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mutational alchemy tarot

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Naomi Ningishzidda  Naomi Ningishzidda is offline
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Naomi Ningishzidda 
this is very pedantic


Quote:
Originally Posted by daphne View Post
What kind of art do they use, computer generated, photo-deck? I can not find pictures to figure it out.
Sketch in pencil or digital first, then digital painting. I was trained by Kathryn Manzo in Tennessee, at her American atelier in the European Academic tradition which is lineaged to Michelangelo via Academie Julian and the Ecole De Beaux de Arts. She trained under Tony Ryder and Ted Seth Jacobs both linked to The Art Student League in New York. That reminds me I need to send her a copy. The last time I saw her I was leaving for Olympia Washington to join m1thr0s, it was her birthday and I gave her a pair of vivid yellow Givenchy earrings.


The "geometric" stuff was done by m1thr0s by hand in vector. He has some analog stuff dating back to the 70's and it's just as exact, using freaking ballpoint pens and pencils but vectors makes life a lot easier.

I've run into this before with concept art jobs, they always want to see the traditional work *first* before hiring for digital painting - if you cannot paint traditionally you cannot paint digitally - period, end of story. You can photomanipulate very effectively but we all know it isn't the same even though it can be very good. Right now there is no market for anything *but* photo manipulation in the book cover market for example. There is no right or wrong there - somehow there is a perception that photo manipulation and photo montage is a bit "naughty".

I prefer digital - I mean, everything is digital now in concept art as it offers more flexibility, one has no limit on cost of canvas or paint - I can work as big as I like with as many colors as I need. I know an artist who actually does the digitals first and then creates his book covers in acrylic for sake of convenience. King of Staves has a full size oil version I'll try to get a photo of it sometime this week. Here is some of my student work from 2004

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Medici...wing-324581218

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Fenris-396953075

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Banana-and-Tea-324580284

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Zhongqiu-Jie-324582612

I do work with oil now and have been working on a series of Ouroboros eggs for quite some time.

There are a lot of photocollage decks out there m1thr0s and I both like such as the Dakini oracle and photomanipulation decks - neither of us are afraid of that and we do not dislike them.

But I was trained in the classical atelier tradition so I use the same techniques digitally that I do with traditional media.

It's also impossible to use photos for a commercial project if one is to avoid lawsuits at all. Even if I paint from a photo that photo is still (rightfully) owned by the photographer. There are a few *master copies* in the pack but these were chosen deliberately as a nod to my school and because I got bored of drawing myself.

That doesn't mean we don't use reference material - even William Bougueureau used photos to check his work.

Here is a link to a tutorial I made for Justice for some other artists in my sketchbook at conceptart.org and an excerpt, i don't know wtf is wrong with the images in the thread ill try to fix that later on:

http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ishzidda/page4

"A word on reference use: Normally I wouldn't post reference material. There is some confusion on how reference pics are used, or should be used. You shouldn't be copying straight from the photo, it doesn't leave any room for your creativity. Instead of making the image fit the photo, I made a presketch and went out looking for a model in a pose that fit what I was about to do. At the end it will bear only a superficial resemblance to the photo. When you use photo reference, try not to trace. It will degrade your hand to eye skills and cripple you if you try to draw from life or go to traditional media. Tracing with traditional media is a messy technique that Michelangelo perfected and is still used today (involving a cloth for trad style, or modern foamcore board, a pounce wheel, charcoal dust and a fresh piece of paper plus the original drawing which will be ruined) and should only be used when it really will save you time. I used it once when I had to transfer a serious **** up on my first cast drawing. The process is complicated and it did shave off a couple hours.

