Tarot making disease!!!


I'm sort of in a creative block.. but not a full bown creative block, just one directed towards the tarot deck I'm currently creating. I cannot think of anything for it! But on the other hand, so many other ideas are floating around in my head. There are two more decks I want to create. I got an idea for an artist's deck, but the only idea for an image I have is that of the magician, and I have names for two of the suits- brushes=wands & pens=swords. And for that, I was thinking of doing it with black and white, and if I decided to publish it, it would be sold with some art supplies, so you could customize your set. But idea is a far off dream.
Another idea I had for a set is an Alexander the Great tarot. I know plenty about him already, and many of the things in his life already fit into tarot cards. The only thing is, is I don't know if I'm up for all the research. But I like research. I think really, the thing is that I'm not up to making more tarot cards!!! In the set I'm doing now, I think I get far, then I realize I still have over fifty more to do!!


Hi There blashamma

First off take a deep breath :) I know I have gone through this kind of thing while creating a deck. Here are a few tricks that have worked for me.

First off keep a list of deck ideas and card ideas when you get them. Sometimes an idea for a card will come out of the blue and I know I have put off writting it down cause I was busy or not near paper and pen and have promptly forgotten my "perfect" idea.

Also take the deck in smaller steps. Instead of getting discouraged because you have over 50 cards left. Take it in smaller steps. I first start with the majors and my goal is to do those first 22. Then I celebrate finishing them YEAH! I also keep a check list of each card and check it off when I finish it so that I can feel the progress I am making.

Also if your feeling overwhelmed cause you just have a ton of ideas in your head, pick a card that draws you and concentrate on just what that one card means to you. Imagine what you want that card to say. Enter that image in your head and talk with the characters and interact with them. Daydreaming isn't just being lazy for me sometimes but also helps get the juices flowing.

Also if your trying and just nothing is comming to you, go do something. Watch a movie. Go to the zoo, do something you don't normally do and break yourself out of that stuck spot.

Well I hope something here helps you, if you ever want to talk feel free to pm me.



Two different notebooks and then...

For Alexander the Great, stories of his battles, his charisma, the strange Philip (his father-did I get the name right?) and Olympia stories as background...just write notes in a chronology or index cards. Next, I'd do a timeline if I were you first, including the myths that surrounded him.

Not in order, but to start, highlights from lectures that I remember:

1) He was fair and rather beautiful, unlike the warrior father.

2) The legends surrounding him and his brotherly affiliations

3) His democracy with his troops

4) The death of his arch-rival, the Persian ruler, left to die in the wagon, but was discovered by scouts of Alexander and so the officer of Alexander was told by the dying ruler how glad he was not to die alone.

5) Aristotle as teacher

6) Olympia and the snake cult

7) Philip's death, rumored to be by a spurned lover

8) The death of Alexander's friend

9) The marching of his troops by his bedside as Alexander lay dying

10) The wife of the Persian Ruler being dealt with kindly by Alexander

11) The dream of Empire and Alexander bargaining to go on to conquer the Ottoman Empire


I'm starting some new deck ideas by just gathering engravings and extra resources in a few different storage areas or piling them in a certain drawer dedicated to the project. For instance, I had a working idea of Roccoco Tarot, but it's actually gathering sources from Baroque Mannerist to Romanticism (300 years) and likely I'll start from what I know best, Jacobo Carucchi di Pontarmo, and move forward to see if the ideas work together or they are separate...you never know where the notes and gathering will lead. At the same time, I get rid of old things that no longer fit, so I don't accumulate excess...

This is easier for history topics, because the chronology that evolves puts a shape to the stories. If it is an open theme, then keep exploring and take three days on one topic, then move on or stay...you can alternate between working on your old and new ideas each week or designate the weekend for one theme and the week nights to explore other topics.

Hope the ideas help.

Mari H.

Laura Borealis

I wanted to create my own tarot deck, but had that same block. I'd have a few ideas but not a whole concept.

One thing I decided is that I don't have to do it right away. I have plenty of time.

Another thing I realized is that I don't have to do a whole deck. I can do individual paintings. I've done the Star (gave it away, so I can't post an image) and I have a few more planned (probably will do the Star a few more times!) This is creatively satisfying for me and I don't feel like I have to do every card. Over time I might get inspired to do a whole deck, but if it doesn't happen, I'm okay with that.



couple things to think about....

when inspiration comes, follow it. just 'cause you have a deck in progress doesn't mean you can't produce something else. obsession isn't always the best way to get things done.

and those other deck ideas-- jot them down, sketch them out. I know if I carry something inside my head too long, one of two things happen. It bugs me 'til I get it out or it dies. half done things sit better with me than dead ones.

you say you have over fifty left to do... that means you've probably done near about twenty. Think about that. TWENTY... that's an awful lot of work and focus. Have you ever produced twenty pieces of artwork revolving around another common theme? I know that I have never done that...

and sometimes we all just nead a bit of a breather. sit back and regroup-- then go at it again. all in it's own time, it'll be there for you

keep at it

fly well


thank you all so much. Thank you dolphingirl for the advice. I fact, I did do some of that, and didn't realize that I had until you mentioned that I should. I did get a brilliant idea for a temperance card, but it didn't fit into my deck I'm doing now, Maybe it can fit into the artist's deck idea or another one that I haven't even thought of! And Mari, gracius for the info on Alexander, and this may sound strange. but eventhough I knew what you said already, it gave me an enlightened feeling or something and more confidence. I didn't really want to put too much mythology into the set, but with a person like Alexander the Great, even a historian who studies primarily him has trouble deciphering myth from reality. Raven, your words have been great. "Half done things set better than dead ones." is such a great thing, and I didn't think of that. Actually, I was so afraid that if I were to work on a my new ideas, then my set that I was working on before would remain unfinished because I'm notorious for not finishing a project if I don't finish it right away... does that make sense? Anyways, all I did was to type my ideas out here so I can see them written in front of me, and even to let people know. I didn't expect anything more than an "oh, that's a cool idea" or something along those lines. You guys have gone far beyond that. Thank you.


unfinished symphonies...


I know EXACTLY what you mean about finishing projects :laugh:
I have all too many starts without closure. In fact, that's one thing my first wife used to tell me over and over:

"You never get things finished..."

Of course, it's not QUITE true; there are many projects I've finished. But then again, there's the ones that just dangle...

A tarot deck is a huge production. Just sheer number is a challenge. And then there's one problem I get into. When I've finished card number 27, I realize something that I should have put into number 6... If you want to finish a deck, there's a certain amount of 'blindness' you have to develop.

just keep pluggin' away

fly well