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I realized the rules are we are only allowed to use major arcana for half our submissions. You picked two majors so I'm going with two minor arcanas. And technically we're not supposed to sketch anything until new years.
Sorry if my ideas get confusing. My imagination drifts in wild directions. It went from the Italian countryside to the time warp called New Orleans. BTW I'm not thinking of a disco leisure suit. I'm definitely imagining a traditional white suit the southerners wear.
This won't be a strict time period, The most important thing is we hear New Orleans Jazz when we see it and the symbolism stays true to the tarot's meaning. We can still use your awesome ref, the slavery stuff works as well.
Oh yeah, totally forgot about the no sketching rule. I will post my stuff in january then. Yeah New Orleans would be awesome as well. How about our new team members? Oh and sorry again for picking the majors, I just thought that it was better to get them when they where there. You can definitely use them as well, I thought as we would anyways work on them together it wouldn't matter that much.
So what are the main points we have now:
-New Orleans flair
-Voodoo and Zombies
-a secret love
Have you got any refs for new Orleans stored in your inspiration folder? Anything you thought of directly?
I was doing a ref hunt for hours, but it's pretty hard. I'm kind of a picky bastard. It's been more helpful listening to music so far. I'll find some great ref before I go to bed.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 27th, 2009 at 05:49 AM.
Grave yard and shrine ref.
For some reason this image didn't link. oh well just click it.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 29th, 2009 at 05:06 PM.
nice inspiration post there Raoul. Especially the last link.
I see where you are going at, and I say lets maybe loose the italian theme and stick to New Orleans Zombie Voodoo. BUT we make the black girls Love interest an italian Immigrant, with slicked back hair, mabe a scar on his face, dirty but stylish clothes, a butterfly knife and maybe even a ridiculous moustache.
Here are some beautiful dark skinned girls. Models, I know, but these were the names that got to my mind. I like the severe look on their faces.
The images in the attachement are all just inspiration fotos. I have no copyrights reserved!
Oh dear! I was looking for something as genuine as that old lady biting the head off a chicken all night. That witch dr. album cover is amazing. The third model down has a great costume. I am so jealous of your awesome ref I'm going to have to post some Toppi.
BTW Your scene can take place on the italian country side, it can take place in Africa, it can take place at the Minneapolis airport, so long as it has the voodoo spirit and the nouvoeau motif.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 29th, 2009 at 05:05 PM.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 27th, 2009 at 08:51 PM.
Here are the descriptions for the three cards I chose, we only need to do two, but the Seven of wands (The extra one) is really needed in my opinion.
The Lovers I basically described already so I'll stop right there. The High Priestess I imagine like the crazy voodoo witch I posted, sitting maybe in a room on a "throne" surrounded by all kinds of vooodoo stuff, and the two pillars, which are a symbol for her, but that we could make less important in our image. Other symbols like the pomegranate can be added easily.
The Seven of Wands, an aggressive card, symbolises the hurt lover. I imagine him in a greasy tank top, with two rottweilers or pitbulls at the leash ready to kick some italian ass.
I really am grateful to have you as a team mate. I promise as soon as I am back in Germany I am going to start working double as hard. The teams you posted are all VERY good. We have to figure out a way how to be better, and I actually think a story to our cards, the theme we have got going, and the nouveau style are three things that are going to raise our profile.
- The Ace Holes have the technical advantage, though your congruent style throughout all the cards could be a plus. I am going to have to polish my photohop skills quite a bit though, but I am confident. I am a fast learner.
- The Exquisit Corpses might also be technically better, but with four people in a team they are going to have to make many compromises.
- Milk of Amnesia... also great. God we have step our game up, but one thing we have an advantage on is that we have got our theme already, and its pretty original. And if anybody dares copy us, hell will brake free, trust me.
- Thundercats are talking about Art Deco, but their examples are for me more 40s and 50style posters, some leaning towards propaganda art. So I guess we aren't going in too similar a direction.
Also, Raoul, I would suggest when you start skeching our characers in january, you might wanna sketch some different compositional roughs first, and then we pick our favourite.
We also definitely need someone with a bowler hat. These are awesome. We could actually, to drive the point home, search for a card that relates to music, or fun or something a do a ZOMBIE jazz band.
Attached are also other inspirations.
Basic Card Symbols
An angel or cupid, a man and a woman, two trees (in Waite, it is Adam & Eve with one tree having a serpent and apples) - in some decks one tree is flowering, but the other has fruit. Also in some decks there is a man standing between two women.
