Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wall Street Tarot Cards

In today's economic climate, wouldn't it be nice to have a little security for the future? Perhaps the answer lies in a practice dating to the 15th century: the reading of fortunes using a deck of cards know as Tarot.

Concept: I wanted to create a contemporary version of the ancient tarot cards. I began to consider modern interpretations of the "Major Arcana" (the characters in the deck) and arrived at the "Wall Street" theme because I thought it would make an interesting and ironic subject with resonance today.

Execution: I attempted to rely heavily on a very linear drawing style, as I saw in many of the old tarot decks I looked at. I began by drawing my characters on large white sheets. I then scanned in the images and reduced them down to card size. For the reverse of the cards, I used a collage compiled from Wall Street Journal imagery to evoke the uncertainty and chaos of contemporary finance. Finally, I used a special "extra sheen" paper to print my cards on to best mimic many playing cards in production today

To Play: You don't really "play" tarot cards. There are a number of methods of fortune telling associated with them, called "spreads". Perhaps one of the simplest methods is the three-card spread, in which three cards are drawn. The first card represents something important from the past, the second something from the present, and the third something from the future. Each of the Major Arcana has a specific meaning that is often attached to it. For example, the Magician is associated with power, action, and awareness. I have included a sheet with my project describing the basic meanings of my cards.

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