant. There are more frightening and probably saddening cards to receive in a reading, the Tower and […]

The Temporal Rulers – A Spectrum of Power

I’ve always had a very superficial understanding of cards 2, 3, 4 and 5, in the tarot, otherwise known as the temporal rulers compised of the High Priestess (aka Papess), the Empress, the Emperor and the Hierophan (or Pope). Part of this confusion is that much of my early reading grouped cards one and two […]

Notes on Temperance

The structure of Temperance comes about from a quirk of the formatting: it was going to be very difficult to make a chibi angel stand near the bottom of the card with one foot in the water and one foot out. Also, I dislike drawing feet. Really dislike drawing feet. So that’s the first major […]

The Mystery of the Magician

The Magician is a card with two distinct personalities. Before the early 20th century resurgence of interest in the occult the Magician existed humbly as Le Bateleur, which Wikipedia defines as ‘the Mountebank.’ A mountebank, for those of you less interested in 19th century jargon than I am, is simply a cheat. The Magician wasn’t […]

Notes on the Fool

The Fool was an exciting card to write about, but a difficult card to draw. The initial figure came easily enough: a cheery boy waving excitedly to a friend. He can’t see the danger coming, but we can. After that, though, it all fell apart. Should he have feet? None of the rest of them […]