In photoshop when I have a photo next to me I am using a sight-size method. Meaning that, just like in a 3D studio, I am making the image the same size as the canvas I am transfering it to. In the atelier this is done by moving the reference material back (if it is larger than your canvas) or forward and pushing the canvas back (if it is smaller than your canvas - a rare thing) until you can look at them both side by side and they appear the same size. I measure by holding my cursor over the photograph (separate file) in Photoshop and move the cursor back and forth without making any marks. Like in real life with a pencil or brush or finger, I am getting a "feel" for the angle of the line before putting it down. I move back to my blank file and put down the line. This becomes so easy over time that tracing will actually be *more* time consuming and give you less freedom. You are enhancing your sight-size skills and also breaking free of the reference constraints. With complicated images where you are going to be making heavy modifications, this becomes sort of a sloppy dance and you will make adjustments during the painting process. Sometimes I have the sketch all worked out perfectly, sometimes not. If you watch the NOX tutorial you will understand what I am talking about as he actually goes on about making major adjustments while in the middle of the image.

It will seem frustrating at first to work this way but after working this way for about three years your brain will learn to obey you perfectly."
Top   #21
earthair  earthair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomi Ningishzidda View Post

Anyways I thank you all for trying the deck, it was surprising to learn anyone at Aeclectic forums would purchase it. Our target audience was Mutational Alchemists.
I can't speak for everyone else, but the priorities for me when buying decks are 1) quality of artwork, which is turn will make a deck usable or not 2) innovation, 3) good card stock, 4) a sprinkling of magic, whether in the artwork or the substance of the deck. It should come as no surprise that people on AT would like it, as there are many collectors and appreciators of art here!

Yes I know that for you the purpose of this deck is to communicate your work at Abrahadabra, but your art alone, even seen without this work, still makes this a very thought provoking deck with a broad appeal.
Top   #22
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daphne  daphne is offline
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daphne 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomi Ningishzidda View Post
Sketch in pencil or digital first, then digital painting.
Thank you for your detailed answer, I was a pleasure to read it, especially I know close to nothing about digital painting.

I, myself, dislike photo decks and most of digital ones, they seem cold and lifeless to me, I go with traditional paintings in decks.
But your deck, from the you tube video I saw, has a peculiar energetic feeling, which I find it really appealing, though the medium is not my conventional style.
I hope I can manage to buy a copy and enjoy it first hand.
Top   #23
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Luna's Crone  Luna's Crone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarotwolf View Post
Check out the mutational alchemy tarot by the Abrahadabra Institute. It's pretty cool. I just got it in the mail today, but I think it may be a new favorite! Sexy, colorful, well thought out and loaded with symbology. Pictures can be found at http://abrahadabra.com/mutational-alchemy-tarot-book/
and here i am struggling to learn rws system. that deck blows my mind.
Top   #24
Naomi Ningishzidda  Naomi Ningishzidda is offline
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Naomi Ningishzidda 

Yeah well I know the technical parts are not fun for a lot of people. However, even though as someone in charge of The Abrahadabra Institute I have to know the ins and outs of everything we do, I can assure everyone you don't need to know a thing about tarot to use the deck.

I was a newbie once too, sitting in the backyard with my mother, fascinated with her "Native American Deck". She was a lot more skittish about it than I am - she had some bizarre run ins with a Goetia summons gone wrong and had read too much Aleister Crowley which can quickly nauseate any female, let alone someone who is of part Jewish descent. It isn't so bad once you realize he is like this to everyone now and then. All I am saying is it is OK to just mess around with cards as if you were a child - this is where everyone starts and I don't think the deck makes a huge difference with the right attitude. Our deck is not meant to make anyone feel more secure as some decks are, but you have my word it isn't going to bite you or do anything harmful even if you abuse it. It will always meet you halfway and that is because of the intelligences it is connected to.

I found my Rider-Waite in a garbage bin, wrapped in plastic, behind Barnes and Noble. Kind of a bad omen but....I took to it because I couldn't afford any kind of tarot deck at the time - I just had my old decks, my main, Tarot of the Cat People and three decks I had picked up working at a metaphysical shop in Lakewood - Phoenix Cards, Medicine Cards and Osho Zen. So with the RWS you have to understand that AE Waite who was also a Christian, did leave out a lot of symbology which would be helpful. Crowley absolutely reams him in his writings. I wouldn't go so far, I don't really know what was going on with Waite (I understand Pixie fine, I'm also a "starving" artist) Although there is a common misconception among non-tarot people that it is "like the original tarot", my roommate's exact words the other day... RWS is a very young deck, created in 1910. The deck is absolutely saturated with yellow which makes it seem "friendly" and "earthy" (yellow is the traditional color of earth and sometimes Sol depending on the scale one uses) and the lines are very limited like a simple comic strip. It's quite attractive - who doesn't like reading those old comic books and looking at pop art? There are a lot of people who think it just looks like ugly pop art too of course - usually they are promoting the Thoth or something - different artist different magus. One of the worst mistakes of my life I made as far as advice goes is telling people I thought the RWS was a good deck for new readers. It just isn't true. It presents itself as one thing when it is actually another.