Basic Tarot Story
The Fool comes to a cross-road, filled with energy, confidence and purpose, knowing exactly where he wants to go and what he wants to do. But he comes to a dead stop. A flowering tree marks the path he wants to take, the one he's been planning on taking. But standing before a fruit tree marking the other path is a woman. He's met and had relationships with women before, some far more beautiful and alluring. But she is different. Seeing her, he feels as though he's just been shot in the heart with cupid's arrow, so shocking, so painful is his "recognition" of her. As he speaks with her, the feeling intensifies; like finding a missing part of himself, a part he's been searching for his life long. It is clear that she feels the same about him. They finish each others sentences, think the same thoughts. It is as if an Angel above had introduced their souls to each other. Though it was his plan to follow the path of the flowering tree, and though it will cause some trouble for him to bring this woman with him, to go somewhere else entirely, the Fool knows he dare not leave her behind. Like the fruit tree, she will fulfill him. No matter how divergent from his original intent, she is his future. He chooses her, and together they head down a whole new road.
Basic Tarot Meaning
Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. In interpretation, the card indicates that the querent has come across, or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that they will fall in love with. They will know instinctively that they must have this, even if it means diverging from their chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it they will never be complete.
The Lovers is a confusing card as it is ruled not by an emotional water sign but by airy Gemini. The original trump featured a man and a woman with a cupid above them about to shoot his dart. Later this became three figures, the interpretation being a man choosing between two women, or a man meeting his true love with the help of a matchmaker. Still later, with Waite, we have an Angel above Adam and Eve. The Angel stands for Raphael, who is emblematic of Mercury and Air, planet and element of Gemini. Gemini is the communications sign. It's all about messages and making contact; also, as it is the card of the twins, it's about finding your other self. In this regard, you can see that the Lovers card begins to make sense. Especially if you change it back to "LOVE." Here is a card about perfect communication, about finding something your soul requires. In this regard, its most common interpretation about being "A Choice" makes sense. When this card appears, you are being told to trust you instincts, to choose this career, challenge, person or thing you're so strongly drawn to, no matter how scary, how difficult, irrational or troublesome - without it, you will never be wholly you. It's sudden and unexpected, and it means a compete change in plans; but this is LOVE. True love. Go for it!
THE HIGH PRIESTESS
Basic Card Symbols
Blue, white and black colors, pomegranates, the moon crown of Isis, veil, solar cross, crescent moon. Black & white lotus, pillars (B stands for Boaz, signifying negation, J stands for Jachin, meaning beginning). Scroll with the word Tora on it (either the Jewish Torah or an anagram of Tarot, where the final letter is left unseen).
Basic Tarot Story
Continuing his journey, the Fool comes upon a beautiful and mysterious veiled lady enthroned between two pillars and illuminated by the moon. She is the opposite of the Magician, quiet where he was loquacious, still where he was in motion, sitting while he stood, shrouded in the night where he was out in the bright of day. She is the High Priestess and she astonishes the Fool by knowing everything about him. "Since you know me so well, perhaps you can help me," says the Fool, laying out his sword, chalice, staff and pentacle. "The Magician showed me these tools, but now I'm in a quandary. There's so many things I could do with them. I can't decide." In answer, the High Priestess hands over to him a pair of ancient scrolls. "These will teach you how to decide." Seating himself at her feet, the Fool reads by the light of her crescent moon. Finally, the Fool knows enough that he can now decide what he wants, where he will go, and what he will do. Though he suspects that the High Priestess has even more secrets she could teach him--like what lies behind the pomegranate curtain--he is focused and ready to be on his way. Thanking the High Priestess, he heads off. But as he leaves he hears her whisper, quiet as the waters which bubble up from beneath her throne, "We'll meet again...when you're ready to travel the most secret path of all."
Basic Tarot Meaning
The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know in order to make a decision about a problem or a job, an investment, love, career, family, etc.
And, finally, there is, behind her throne, the curtain that leads to the deepest, most esoteric and secret knowledge; the pomegranates that decorate it remind us of Persephone, who was taken down into the land of the dead, ate its fruit, and became the only goddess allowed to travel to and from that strange land. This indicates that when you get the High Priestess, you're going to be learning some very odd things. Very odd.
