Aeclectic Tarot
Dedicated to the diversity and beauty of Tarot since 1996


    · Tarot Decks   · Tarot Meanings   · Tarot Forum   · Home

Tarot Gallery Tarot Card Meanings Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Community What's New

  Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot > Tarot Deck Creation

Welcome to the Aeclectic Tarot Forum!

We are the oldest and largest Tarot forum community on the Internet. If you have any questions about any aspect of Tarot or using your cards, or you just want to connect with other Tarot enthusiasts, you've found the right place!

Registering your account is completely free, and allows you to post, share readings, search, view extra boards and more.

Hope to see you in the forum soon!


Reply
 
Thread Tools
tarotbear 
Citizen
 
tarotbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenDarkWind View Post
Plan out what each card will have on it beforehand.
"I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THIS CARD, SO I'LL FAKE IT FOR NOW."

Planning is VERY important! Remember - a card is a very small canvas and your space is limited. No - I don't believe for a minute that everyone who has a created a deck had all 78 cards completely planned out in their head like Mozart did his music; some things develop over time. Some things may change over time. But you probably should have a ground plan saved in your PC somewhere to make notes and keep notes. Some people start with the Fool and work through all the cards to the end; some start with their favorite card or suit and work randomly through the pack. The point is that while you are working on the Queen of Swords you might get this brilliant flash about another card or cards; write it down immediately! LOL! Do not trust your memory!

In a similar vein - if you create a 'custom color' for one of your suits - write it down! There is nothing worse than going back to a card and asking 'How did I get the blue-green combo?'

Make notes, take pictures, save your work frequently, and keep a record of everything. It will make it easier in the end ... particularly if you have to reproduce or correct something ... or if you're one of those people who hits 'delete' instead of 'rename.'

Last edited by tarotbear; 05-08-2014 at 10:18. Reason: bad speling
tarotbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #11
Morwenna 
Oversized hobbit
 
Morwenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: 04 May 2008
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 4,580

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory View Post
That's the thing. Mine is for ME. Almost no-one else will ever see it, and it is very satisfying that way !

Don't you mean Voila, by the way - or have you a lady friend at Printers' Studio ??
That would have been my late godmother.
Morwenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #12
tarotbear 
Citizen
 
tarotbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179

"THIS IS A LOT MORE WORK THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE!"

No kidding.

Like the ancient Roman cliché "Roma was not built in a day" - creating 78 card's images (and a card back, too) cannot happen overnight. In this age of Instant Gratification the hours of work - no matter how easy it may come for you and your talents - to produce 78 cards is daunting, to say the least. In truth, you do NOT have to produce 78 cards at all; you can always do a 'Majors Only' or a 'Majors Plus Four' deck {Majors plus 4 extra cards - usually Aces} and decide to move on with more cards in the future. Yes - it IS true - I drew all my 78 cards plus a few different versions of a couple more in 30 DAYS - a feat that still boggles my mind. However - they are B/W outlines only - not full-blown, fully-colored images. Colorizing the cards (and also cleaning up their images) takes me 8 - 12 hours PER CARD. I am unemployed and have nothing else to do; your mileage may vary.

As a word of encouragement (no - really!) - I once started a cross-stich piece for my Mother. I had completed an area about 1 x 3 inches in the center before wrapping it in tissue to keep it clean - and it sat in the frame on a shelf FOR THE NEXT FOURTEEN YEARS - at which time I found the time to complete it.

Picasso is quoted somewhere as having said "I do 'art' every single day." If you can only work on your designs once a week - set a schedule and stick to it. Tenacity and perseverance are going to help you reach completion. NEVER GIVE UP.
tarotbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #13
tarotbear 
Citizen
 
tarotbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179

'I HAD A GREAT IDEA .... AT THE BEGINNING ... "

"The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

Many people have a great burst of inspiration at the beginning - after all - a Tarot deck based on junk food is a great and silly idea! Why not create one? There is a Tarot based on Gummi Bears and one on Beer! Cafeteria trays can be the Pentacles!