Yellow= Earth Element, Solar, Tiphareth "Feel good splendor"
Simple characters with little black dots for eyes (cute)


It doesn't threaten anyone. But if you start examining the RWS a little closer some sinister things start to appear. It's VERY old Aeon. I am not here to tell anyone what religions are good or bad for them but the dead and dying God is a different story altogether and it's all over this deck. It didn't turn out to be a friend for me.


It's necessary to examine RWS closely, and I would say that everyone should own it for historical purposes. It does adhere to most of The Golden Dawn. In the Golden Dawn one is expected to create a tarot deck as part of their praxis, and I think that is a very good idea. But I would never make the mistake again of telling people RWS is good for beginners.

I have a few problems with the nearly ancient Visconti-Sforza Morgan Bergamo pack, but it is mostly with the recreated cards which were lost, such as The Devil. They made the Devil Pan in the recreation and I think it is problematic. They went ahead and said that "This is how he might have looked historically" But when you examine The Devil in classical art from that period he is not a hairy bat werewolf creature with goat hooves and horns, like a maligned Pan the All-Father. He is a scaly reptillian creature. I'm not the one to say that the ancients know best, but in the case of the Visconti I am really inclined to admire it a lot.

Truth be told, I think there is no "one good beginner deck" but there is this "one weird trick"

Just memorize the Sephiroth, their properties, and the four classical Hermetic elements - you can read a deck of Bicycle playing cards if you do that off the top of your head. You'll also have a new appreciation for the small cards.

That might make a good article now that I think of it. "Make any deck a beginner's deck"

By the way I thought the best way to show the art would be to show the art process visually, so I spent all night uploading my scrapbook for The Mutational Alchemy Tarot, it might be amusing for you all to go through it. I know artists can be very weird about their working process and they don't take time to document them, but I did at least try some of the time.

http://imgur.com/a/BZlDy
Top   #25
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Terrapin  Terrapin is offline
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Terrapin 

Thanks for this link Naomi. Very interesting and beautiful! Love your art.
Top   #26
earthair  earthair is offline
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Yes, ditto. Many thanks for that artblog link ( http://imgur.com/a/BZlDy )
The deck makes even more sense now. Personally I would've kept Prince of Bunny Ears, especially with his foot on a rock . I can't un-see that rock now, but I think that's a good thing as I didn't get the 'stamping down' pose until I saw the earlier version. Also the 'attitude' of the Queen of Pents makes so much more sense

I think if you ever do another print run, I'd buy a super-sized version [hint hint], as it wasn't until I looked at your link that I realised how many finer details get a little lost, even on your quite generously sized cards.

It's a really gorgeous deck. I may have to buy a spare...
Top   #27
Naomi Ningishzidda  Naomi Ningishzidda is offline
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Naomi Ningishzidda 

I don't know if we'll reprint them yet, as we already have another two decks in mind, and I am on a two year deadline for The Mutational Alchemy book, but I am surprised to hear you would like to see a larger size, I already have trouble handling them so I assumed most people would be put off by that.

For whatever reason, our contact at Shenzhen was pushing the size we have, which is quite a bit bigger than we originally intended - the first sizing was a little larger than Thoth and based on the Golden Mean. It may be that they had die cuts for that size already from doing other runs - they printed the Victorian Romantic tarot for Baba Studios and probably do tons of other decks as well but, the paper quality makes a difference in what you get. Anyways it really depends on how the deck sells this year. If it continues at this pace we'll be sold out before the end of the year. Im clueless as to what is good sales and I have to turn down all of the wholesale requests until that happens, if it happens.