If there is a card that symbolizes the tarot reader it is the High Priestess. A woman (or man!) of psychic powers, intuition and secret knowledge. Where the Magician is about revealing, the High Priestess is about keeping things hidden behind the curtain. Things you know, but don't tell.
If the reader feels the High Priestess stands for the Querent, then this is a time of solitary investigation and the passing on of secret knowledge. The Querent might find themselves spending time in old libraries, reading through dusty documents and letters, or studying old religious texts. Things kept secret will be revealed to them. Likewise, these secrets might come to them psychically by way of visions or powerful instincts. Insights may be found in crystal balls, tea leaves, dreams or conversations with spirits.
Standing for someone other than the Querent, the High Priestess is usually read as a spiritual woman, a nun or astrologer, a teacher of archaic knowledge, or just a reclusive relative who knows many family secrets. She is a repository of obscure knowledge, a walking library with uncanny instincts and insights. She may, as well, come across as cold, unpredictable, even scary.
As a card, the High Priestess is about knowledge. "I've a new idea," says the querent--thanks to the Magician. Maybe they've realized they want to be an painter or run for office or open their own business. But how do they decide what they want to paint? How do they decide which public office to run for? How do they find out where to start their new business? Knowledge - insider knowledge from some old expert being the best. The more secrets the querent knows, the easier it is to know what to do with the idea. This is the job of the High Priestess, to offer secret knowledge, like the moon on a dark night, so that the querent can find their path. She sits between the pillars of dark and light, existance and negation, wax and wane. All secret knowledge is hers.
The Seven of Wands
going after what you want
taking the offensive
firing the first shot
making your point forcefully
seizing the advantage
holding out against pressure
defending your position
opposing all challengers
refusing to yield
having a fixed position
demonstrating strong character
standing up for what you believe
knowing you are right
The Seven of Wands is all about taking a stand. Taking a stand is a forceful act that changes the energy flow of the world for good or ill. Most of the time we flow with our lives as if on a river. Events and feelings carry us forward with little effort. Sometimes, though, we are not content to drift. We want to resist the flow, or change its course entirely!
The figure on the Seven of Wands appears to be in a battle. He's either attacking or under attack, probably both. When we decide to take a stand, we set in motion an energy of resistance. When we take up a firm position, others do the same. The Seven of Wands stands for aggression and defiance because they are two sides of the same coin. You attack; your opponent defends. He counterattacks; you defend.
Some battles are worth fighting, others just cause trouble. If you are involved in a conflict, ask yourself if it's worth the struggle. Is it important? Does it have value? Will the outcome serve you or others? If so, be bold and aggressive. Defend your position. Refuse to yield! If not, then consider letting the conflict go. Be honest with yourself about this. You will be tempted to hold onto your position, especially if you have invested much time and energy into it. Don't let battle lines be drawn unless the war is worth fighting.
The Seven of Wands can also indicate strong convictions. In order to take a firm stand, you must believe in your position and yourself. You'll need integrity and strength of character to see you through. If your cause is just, use the energy of the Seven of Wands to make a difference.
1. More images of the model I kinda took as a muse for the lover: Sessilee Lopez. The headscarf pic is especially good, as it seems to have been a fashion at that time.
2. Basically in encompasses the Lovers image for me. Though in the original tarot they are devided.
3. and 4. Two witch doctors for inspiration. I like the graveyard scene in the first one.
5. Great face design. We could paint the voodoo priests (our witch doctor and the "High priestess" to make them stand out as the zombie invokers.)
6. A nice scene in a graveyard. I like red crosses and they can mean anything. Just some background inspiration.
7. A jazz band. And now make it a zombie jazzband and they totally kick ass.
8. An actual New Oreans voodoo tarot deck.Interseting designs, I like the one with the tombs underground, could make a great card design for an extra card if we have got time.
Last edited by Janos; December 28th, 2009 at 05:33 AM.
As far as incorporating a band we already have "the" musician, with the Page/Prince Of Cups.
I have an idea for the 7 of wands. We could have an old whip whip cracker fighting off zombies. Because the moral is complicated, this image should force us to identify with both ends of conflict, yet vilify it at the same time. The whip could represent the wand and we could group 7 zombies into one shape.
The Priestess could be based on that old bitch biting the head off a chicken. We can improvise much of the symbolism. Which there is too much to list right now.
The lovers could be like these Rockwell images. I think my use of proportions is mostly influenced by Rockwell anyhow and I think Rockwell was dominantly influenced by Mucha. But I think the emotion we are looking for in the lovers card can be found in these Rockwell classics.