The Tarot landscape is littered with many published Tarot decks that show that about halfway through the artist got tired or bored and had no choice but to trudge to the end. Two that pop into my mind are the LOTR and the (Alice in) Wonderland Tarots - both based on works of imagery and wonderment but the final product is lacking. Both of them utilize obscure characters that may have existed for a paragraph or two to populate the card - and then you really have to stretch to make the connections.

In Reed's Witch's Tarot the exact same court card is used for all four suits - they didn't even give them different crowns! Exact same Queen in a different colored dress holding the symbol of the suit - same for the Princesses, Princes, and Kings. I mean - you may not have a great idea for the 6 of Swords - but you can't create 4 Queens all dressed differently?

My problem with many 'theme' Tarots is that the artist/creator could not find 78 things that pertained to their theme so they branched out; I also suspect that some portion of Tarot decks were created by artists that are not Tarotists - but the discussion of why Tarots have different card names or suits is a whole 'nuther discussion.

PLAN - Plan everything - make a list if you have to. Odd ideas come at odd times, so never miss the opportunity to write it down. No one will know if you created your deck 'out-of-order'. If a possibility for a card really stumps you - ask others for input. You do not have to create your tarot deck in secret.

***
When I created the Everyman Tarot - which I freely admit is a RWS clone - it took more than merely making some female characters into male ones - which is something I fault the Motherpeace Tarot with doing. {Why does their Hierophant have boobs?} When I redrew the RWS I needed to make the situation into something 'male' also, so several cards such as the 6 & 9 of Swords needed a really intense make-over. I also left the Queens, Justice, and the Empress alone - a 'male-centric' tarot does not have to be a 'feminine-phobic' tarot.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Swords 006G.jpg (67.1 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg Swords 009G.jpg (52.4 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg Pent 010.jpg (59.5 KB, 80 views)
tarotbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #14
HudsonGray 
Citizen
 
HudsonGray's Avatar
 
Join Date: 26 Apr 2002
Location: I childproofed my house but they still get in.
Posts: 5,151

Do the research on each card, don't settle for an 'ok' picture with the art.

It's going to take you longer than you think.

Don't force anything.

Ask for feedback.



__________________
You can give a cat a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Or you can teach a cat to fish, and he'll sit in his boat pouting all day because nobody gave him another fish.
HudsonGray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #15
tarotbear 
Citizen
 
tarotbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179
Wink


"IF I HAVE TO DRAW ONE MORE PENTACLE - I'LL JUST SCREAM!"

Repetition gets boring, doesn't it?

When you draw the Ace with one suit symbol, the Two with two suit symbols, etc, etc - it seems so easy ... but by the Eight you really start pulling your hair out. In all - any suit has FIFTY-NINE (59) suit symbols in it. Drawing them is only the beginning - you still have to color them in!

When I first drew my B/W versions I drew them out 'the old fashioned way' - in pen and ink (actually, I used Flair (C) fine-tip markers). I intended to scan them in, but had no experience with digital art drawing or image manipulation. I used all my old draftsmen's templates (I'm old enough to have taken mechanical drafting just on the cusp of CAD) to draw all the circles but drawing those damn ten Pentacles on one card ... OIY!

My advice: IF you are still drawing the card by hand but know you will be scanning the images in - draw one suit symbol and then copy & paste it the needed number of times. My original Star card only had the one big star in the center - I skipped the rest to preserve my sanity. It was not until I went to colorize the card (digitally) that I was able to draw one of the smaller stars and copy & paste it to get the rest. In fact - just draw the Sword hilt - you can add the blades with the line-drawing tool much more easily, and the edges will not waver.

Likewise - wait until after you finish coloring in all the swords and go back and re-use the line-drawing tool to straighten the edges out - much more professional looking.

Goddess bless the digital Eraser Tool!

