Mini-Update!

Just a really brief note to let you all know that I proofread the Tarot of Bones cards once more to be sure everything is correct with the layout and text, and then save them all to .psd format. I’m very proud to say that I only had to make a few teensy changes here and there!

I sent an email earlier today to the printer asking for instructions on transferring files over and paying for the printing, and I suspect I’ll get a reply in the next day or so. Depending on when they get back to me and how involved everything is I may or may not get that all done this week, but if not this one then definitely next!

Almost There!

Well, sometimes stormy weather is a good thing! I spent three days stuck in the studio because the Washington coast got hammered with storms (though they weren’t quite the historical events expected). I never lost power, thankfully, and I was able to get a LOT of work done on the Tarot of Bones.

At this point I have all but seven of the cards laid out; those seven cards need their photos redone, and I should be going up to Seattle in the next week or so to take them to my photographer. Additionally, in the process of laying out the cards I decided to change the art for the card backs, so I am creating an eightieth assemblage for just that purpose! Once those eight pieces have new photos and they’ve been processed, I can finish up the last of the cards! I also designed the tuck box the cards will be packaged in–there was something of a learning curve since it was a more complicated project and I don’t have any graphic design training, but I’m really happy with the end result.

I still want to have the files sent off by the end of October, but I also need to allow my photographer to have time to edit the pics. I also have vending events the last weekend in October and first two weekends in November and will be VERY busy in between them, so I wanted to let you know there’s a chance I may not get the files sent off til mid-November. However, they are one of my top priorities and I am really, really, really eager to get the files on their way.

And, as always, I’ll keep you posted.

One Step Closer!

Hi, everyone! I just ordered a printed proof of the Tarot of Bones book! It’s mainly to test the interior layout to make sure everything prints up alright. I still need to design the final cover, and I’ll do one more check-in with y’all about making sure names are correct. But this is one step closer!

I’m also planning to start card layout this weekend with the photos I’ve already gotten back. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I think I can make it happen in a decent amount of time. Will keep ya posted, and thanks for hanging in there with me!

IMPORTANT NEWS For 2016 IndieGoGo Backers!

Hey, y’all, I have some important stuff here, so please read!

–If you DO NOT want your name listed in the thank yous in the Tarot of Bones book and website, or if you want an alternate name used, email me ASAP at lupa.greenwolf(at)gmail(dot)com.

–For those who got a package with the pouch, one or three books, or one print, I have sent out an email asking for your perk preferences, so check your inbox at your convenience.

–If at any time between now and when the deck is published your mailing address changes, please let me know at lupa.greenwolf(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks a bunch 🙂

WE DID IT!!!!!!!

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Okay, now that I’m back on the coast after a weekend of vending and a day of traveling (and moving even more stuff to the coast studio), I just wanted to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to the Tarot of Bones Spring 2016 IndieGoGo campaign! We hit $5,800, $800 more than the targeted goal, which means that even after IndieGoGo and Paypal take out their fees I’ll still have a little over $5,000 to put toward printing costs for the Tarot of Bones decks and books.

What’s next? The photos for the deck are still in post-production, so I’m patiently waiting for those. I intend to finish up the current round of edits on the book manuscript and get it back to the editor, and start procuring materials for perks like the leather pouches so I can get a head start on them. For those of you who backed the campaign, I should get a database of your information in the next several days. Once I get it I’ll be contacting everyone regarding details on your perks, updating addresses and the like.

And again: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Devil is a Lion

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The animal most commonly associated with the Devil card in tarot decks is the goat, for obvious reasons; other animals chosen for this card are often ones we look down on, such as donkeys, monkeys, or scary black ravens. We see them as being tied to their baser instincts (lust, theft, foolishness), representing the worst that we refuse to see in ourselves. Yet every animal is based in instincts, humans included. And so I decided to take an animal we very frequently romanticize, the lion, and show how it, too, can be a symbol of the things we fear in ourselves. For out on the savannah, the lion is not merely an animal to ooh and aah over with a camera. It is dangerous and deadly, and those who live in the same places know to be very careful, particularly at night. There are worse human-animal encounters at home than a raccoon knocking over a garbage can. For people who live on the land, raising livestock or farming, the appearance of a lion–with or without its pride–can be a nightmare come true.

The grassfire is another notable motif; it is all-consuming, and even the lion must run from it. But reversed, this card can symbolize finding a way through the flames to freedom. You may have to dodge the hungry jaws of a lion whose prey has been driven away, but you’ll reach safety if you keep running.

Just two assemblages left–one is done but needs to be photographed, and the other should be done in the next few days. So close!!!!

 

 

Have a Chat with the Page of Swords

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When I was first deciding what animals would represent the Court cards, one bird came to mind for the Page of Swords: the raven. Often typecast as a dark, scary being in animal-based tarot sets, frequently playing the part of the Devil, I thought this intelligent, playful bird deserved a chance for a more light-hearted role in my deck. The Page of Swords can be a real chatterbox, quick-minded and full of ideas. Ravens, similarly, can cause quite a ruckus, and with their keen observation of the world and ability to learn fast, they’re some of the most adaptable critters out there. Reversed, this card means all talk and no action, and it would be a poor specimen of raven-hood who only croaked in the face of a problem and didn’t follow it up with some solution

This is, of course, a resin replica of a raven skull since the real deal isn’t legal to own. Also, uniquely among the Court cards he keeps his jaw intact rather than separate, since speech is such a crucial part of what makes him himself. The skull is turned to the side to show off his “blade”, though.

