So, I have this project…
Yes, in addition to the 2 webcomics, the 3 blogs, and the cookbook project I have a graphic novel that I’ve been working on for several years. Well, okay, that’s not true. I have a graphic novel that is 1/3 scripted, 2/3 plotted and absolutely undrawn as yet. I have a graphic novel that hasn’t been touched in so long I’m not even going to link to it’s progress blog because it’s so very sad with neglect. But it does exist in it’s way, and I think about it every time I see my reference materials or script drafts sitting there gathering dusts.
At any rate! It’s a wedding story, very chick lit, set in New Orleans, with an undercurrent of occult–a thread throughout the book involves a tarot deck, cards of which pop up in unexpected places. Only problem is, when I started writing the story, the deck I needed didn’t exist yet.
Being the DIY diva I am, no problem, I’ll spend a few years researching it and make my own! And, being an artist, that means putting my spin on things, themed to the max, and (perhaps) a bit more complicated than it might have needed to be. I’m collaging each card’s image. (That’s 78 collages for the unfamiliar.)
So really it’s two projects–the story and the deck–and both are languishing.
Being wedding themed, I finally hit upon the idea (after much back and forth as to what to do with the court cards in the Minor Arcana) to have one of each suit represent a season and the remaining each represent a month, and all would be brides.
I’m sure you can see where this is going, then, as Miss Tulip Cotillion was perfect for a fantastical spring bride. So, this little paper project is now going to be the first completed art for the deck. I love progress.
Here she is after one evening’s work. The bones of the image are there (tulip-girl is not yet mounted to the shimmery lavender backing nor is the tree in it’s final spot) but there’s a lot of details–a lot of embellishment–left to go. This’ll be my main project for the weekend (that and, ugh, taxes). Which means that there will probably be further updates this weekend as I get to various points in the process.
I don’t know exactly which card she’ll be for. It has a lot to do with symbolism, both of theÂ tulips–yellow ones mean hopelessness, according to their old meanings, perfect for the reverse of the card, while the current meaning is sunshine and cheerful thoughts–and the card that it is meant to take the place of. So far, though, flipping through my original notes, the Queen of Rods is actually looking like a good fit so far. But we’ll see.
So far I’ve used a few scherenschnitte techniques as well as paper tole (the spacing of some of the layers to add a shadow-like appearance; the link will take you to another one of my eHow articles). Before it’s through this will be a true mixed media piece as wire, beads and a bit of fabric are all in my plan.
The biggest debate I’m having, though, is whether or not to detail her face. On the one hand, a stylized shape lends more of a modern-art, everywoman feel to it; on the other hand it may just look unfinished. I’ll probably save that bit for last, anyway. Maybe cut a spare head and do a test run to see how I like it. Decisions, decisions.
A few disclaimers for those who’ve read this far or might be curious: Yes, I know not everyone is down with the woo-woo aspects of the Tarot–it’s okay. Along with astrology, which I’ve also researched over the years, I consider it more a tool for contemplation and meditation than divination. The future is what we make of it, but being more aware of potential influences never hurts, now does it? Yes, I also know the importance some place on these cards. This is why I’ve spent quite a bit of time studying the histories and meanings of the cards. I am, by no means, an expert, but I do respect what the cards represent to practitioners and I approach this project both from the artistic and spiritual sides. This will be a functional deck when completed.
Any questions? I’ll be happy to answer them. You can comment here or send me an email at randomactscomics[at]gmail[dot]com