Hi Lancer The Tarot theme is looking to be a lot of fun, that's for sure! I need to look up the description for my cards later, as I'm not very familiar with Minor Arcana.
As we might end up doing different suits etc, I'm thinking finding a preferred style might be the thing that tie our team together. Not saying we all have to conform to the same style, but having a common inspiration might be the way to go. An exterior nudge for us to try a style slightly outside of our comfort zone may be fun too. What do you guys think?
Off to help bf's family with dinner and will be back later What time zone are you in, Lancer?
I'm in California, so PST.
Fluorine told me that you guys use MSN for planning and such, if you'd like to add me, I'm firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, of course! A combined style or theme would probably be helpful, so we're not all over the place or anything.
For me, I think my tastes are kind of a little bit of everything. My dislikes usually have to do more with subject matter than with style, so I'm alright with pretty much anything.
Generally, I tend to like working with softer, more muted color schemes. I also really admire work that makes good use of strong silhouettes and interesting lighting.
My favorite thing to draw tends to be trees, closely followed by monsters and beasties of all kinds. I like drawing intricate patterns/runes/stitching/tattoos/whatever, as long as I don't have to worry about symmetry too much... haha.
Thematically, I tend to lean more towards "fantasy", but not necessarily "high fantasy", if that makes any sense...
If there's one thing I tend to suck at, it's machines and robots and stuff... but I'm willing to try if that's what the group decides on.
So... here's a few random images I quickly threw together, just to help illustrate my rambling up there a little bit. (I've never done something like this before, hope I'm not doing it wrong)
I just picked the Magician and Queen of Cups for our team.
The briefing doesn't really have specific requirements as for style or time period or whatever, so I guess we might as well do something that's different from traditional Tarot cards. The first thing I can think of is either do a modern/urban theme, or a culture theme, such as oriental (I know... I know... we did oriental inspired theme last Team Chow...), middle east, egyptian (since Tarot card is originated from ancient Egypt), Greek (the problem with greek is the costume, there's really not that much variety), Japanese (that'd be fun), Russian, Native American...
Anything but Celtic, we have enough Celtic tarot cards.
It's holiday season so we're all pretty busy with all those parties and family functions, so I think we might need to set up a "meeting time" or something, so we can get together and talk~
I'm at my parent's house without my regular work computer and reference stash, so here are some random images from the intertubes for starters: Brom's dark and beautiful art style, and thrones from different cultures.
Nice references Nightblue, Brom's work is really awesome... At first I was wondering why you posted thrones, and then I remembered our group has both a king and queen to illustrate. ^^;
Someone else posted this in the main thread, but I've been meaning to post it here too. I really like how she handled her tarot card illustrations - you guys might find it useful, even if it's not the style we're going for: http://puimun.deviantart.com/gallery/#Tarot-Series
Anyway, I thought I'd post the descriptions for the rest of our cards, just so we have them readily accessible. I think I'd keep in mind that these descriptions are more like guidelines rather than strict rules. A starting point, if you will. I don't think we should feel the need to conform too strictly to the description, as long as the major idea/theme behind it is still there.
I edited the two major arcana a little bit for brevity's sake, some of them can get pretty long. @_@
Major: The Magician:
Red & White coloring, the lemniscate (infinity symbol), a small wand, a table displaying a chalice, a pentacle, a staff (wand) and a sword.
Skillful, self-confident, a powerful magus with the infinite as a halo floating above his head, the Magician mesmerizes the Fool. Raising his wand to heaven, pointing his finger to Earth, the Magician calls on all powers; magically, the cloth of the pack unfolds upon the table, revealing its contents. And to the Fool's eyes it is as if the Magician has created the future with a word. All the possibilities are laid out, all the directions he can take. The cool, airy Sword of intellect and communication, the fiery Wand of spirituality and ambition, the overflowing Chalice of Love and emotions, the solid Pentacle of work, possessions and body. With these tools, the Fool can create anything, make anything of his life. But here's the question, did the Magician create the tools, or were they already in the pack? Only the Magician knows - and on this mystery, our eloquent mage refuses to say a word.
