Daily Notes #3
Two very different illustrators take on the Tarot trumps
Happy Monday—and welcome to the second week of “Daily Notes” . . . .
First, some housekeeping:
If any of the daily emails go astray in your Inbox, you can always catch up here:
If you missed the preview of my book-in-progress, I hope you’ll have a look now. Just click:
If you haven’t participated in the “Tarot Connections” survey, here’s a link to the expanded version. The results are already interesting—but I’m eager to hear more voices! (It’s completely secure, and you can choose to remain anonymous.)
Next—today’s doorway opens on two design surprises
Last week I decided to simplify life by using my Ten Doors construct as a way of organizing the ten-day Daily Notes experiment. And here we are at #3, the “Aesthetic Door.”
From this vantage, you will see Tarot as a predefined set of images and ideas that can inspire or structure works of visual art. |Along the aesthetic path, you may expect to discover centuries’ worth of art history, thousands of Tarot images created by hundreds of modern artists, and many conceptual works inspired by the Tarot.
So today I’m offering a look at two of those Tarot-inspired conceptual works.
They found me when I was searching for something needed on Day 2 and came across a post about Tarot on Print Magazine’s blog. Someone thought Tarot would be just the right topic for a Friday the 13th (2017), and jotted down a very brief text. But they also rounded up six Tarot design projects—four of which are interesting enough in their own way, while two are (I think) unique.
One is a set of trumps based, according to the artist, “on the values of a Thai woman, Thai astrology, and science of oracle card.” Visually, it’s just not like anything I’ve seen before:
The Waite-Colman foundation is recognizable, but perfectly blended with Thai iconography—and the artist’s complex theme comes through in every drawing. Some of the designs are a bit macabre, others quite sensual. Or funny, as with my favorite:
The artist’s name is Themush Noon, and you can see the cards on her Instagram page—but you have to scroll way, way down. It looks as if the deck has been published (or at least printed) but I don’t know if/where it can be obtained.
My next favorite is as opposite as possible, from a design standpoint—but at least equally unexpected. It’s a 2004 promotional deck, designed by illustrator Bill Mayer and featuring characters from (wait for it) the Cartoon Network:
Johnny Bravo, Harvey Birdman, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack—the list goes on. And all rendered in kind of a woodblock + color-riot style I don’t know the name for.
ORIGINAL SERIES TAROTA blonde pompadoured mama's boy, an 80-foot tall robot from the future, a winged attorney, and a whole bunch of kids in serious need of adult supervision - who better to explain the ancient teachings of the past and the hidden mysteries of the future? As though crawling inside your already overcrowded head, Cartoon Network's original characters present a mirror into your soul, and the reflection ain't always pretty.
I think I’ll just leave it at that.
Well, today’s three minutes certainly flew by! No “Daily Notes” tomorrow, as I’ll be sending out this week’s EP newsletter instead. C