I hate to criticize your last ref hunt, but I discarded half of those images on my initial ref hunt. We need to find the rawest voodoo imagery. And it's pretty important that we don't wind up interpreting another artist interpretation. We can only evaluate their interpretation and their thought process. Ah damn it I'm gonna post some random artist now.
Like I always say "You can play by your own rules once you understand them"
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 29th, 2009 at 04:58 PM.
I love the illustrations you posted. The mood is too serene for me though. We need some macabre twist, some dark shadows, some voodoo malice to bring forth the atmosphere of New Orleans. The Lovers have issues, they aren't all hearts and sunshine to me. I haven't got the time to look at the artists you posted now, but I know some of them. I am gonna read up on them when I get back tonight.
I also realised we have nearly a thousand views... Not bad.
What do you lurkers think of our project? Any thoughts?
Another team is also thinking about Mucha. Team Chönyid Bardo. It'll be interesting how they differentiate from us. I really think, that as soon as sketching time starts, we will really feel the competition and we will see how we hold up against them. Fun times ahead!
Last edited by Janos; December 29th, 2009 at 12:01 PM.
hey there, just had some time to look at your links. I am not sure if everything I am posting is really attributed to an artist you linked to, but they have been very inspiring. Check you inbox in a few hours for some ideas.
1. Very inspiring and fitting. Though our style regarding Mucha would be more stylized and your sketching style is as well, the feeling we should capture is right there.
2. A very nice Lovers card. Though ours should definitely show more of a conflict of interests. I like the form of the frame though as well.
3. Maybe something like this for our group shot/title image for the tarot deck? Our main characters twisted together weirdly?
The Rockwell pics I posted were meant to be a base for the macabre twist. I really like to juxtapose mood. I'm not insisting we rip off rockwell or anything of that nature, but I am insisting that genuine blissfulness comes first. The dark macabre stuff is just how we treat it afterwords. With the aesthetics we have chosen, we don't need to worry about coming off as cutesy. We just need to stress unifying the image.
I don't think the tarot indicates a tragic love, but it does indicate a hazardous, reckless love that might lead to tragedy, but maybe not. It's not this cards job to tell the outcome only the situation.
edit: I had a long break while writing this post so missed your last one. Great pics man. Aside from that great Vallejo pic all of these have tremendous rhythm in common. That is the direction that will get us ahead of the competition.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 29th, 2009 at 07:59 PM.
I agree with the rythm, and that the lovers idea I had, with the man being killed/dying was too drastic. I do think them sitting on a bench hodling hands won't fit either though.
I think idea and direction wise we are pretty much down with our theme.
A dark New Orleans-Voodoo tarot deck.
I also just now realised, as New Orleans is surrounded by swamps, a sweaty summer night might be the perfect seasonal setting for our characters. Sweat pearls on their foreheads, sweaty shirts and so on can furthermore translate the sickly atmosphere a voodoo obsessed New Orleans implies.
What rendering style do you think would be best? Show me some examples on which I will be able to rely when the time for rendering/photoshopping comes. As I mentioned before, without DH I am going to need fight through that phase and I will need some support form you.
I also wanted to ask, if you are okay with us being a two man team?
When it comes to rendering, We start off with light pencils I'll ink some subtle outlines. I think we should work in photoshop as if it were watercolor, we just use multiply layers and never use any opaque techniques. Our palette should be pale, rich colors. Lets keep the shapes graphic and tight, we can't get too loose and painterly.
I'm okay with a two man team, but I'll ask around my school next friday. There are some seriously talented kids at my school and they could be a shitload of help. I'm pretty sure they'd like to raise their profile and this is a great opportunity.
Some useful links I found.
Tomorrow we will have to start rocking Raoul. It would be nice to find a member, if he feels comfortable working in such a thought-out theme already. I would definitely need some help with rendering, but I just want to make sure my work for the team isn't zeroed. It is a team challenge after all!
I also do not completely agree with you regarding the colouring. I think a good rendering is something that will help us succeed. I agree that your linework needs to come through, and the action you portrait also needs to remain visible but a well rendered image has a lot of impact.
scroll down for a chart of different elements/symbols associated with the different suits of a tarot deck
1-3. Art Deco Ironwork and Ornaments. We could make nice frames for our entries in this vein. And we could just start sketching interesting forms and then mirror them digitally: Perfectly symmetrical frame!