The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things just-so by speaking them aloud ("And God said 'Let there be Light!' and there was Light"). Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the sleight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil. The 4 suits laid out before him remind us of the 4 aces, which in the Tarot symbolize the raw, undeveloped, undirected power of each suit. When the Magician appears, he reveals these to you.
If any card in the Tarot is the Tarot, it is the Magician. If the reader believes the Magician stands for the Querent, then the Querent either is, or is currently finding himself eloquent and charismatic at this time. Both verbally and in writing, he is clever, witty, inventive and persuasive. People listen and agree with him. It's important to remember that the Magician can as easily be clever as skillful, a trickster as well as a magician. This is someone with a magnetic personality, someone who can convince people of almost anything. For better or worse, his words are magic.
Most importantly, the Magician card stands for the "reveal" - as in a magic trick. The handkerchief is draped over an empty box, the Magician waves his wand, *presto!*--now there is a dove in the box. The Magician card does the same for the Querent--only what it reveals is not birds or rabbits but NEW ideas. Emphasis on NEW. When the Magician card appears, the Querent is likely to say: "Now there's an idea! Why didn't I think of that before?" Truth is, the Querent had that idea in his head all along. The Magician merely revealed it to him. But what will the Querent do with this idea?
A tower on a rocky outcrop, a powerful bolt of lightning, one or two figures falling from the tower, sometimes waves crashing below.
Inside the Tower, at the top, arrogant men still live, convinced of their rightness. Seeing the Tower, the Fool feels as if lightning has just flashed across his mind; he thought he'd left that old self behind when he started on this spiritual journey. But he realizes now that he hasn't. He's been seeing himself, like the Tower, like the men inside, as alone and singular and superior, when in fact, he is no such thing. And to his astonishment and terror, a bolt of actual lightning slashes down from the heavens, striking the Tower and sending its residents leaping out into the waters below.
In a moment, it is over. The Tower is rubble, only rocks remaining. Stunned and shaken to the core, the Fool experiences grief, profound fear and disbelief. But also, a strange clarity of vision, as if his inner eye has finally opened.
With Mars as its ruling planet, the Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." When the Querent gets this card, they can expect to be shaken up, to be blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.
No card scares a Tarot reader like the Tower. It is however one of the clearest cards when it comes to meaning. False structures, false institutions, false beliefs are going to come tumbling down, suddenly, violently and all at once.
They're about to get a very rude awakening. Shaken up, torn down, blown asunder. And all a reader can really do to soften the blow is assure the Querent that it is for the best. Nothing built on a lie, on falsehoods, can remain standing for long. Better to tear it all down and rebuild on the truth. It is not going to be pleasant or painless or easy, but it will be for the best.
Queen of Cups:
Often a healer, counselor or psychic, this is a woman who seems to know what's wrong even before you open your mouth. Call her the emotional fix-it woman, but she seems to have exactly the right solution to problems relating to home, friends, love. Sometimes she is shy, self-effacing, you might not even notice her; other times she can be a little scary, dreamy, mysterious, a creative storyteller. Affectionate and loving, she is a "mom's mom" always there to hug, heal and bake cookies for her children. Her intuition is uncanny, her temper...well, it runs very deep and you don't ever want it turned against you. Talk about scary. Unfortunately, this is also a queen who can suffer from female hormonal problems, depression, moodiness, alcoholism, drug addiction, psychological problems.
King of Wands:
Call him "The Preacher." His dream kingdom is a philosophy. He fills a room when he walks in, expansive, full of energy, charisma, fun. You know this man; he's the motivational speaker, the charismatic church leader, the warm politician, the bullying coach who turns losers into winners. He loves danger, adventure, challenges. A great innovator, he can turn a company around, with employees working overtime to please him. This is Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Henry V. He always has to lead the charge. He hasn't friends so much as worshippers; people either love him or hate him, and the same goes for his family. Not that he doesn't love his family; he fell in love with his wife at first sight and wooed her till she loved him back; and he's great with kids. No dad was ever so inventive or fun. But he fully expects his family to come with him, wherever he goes - like an impromptu African Safari - support whatever he does. If they don't, his other side can come to the surface, one that is jealous, impatient, tyrannical. It is not surprising that sometimes his wife or children will rebel against him.
Thanks so much for the card research! The descriptions I found are slightly different (see the thread above where I claimed the cards). I guess that's an invitation to be free. I'll look into more versions and find the pivotal point and try to narrow in what I'd like my two cards to represent.
