Would write a book as well as creating a deck?

Destiny

Hi

Just wondering would any of you artists write a book as well as creating a deck?

The reason why I ask this is because most publishers what a book to go with the cards. That I can understand but why can't they do that part as it takes long enough to do a create a deck in the first place.

Do you think the publishers are asking for too much? I know they have to think about the market and making $$$$ but I think this could put off LOADS of artists.

I'm sure they also have different types of contracts where you don't have to do so.
 

baba-prague

I'm sure lots of people will have an opinion on this, but mine is "I wouldn't want someone else to write the book!" I think it mostly has to be the designer/s as only he/she/they really know the deck, its history and story and what it symbolises. At the very least, the book has to be a collaborative effort between designer and a writer.

Of course, there have been a few good books written quite a long time after particular decks have been published - when experienced tarot writers have had a chance to really work with the deck and may have a lot of well thought out things to say about it. But even then, I think the designer should have a large input where possible.

I know that designing a deck and writing a book is a huge task (we are still recovering I think LOL) but you know you can always find a good editor to help with the process - I think most reputable publishers would provide editing support.

My advice would be - just start some notes about the deck (write down all those thoughts and motivations going through your head) and you might be surprised how much material you have.

Again - all the best with it.
 

lunalafey

IMO~ what makes a good deck, is the good book that goes along with it. The creative prossess of each individual deck has a story to tell. There are thoughts and experiences that the creator happens bumps into along the way that adds to the 'personality' of the deck. With out a book, readers of the deck might not know about these things. Each artist's deck has a foundation from which is builds itself, that goes beyond the cards common meanings. I feel it' important for readers to know this.
 

rota

Ideally, you'd want literature about a newly-created deck to come from the creators of the deck, but most often they're not the right choice for explication.

The major Tarot decks, interestingly, are done by scholar/artist teams: Crowley/Harris, Waite/Smith. Nobody seems to know the artists' names behind the Marseilles decks or the Swiss, but it seems reasonable to think that the writers and artists were different people. The artists work as channels, in a way, for the scholarly input. The artist/designer/executor of the deck is the visualizer, while the writing and deck structure comes from someone who claims special inner knowledge of Tarot. So rarely do the scholar and the artist seem to surface in the same person; nowadays we'd say they were opposing left brain/right brain functions.

In these latter days, it's become mostly turned around: an artist will get an idea for a presentation of the Tarot and create it. The writing, perhaps even the meaning, is added after the fact. To me, at least, this seems like the wrong way to proceed, leading to innovation for its own sake. All of us have deck/book sets for a deck in which the book is simply a rehash or parroting of other books.
 

samvado

book or just booklet?

I had that problem when I made the Experimental - Urania loved the cards but wouldn't touch them without a booklet (not a book) with a brief comment on each card. On top of it I had to do it English too (I am German) because they only accepted submissions which could be licensed to US Games. I never much liked the idea to tell people what too see in cards, my cards or otherwise, so I kind of resisted the idea for a while but then I guess my pride of getting it published took over and I actually submitted the thing.
I could not write a book though - thats a different league. Michele Jackson later wrote an instruction manual based on one of my decks which is not quite a book but "almost". you can see it here:
http://tarot.m31.de/class_e/index.htm
it was never published although submitted to Llewellyn because US Games came up with license issues that where never resolved in any civilized way.
 

baba-prague

Rota said:
The major Tarot decks, interestingly, are done by scholar/artist teams: Crowley/Harris, Waite/Smith. Nobody seems to know the artists' names behind the Marseilles decks or the Swiss, but it seems reasonable to think that the writers and artists were different people. The artists work as channels, in a way, for the scholarly input. The artist/designer/executor of the deck is the visualizer, while the writing and deck structure comes from someone who claims special inner knowledge of Tarot. So rarely do the scholar and the artist seem to surface in the same person; nowadays we'd say they were opposing left brain/right brain functions.

_________

I think this is why I try to be careful to talk about the designers, rather than the artists of a deck. What you term the "scholar" and the "artist" might nowadays be called the design team. By the way, personally I'd argue that the artist is a bit more than a channel - that in fact it is a very two-way process.

Still, I think we are saying the same basically, that it is the originators/designers of the deck who are often (at least initially) in the best position to write about it. I don't think you could conceivably just hand this to the publisher and say "you do it". How could they?

I know that publishers probably ask a lot - but they are putting in a lot of investment after all.
 

Marie

I am writing a book to go with my deck. I'm finding it quite a challenge! But it is also another great facet of the whole tarot creating experience for me.
I don't consider myself much of a word person so it does take a lot of effort but I feel it is essential because I have used a lot of non-traditional tarot imagery and I want to be sure people have available to them what all the stuff means.
Rather than begrudging the publishers for requiring a book, I actually worry they wont want to publish my book. I plan on making it available no matter what, even if it turns out to be a PDF file download on my website. There WILL be a large book by me about the Mary-el one way or another.

I have actually found the creative exdperience of writing to be very similar to the process of painting. I have found that the best way for me to write is to rewrite and rewrite and then all of a sudden the words come out and make sense. IT also gives me another opportunity to explore each card, and everytime I re-explore a card I learn more about it.
I look forward to when I am done with all the art and I can move into the writing stage of deck creation.

Marie
 

baba-prague

I have to say it Marie, you actually write beautifully. It was one thing that came as a surprise to me when I got your deck. I knew the cards would be a joy, but it was just a thrill to find that the booklet was too (it looks and feels right too).

I don't think deck creators necessarily write like a mainstream professional writer would, but then, that's not the point surely. The thing is to get across the real heart and soul of the deck and to express that. I tend to agree with publishers wanting a book, because it can do so much to enrich the understanding of a deck.
 

Marie

Thanks Karen!!!

I love yours as well!

The writing sure doesn't come easily for me but it's important documentation.

There have been a million books written about the Thoth and Rider Waite but can you imagine how much less we would know about them if it weren't for the books Crowley and Waite wrote for them? (and how much more we would know about them if Pamela and Frieda wrote a book)
Only the person who created the deck knows the whole story.


Marie:)
 

Destiny

Re: book or just booklet?

samvado said:
I had that problem when I made the Experimental - Urania loved the cards but wouldn't touch them without a booklet (not a book) ......


I think that all decks should come with a booklet of some sort, even if it's a clone.
Esp decks like Tarot de Paris

I'm not to sure about a book for those who don't like writing or have no time to do one. I think that most tarot booksets are just for marketing as I've gone a few decks of cards now and I never need a book to go with it. I was very happy with the booklet on it's own.

Saying all that if you have the time to do a 78 card tarot deck + a book. Good for you as it will give others a choice weather to buy the boxset or cards on there own.