Have you ever tried coloring in using the (MS Paint) eraser tool instead of the brush tool? Much easier when the Fill tool does not give you even coverage, especially on scanned images.
tarotbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #16
tarotbear 
Citizen
 
tarotbear's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: away, away
Posts: 11,179

"I don't like that card, so I am going to change it."

or

"I think I'll change the names of the suits."

You have every right to change anything you want.

{Bet you were surprised I said that!}

There is no 'Tarot Gestapo' out there. You have every right to change 500 years of archetypical tradition because you have a problem with the Devil card. Rather than work through other archetypes that may fit the card - you have every right to change it to something that will make no sense to anyone else but yourself.

Many, many moons ago AT had it's first member-created tarot deck contest thingie. There were some unusual cards created to be sure, but everyone tried to give their best reasons and understanding for why they created their card the way they did ... except for a couple of PIAs. One PIA in particular created a card (forget which it was supposed to be) with a cloud, and eyeball, and something else on it. Everyone waited for an explanation as to WHY their card had these symbols that had no connection to any realized meaning of the card. When pressed (I was the editor) the reply given by the artist was "I don't have to explain my card - it is for you to figure out!" Well, Dear Reader - that is not an answer. If 99 & 44/100 of the viewers did not understand what the card was supposed to represent - it's a failure. (Many of us suspected the artist had no idea what the card symbology was supposed to mean either - they were just being antagonistic). Needless to say - this editor over-rode them and supplied a traditional answer for the card since NO ONE was going to accept 'Figure It Out For Yourself' is the meaning of the card.

For the one deck you may someday create for your own enjoyment and personal use - go ahead and make it meaningful for you.

If you intend to someday create a deck for possible sale and it looks like it was designed for Martians or Klingons with no explanations as to where or when ... chances are no one except the extremely curious may buy it ... and they probably won't ever try to read with it. No - the world probably does not need another RWS clone (he types as he is colorizing his RWS clone deck) but it is the readability of the RWS that makes it one of the most-often knocked-off decks in the world.

If you are going to tamper with something like the Tarot - tamper with a focused mind. If you are going to change something - make sure you are adding something - not distracting something - to the Tarot. No body wants a Tarot deck that they cannot read.

... except maybe Martians & Klingons ...

Last edited by tarotbear; 09-08-2014 at 12:08.
tarotbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #17
JOdel 
Resident
 
Join Date: 28 Jul 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 41

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotbear View Post
Hopefully your deck is a labor of love first - a commercial success later down the road!

Since I have mentioned Gamecrafter and Printer's Studio ....

"Even if you haven't started designing yet - what do you foresee for the finished end product?"

Will you make a deck for your personal use with only 5-6 copies, or are you hoping to sell it down the road (with or without a profit)?

For sheer ease of user-friendly - Printer's Studio has it hands down - but there are limitations. PS will print an image on anything - so if you want to create a deck, have it's images splashed on mouse pads, coffee mugs - or even puzzles - they will do it for you - for a price. They are literally: pick your image, drop and click, review the files, click & pay - and VOILA! there it is. However - NO BOXES. They are strictly shrink-wrapped. They are also ONLY THE PRINTER - they do not market your item. Their cards stock is decent and their lamination is decent; color repro very good. Bulk rates are available if you want to market the item yourself. Their rates are decent and they offer specials to regular buyers. They do not pay royalties or commissions - they just print. Order turn-around time decent.

The GameCrafter - as much as I like GC - remember that they are an indie game manufacturer and they do cards as a sideline to their business. They have rigid guidelines and templates - if a logo needs to be 300 x 300 pixels and yours is 300 x 299 pixels it will get rejected. They do have videos to watch about how to use their system. They also want Tarot cards to be BOXED {other card sizes are shrink-wrapped or bagged} - and you have to design a box using their template. NOTE: they DO NOT put the cards into the box in any kind of order (PS does) so if you want the Fool card first, etc, etc - it doesn't happen that way. The box will be shrink wrapped.