We’re up to 72 cards now–just seven left including the Happy Squirrel! Can I finish them all by the end of the year? Wait and see!

Starting July With the Six of Wands

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It’s a new month, and here’s the first assemblage for July, the Six of Wands! This is a great card for any artist or other creative sort–it signifies that people are noticing and enjoying your work, and you’re riding high on that success and renown. Be careful if it reverses, though–you could be headed for burnout, or a fall from grace. Therefore it’s a card that needs to be carefully balanced, as do your efforts.

This is the 45th assemblage I’ve completed, and I have the 46th just about done on my workbench; I should unveil it tomorrow. I don’t have quite as much of a lead on my schedule as I did a few weeks ago, but I’m still ahead of schedule. The year’s halfway over, and I was halfway done with the assemblages back at #39. I intend to keep powering my way forward, so look for more art as the month progresses.

On a different note, please keep in mind that every hour I put toward these assemblages is time I can’t spend on efforts to pay my bills now; all that IndieGoGo money is earmarked for Tarot of Bones expenses. If you’d like to help me keep a roof over my head and provide for my household today, consider becoming my Patron on Patreon, or purchasing my books on nature paganism and my hide and bone artwork. And while I won’t be offering Tarot of Bones readings til next year when the deck is out, I do offer totem readings with the Animal-Wise deck right now! Many thanks for all your support!

Like the Tarot of Bones? Here’s One (Free) Way to Help Make it Happen!

As I mentioned in my last update, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been travelling a fair bit; I was in San Jose for PantheaCon, and the following weekend Seattle for MythicWorlds. While at these two events, I spoke to a lot of people about the Tarot of Bones. While some had never heard of the project (but were really interested), a fair number not only have been watching my progress but said they really loved my work. Now that’s a gratifying experience!

One thing I did hear repeatedly was “Well, I know I don’t comment on the pictures you post, but I’m really enjoying them!” It’s good to know that folks are watching, even if you don’t even like/fave/etc. the pics and updates on Facebook, Tumblr, etc. And I do understand that when you only have a few minutes’ worth of downtime on the internet, writing out an entire comment may be a bit much to ask.

However, as an artist, and particularly one engaging with an online audience, the likes, faves, comments and shares/reblogs mean a LOT. It shows me that you are indeed paying attention to my work, and that you enjoy what I’m creating. That helps motivate me to keep working on it. And when you share or reblog my post/pics/website, you’re letting other people know that the Tarot of Bones exists. Word of mouth is one of the most important ways for a project to pick up momentum, and as April 7 is the projected start date for my IndieGoGo campaign, the more people who know about it the better!

So from here on out, can you help me by being more visible in your support? Even if you can’t write out a full comment, a quick like/fave or reblog/share will go a long way both in helping me promote the Tarot of Bones, and in giving me a nice morale boost to keep working on this ambitious endeavor! Many, many thanks 🙂

The First Major Arcana Assemblage is Done!

Just finished up Temperance earlier today. I admit I’ve been a little more cautious with the Major Arcana, in part because skulls are generally more expensive than the other bones. That, and people have a tendency to make a bigger deal out of them than the minor (it’s even in the name!) But the little resin replica burrowing owl skull I had was reallllly speaking to me over the weekend, and so I spent some time assembling the Temperance card for it to live in.

As an artist, this was a particularly challenging piece. I am not especially confident in my painting and drawing skills; I’m surrounded by people for whom traditional media are their primary tools of the trade, folks who went to school and took dozens of hours of classes. So I feel like my homegrown painting skills aren’t as impressive. Still, I’ve developed a style over the years, and I wanted to bring it to bear in this piece. I figured it was small enough, and the replica inexpensive enough, that if I screwed it up I wouldn’t be out much for materials.

Actually, though, I like how it turned out. I’m especially proud of the band of stars in the upper right quadrant; I don’t believe I’ve ever tried painting stars all that seriously before. I wasn’t up for trying to paint sand, though, so I opted for the real thing–yes, that’s actual sand on the bottom two quadrants.

I do have to admit that while the skull I used is an especially nice replica, I prefer working with the real deal, both for feel and appearance. However, of all the owl skull replicas that didn’t cost an arm and a leg it’s the nicest (here’s where I got it). It’s actually made from a barred owl, not a burrowing owl, but they look close enough that for the purposes of this deck this one will work. After I do some crowdfunding and other fundraising this spring I’ll be able to purchase some of the more expensive replica skulls on my list. (Ah, the things I do for my art.)

I’m also catching up on my schedule of making the assemblage pieces. In order to successfully make 78 pieces by the end of 2015, I need to average 6.5 pieces per month. This is a quiet time of the year; as we get closer to summer and festival season I’m going to have less time for this project, so I’m making the most of the present. I’ve also been writing up the descriptions of each card for the companion book as I finish its assemblage piece, so that ideally by the end of the year not only will I have the assemblage pieces done but I’ll also have most, if not all, of a first draft of the book.