4. An Idea for the Lovers card if we think that two characters in one card are too crowded: We put an amulett around her neck and put a foto of him in the necklace. Problem solved!
5. An Art Nouveau Tarot Deck for inspiration. I like how parts of the illusration are left white like the background. Gives them a nice graphical feel we could use as well.
Now you do have the right to disagree. I'd just like to know why and what are your alternatives. The reason why I'd recommend working translucently is because that's how you achieve that look. The reason why I insist on inking some clean simple outlines is because that's how it's done. We can easily change the color of the ink in photoshop. We can even dump it in the end. Not to mention ink saves time and makes the process of rendering much more forgiving. The imagery we are working on is going to get very loaded and time management is a necessity. Hell if there is any time left we can always pick up the cards nobody else volunteered for. Besides the rendering is going to be high quality, just no show-offy.
I really dig that iron ref you posted. How are you with illustrator? I'm not very good at the technical aspects of it, but it would really come in handy for the calligraphy.
Tomorrow/tonight is new years eve and new years day will be monster hangover day, but I will do all I can tomorrow morning. I recommend you have a happy new years eve as well
Here's some more photo ref. This time it's about black people in black face. Some how I think we can make it dignified. It's pretty dangerous territory, but I believe it's a part of the history and hard to ignore. I understand if you don't want to go there.
Last edited by Raoul Duke; December 31st, 2009 at 07:07 PM.
I realise that you wanted to immitate the aquarelle-like colours of Muchas work but I had this idea that mabye it could look interesting rendering special areas of an image, its focal point for instance, like a face or so. If we do it right it could look actually quite unique.
Inking is a good idea of course. I personally do not use this technique, but I realise its pro-points so I am all for it.
I also agree that we should concentrate on our four/five main cards. And I am willing to give extra time in this project to make more cards and gain some bonus points.
I do not own/use Illustrator so I won't be a help on that front, but I agree that the font will be essential to our laout. These are supposed to be cards after all.
What type of frame you posted do you like more? The more organic and asymmetrical one or the one with the star-dressed girl? I think an organic frame might look interesting but will be harder to pull of. But I guess we need some obstacles!
Not sure about the black face images you posted so I will need more explanation before I can say anthing.
Here are some ideas for the lovers:
Blackface has a controversial stigma. It was created as a way to mock African Americans or have a white actor play an African American on stage. Some racist establishments would force black performers to wear the black make up to create the impression that they were only pretending to be black. Black face can still be found today in some parts of the world. There is a black face character in Dragon Ball Z and even on a series of mexican stamps. So long as we keep the imagery respectfully ironic and dignified, this shouldn't be offensive.
I'm not saying all of the characters should be in black face, just like how not all of the characters need to be zombies, but I think black face could serve well for characters like the Page of Cups. The aesthetics are amazing, the cultural reference would drag the allegories deeper.
I'll post some drawings later tonight. My hand is shaky today because of my massive hang over.
Hey, It is looking awesome. I like the lines, the face especially (nice ears) and the rooster of course. A few things we need to think about: This sketch seems a little broad for the canvas we are supposed to use, so I would think about making the frame in the background narrower. Also, what design are you basing the frame on? I would research some more Art deco iron work for it. It is looking swirly and decorative, but not very Nouveau to me. That shouldn't be a problem in photoshop though.
I also wanted to suggest that I can make teh lines for the High Priestess as I have been lerning quite a bit here in Italy in regards of stylization, and exagerating features etc to achieve a more vivacious sketch. On Monday I will be back home and I'll post my new work.
Another thing I would also suggest is to let the man look a lot more drugged by the alcohol he has been drinking and the Cigars. Close his eyes more for instance. I am off to eat now, but I'll be back later on.
Very nice work Raoul.
When it comes to the proportions what is the exact ratio? I was using the Fibonacci rectangle. It's easy to calculate and has many uses in art, not to mention my sketchbooks use the same ratio. But If there is an official size we are supposed to work at, then we have no choice. The proportions you posted are flimsy numbers and it would be difficult to keep them the same as we work small to big and back to small.
Edit: no grannie you rrrroooooooocccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Granny and B-Man. I hope we live up to your expectations.
And Raoul, due to me not having photoshop yet I think its best if you just check out the proportions of the canvas we need to use in the official main thread. It's in deastwens first post. I do not mean you compositional proportions, these seem right to me, but rather the given aspects we need to respect.
Here some ideas for the High Priestess.