GC is there to market your deck. You will get a 'shop page' (which also has specific size requirements) with photos, banners, logos, etc. They also issue accolades for numbers of decks sold. Their card stock is excellent, lamination very good. My deck is B/W so I can't comment on color repro. Their retail prices can be a little steep. They pay royalty with shop credits, so don't expect any checks from them. The more decks you sell the better your royalty % becomes; conversely, if your deck drops off your royalty increase drops off, too. The order turn-around time can vary depending on printing demands or when the latest GameCon orders are done. They will keep you updated, though.

There are also many other card printer companies out there. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, so don't sell your deck short by having it done by the corner copy store your brother-in-law works for just because he can get you a deal.
Adding to this: makeplayingcards.com (MPC) operates very much like Printer's Studio. They have templates for the different standard size/proportions of the cards they offer *and* templates for a box if you want a custom box. You can also just have your shrinkwrapped deck sent you in a plain white box, with or without a window in it, for an extra $0.10 each deck.

Their templates have a generous bleed area so mis-registration or overlaps is not very likely. I'm pretty sure that their actual printing is done on a high-resolution plotter, so all the colors get applied during the same pass rather than the traditional four-fountain press with a distance that the stock has to traverse between each color being applied.

They use much the same method of having you upload the files and place them for the actual printing layout. I discovered that they *do* in fact stack the cards in order for shrinkwrapping and shipping. But it's *reverse* order. And it's the cards which will be shrinkwrapped, not the box.

They are also only a printing service. They do not market the finished cards for you. They will do bulk orders which are somewhat cheaper per deck than a single deck would be, but they will print a single deck if you want it. The file stays in your account, so you can reorder at a later time.
JOdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #18
JOdel 
Resident
 
Join Date: 28 Jul 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 41

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarotbear View Post
"IF I HAVE TO DRAW ONE MORE PENTACLE - I'LL JUST SCREAM!"

Repetition gets boring, doesn't it?

When you draw the Ace with one suit symbol, the Two with two suit symbols, etc, etc - it seems so easy ... but by the Eight you really start pulling your hair out. In all - any suit has FIFTY-NINE (59) suit symbols in it. Drawing them is only the beginning - you still have to color them in!

When I first drew my B/W versions I drew them out 'the old fashioned way' - in pen and ink (actually, I used Flair (C) fine-tip markers). I intended to scan them in, but had no experience with digital art drawing or image manipulation. I used all my old draftsmen's templates (I'm old enough to have taken mechanical drafting just on the cusp of CAD) to draw all the circles but drawing those damn ten Pentacles on one card ... OIY!
I hate working in analog. You have to move furniture to get things set up to work at all, everything takes six times as long. You have to do everything over for each copy practically from scratch. You have to wait for the *paint to dry*, and then you have cleanup.

Thank ghod for digital...

Note: If you are actually using Photoshop. Use LAYERS. Turn any element that you are going to need to resize into a Smart Object (from the Layers menu). Smart objects can be resized up and down, over and over, *without ever losing resolution*. And when you save the file you save the smart object *as* a smart object. If you decide you need to resize it again the next time you open it, you can do so.

The down side of smart objects is that the pixels are no longer editiable. No biggie. Rasterize the smart object you need to edit (from the layers menu) shift the color or do whatever edits you need to do with it, and turn it back into a smart object.

However. While you can copy/paste a smart object from one file into another, it will not necessarily come into the new file *as* a smart object. It may simply come in as a layer (this may have to do with the version of Phoroshop you are using). In that case, check in the layers menu as to what you've got, and if it's just a layer, convert it back into a smart object.