I would try to just print a one-off for you at cost from some bespoke publisher but we had a hell of a time finding a printer in the USA who would take on nude art. makeplayingcards.com won't do it and they are the only "one off" printer I know of.

If anyone ever reading this needs me to walk them through the publishing ordeal you know where to find me. I had to figure it out from the ground up and had success beyond what I could have hoped for as far as print quality and getting what I wanted from the printer so Im totally willing to share about my experiences.

The Prince of Staves is a hothead so I don't think he would forgive me for the bunny ears. I cannot for the life of me remember why that was done either - obviously some forum joke from the thread, there was a lot of horsing around in there

I think it might relate to him being commented about as being like the "Ustur hare" from the Sumerian spring feast of Ustur. If we look at his planets Mars in the below Ouranos in the above, he has an ascending quality and is Air of Fire, so very hot, the original background was too rocky.
Top   #28
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Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
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I finally caught up to the images on the Abrahadabra website. Although highly professional and polished, this is a mixed bag for me. Some of them are beautifully expressive of the underlying symbolism - the Sun is one I like for its simplicity. In some cases, though, I don't think the color schemes of the minor cards carry the "quality" of the titles in the same way the Harris paintings do (the 7 of Pentacle vs. Disks - "Failure" - is a rather stark example, although other comparisons are more favorable). I think that's one thing Harris really nailed. Also, taking the Ace of Alembics/Cups as an example, I'm struck with a "Root of the Power of Ice" impression: very crystalline, which was probably intentional. I'm partial to the Thoth Ace of Cups, which looks like someone dropped a water balloon on a sidewalk; one great, big emotional "blarrrgh!" Although I haven't wrapped my head around their narrative intent, the human figures don't speak to me in the same way as the Thoth's evocative semi-abstractions. Also where is fiery Mars in the cool, blue Tower? The rectangles in the corners, carrying the "syncretic" symbolism, don't bother me, as they didn't bother me in any other previous attempt to infuse the cards with meaning from other systems of thought. Hermann Haindl, for example, put hexagrams on all of the minor cards and runes on the majors, while Anthony Clark also tried to expand the interpretive range of the Magickal Tarot (mainly through text). I can't say it's been done more precisely or thoroughly than here, but it has been done to some extent.
Top   #29
earthair  earthair is offline
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earthair 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomi Ningishzidda View Post
I don't know if we'll reprint them yet, as we already have another two decks in mind, and I am on a two year deadline for The Mutational Alchemy book, but I am surprised to hear you would like to see a larger size, I already have trouble handling them so I assumed most people would be put off by that.

For whatever reason, our contact at Shenzhen was pushing the size we have, which is quite a bit bigger than we originally intended - the first sizing was a little larger than Thoth and based on the Golden Mean. It may be that they had die cuts for that size already from doing other runs - they printed the Victorian Romantic tarot for Baba Studios and probably do tons of other decks as well but, the paper quality makes a difference in what you get. Anyways it really depends on how the deck sells this year. If it continues at this pace we'll be sold out before the end of the year. Im clueless as to what is good sales and I have to turn down all of the wholesale requests until that happens, if it happens.

I would try to just print a one-off for you at cost from some bespoke publisher but we had a hell of a time finding a printer in the USA who would take on nude art. makeplayingcards.com won't do it and they are the only "one off" printer I know of.

If anyone ever reading this needs me to walk them through the publishing ordeal you know where to find me. I had to figure it out from the ground up and had success beyond what I could have hoped for as far as print quality and getting what I wanted from the printer so Im totally willing to share about my experiences.

The Prince of Staves is a hothead so I don't think he would forgive me for the bunny ears. I cannot for the life of me remember why that was done either - obviously some forum joke from the thread, there was a lot of horsing around in there

I think it might relate to him being commented about as being like the "Ustur hare" from the Sumerian spring feast of Ustur. If we look at his planets Mars in the below Ouranos in the above, he has an ascending quality and is Air of Fire, so very hot, the original background was too rocky.
Your deck at the moment is perfect for using and shuffling, so a larger deck would be purely for study and admiring
Top   #30

 





 


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