I researched thrones because Tarot seems to be organized around the orders of a kingdom or several kingdoms (emperors, kings, queens, their guards...) Also, the decorative nature of thrones allows for a different angle to dig into costume design. More culture research to come tomorrow!
off-topic... Just saw Avatar. Cheesy story but the lines are mostly better than I expected, and the visuals are frigging... frigging... amazing. Holy cow.
Nightblue and I had a light discussion about the theme today. Since Tarot is such a over done theme (meaning everything you can ever think of, someone has done it already). Might as well go for themes we would enjoy painting, instead of going for the "shock factor".
We're thinking something on the line of high decretive Steam punk, Goth or Heavy Metal. Either can go dark, and with crazy decorations.
Another theme we discuss is combine mythical creatures/Characters with the card. Although it might be an (unnecessary) hassle trying to find the correspondent mythical creature/god/goddess/hero.... that fitting of the tarot meaning.
We also discuss the post apocalyptic urban mix. Good thing about post apocalyptic style is that we can mix anything with everything, we can go high tech or low tech, and we can go mutant for interesting character design, and we can have dark or light theme.
Regardless of the style, Nightblue mentioned and I totally agree that the biggest thing for this project is to create characters with realistic, complex, strong or subtle attitude with depth, rather than just look generically nice or angry. We want to have a character that looks as if he/she has an interesting story to tell.
(First off, sorry for missing the conversation... I went to sleep without logging out, my bad. @_@)
Alright, so from what I can gather, we've narrowed the theme down to gothic/steampunk/mythology, right?
I'm alright with any of those, really. I just want something that will possibly let me stick a monster in there if I so choose. ;D
The mythology might be hard to do correctly, and would probably require more research, but I actually think it might be really cool if we manage to pull it off without making it too obvious or cheesy or anything. Plus I'm always better at more fantasy-themed stuff, so that's a bonus for me. ;D
If we decide on this theme, the link below might be helpful... it's a pain to navigate through, and a lot of the articles are redundant or only have a sentance or two written, but it does have a pretty big list of legends from all different cultures. http://www.pantheon.org/
Another approach we could take, is instead of taking a god or hero, we could take monsters and/or creatures (from sites like www.obakemono.com or http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page) and turn them into human-like characters? I mean, I personally like doing stuff like that, but maybe it might get too complicated, obscure or weird for this brief. Just an idea that crossed my mind... or maybe we could combine the two in some way? Monsters/gods/legends/heroes?
Gothic and/or steampunk (gothic steampunk? XD) is ok with me too. It sounds like you two might be more comfortable with something like that? I've never done steampunk, but CHOW is all about trying new stuff, right?
I quickly googled some trinkets and such, it doesn't seem like it'd be too hard as long as I have something to work from.
The Mythical idea is just something I throw out there for fun, but looks like we can really do something cool with it. For something as symbolic as Tarot you can't never have "too much" research. Like Lancer said, if we can pull it off without making it too obscure or too cheesy, we might end up with something really interesting. Personally, I like the painting with a lot of little stuff I can look into.
The Hero or gods or monsters we're illustrating don't need to be recognizable, but it might offer a good starting point for creating a character with strong personality. I personally think making the classical monster more "characterized" would be a good idea. For example, Pan can mean freedom, lust, playful ... If I was to do Lover, I might use Pan instead of a person. Gorgon can represent vanity, rage, self distraction, that's actually pretty close to Tower...
As for style, i actually think Michael Parkes' style might fit. Although... He's probably more on the cheesy side... especially since he has been painting like that for at least 30 something years...
As for Steam punk and Goth, both of them can go crazy decorative, and go dark; both of them are victorian based, so shouldn't be that hard. I remember Nightblue wants to do some decorative frames for last team chow, we didn't have time to do it, but we can definitely try it out this time, and it's more fitting with the Tarot theme.
Personally, I think he'll make a great addition to our team. But I also understand we're already in the stage of brainstorming, and we intent to keep the team small for better management. So let me know what you think. I tell him I'll get back at him today, and meanwhile he's free to ask other team.
Happy Holidays guys~~~ The new year is almost here.