Last edited by JOdel; 11-08-2014 at 06:57.
JOdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #19
JOdel 
Resident
 
Join Date: 28 Jul 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 41

This is obviously a "one person's experience" account. I've done one deck. Basically it was done as fan service. I don't read the cards, myself, although I have 7 or 8 decks, which I bought for either the art or the concept. So I am not really a Tarotist. I'm a designer. I have no idea whether my deck would give a reader of Tarot cards a viable base for doing a reading from. But it is a fairly straightforward Rider-Waite homage and it is tied as close to the original interpretations (acto the old Eden Gray [Grey?] descriptions) as I could get it.

I suspect that such things are always a matter of metaphor.

Mine is a Harry Potter-themed deck. (Hence the fan service.) I'd noted that Tarot-themed fan art was a fairly popular continuing motif in any number of fan fests and gift exchanges, and one of my publication projects in development for eventual posting on my own site was such that using the Tarot as decorative elements for the cover and frontspiece seemed appropriate. At that point I had no intention of doing a whole deck.

It was nearly two years later that the project spun off into the challenge of building a full deck. My approach was to assign Potter characters to specific cards and to depict those characters as that card's subject. Fortunately, the Potterverse has a cast of dozens. There wasn't a shortage of potential subjects. Admittedly, the interpretation of a number of them and the metaphors used, hark back to the fanfics which the original cards were developed to enhance.

My approach was to examine the card image, and what Gray (and Stuart Kaplan who did the Hanson Roberts interpretations booklet) had to say about the symbolism used, and to compare it with what their interpretations of the meaning of that card was, and then to cast about for which Potter character would best fit that interpretation. I dismissed considerations of age and gender for everything but the Kings and Queens, but with only a couple of exceptions most of the cards subjects did still maintain the traditional gender.

Then, since I was working in low-end 3D software, I needed to adapt a model into what I hoped would be a recognizable interpretation of that character, dress it and build the general scene depicting that card's purpose in relation to a traditional deck. Since I was working in a program which is not a modeling program (and since I do not know how to actually create models of my own) I then needed to dress the scene as well as I could with available model props which either matched the symbolism traditionally used in that card, or something which would at least harmonize with it.

Some characters are depicted more than once. Some are depicted at different ages, but the intention was to try make them fit the traditional interpretations.

I did have, well, not a spreadsheet, but a chart with the various cards laid out and the characters penciled in according to their assignments. These assignments shifted about considerably as the project progressed. A few of them were still shifting right up to the last couple of weeks.

I still think that my biggest glitch was in not having considered actually getting the cards printed (for I originally intended it only for web posting) and finding a printer and downloading the template first. In fact, the online images do not include the modifications which were necessary to make the design fit the template. But upon the whole I am satisfied with the end result.

Last edited by JOdel; 11-08-2014 at 07:43.
JOdel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2014 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #20
Reply

Latest Threads in Tarot Decks

Latest Threads in Talking Tarot

Latest Threads in Using Tarot Cards


Go ad-free and support us too - upgrade your account to subscriber today

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On



All times are GMT +10. The time now is 22:53.

 


Tarot Forum Categories
· Tarot Decks
· Using Tarot Cards
· Tarot Trading
· Talking Tarot
· Reading Exchange
· Your Readings
· Tarot Games & Fun
· Tarot Deck Creation
· Marseilles
· Rider-Waite-Smith
· Thoth Tarot
· Tarot Study Groups
· Lenormand
· Oracles
· Divination
· Spirituality
· Chat
· New Members
· Advertisements
· Forum Help


Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Steampunk Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Angel Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Dragon Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Fantasy Decks
· Tarot Books
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Upcoming Decks
· Solandia's Top Ten
· Top Ten Decks
· List All Decks

Who is behind the Aeclectic Tarot Forum?

My name is Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) and I'm a Tarot reader, deck collector, and lifelong student of the beauty and diversity of Tarot cards.

I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and started the forum in 2000 so others could share theirs too. Contact me via email or here at the forum.

  Contribute to Aeclectic

· Add your deck
· Write a review
· Join the community

Get new deck updates via email
  Aeclectic Tarot Resources

Copyright © Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved.