The Art Oracles: Creative and Life Inspiration features 50 artists with corresponding oracular messages inspired by each artist’s point of view. The deck was created by Katya Tylevich and Mikkel Sommer Christensen and published by Laurence King Publishing. This is easily one of my favorite oracle decks and one I am always recommending to friends who aren’t that into tarot or the metaphysical but still one to give cartomancy a whirl. The Art Oracles is a user-friendly deck that anyone, no matter what proficiency level with card reading, can work with.
Totally random– Vincent Van Gogh was my stalker card. Different shuffling methods, toying around the with the deck, whether intending to do a oracle reading or arbitrarily pulling a card to look at it, this card kept coming up for me.
This is one of those oracle decks I see on the bookshelf of an artist, writer, art history professor, or art gallery curator. The tone is light, humorous, and yet the oracle messages are on point and well-written.
The deck comes in a sturdy two-piece box along with a guide booklet. The quality of the packaging and cardstock is impeccable and better than most of the packaging and cardstock of better known deck publishers. I’m intrigued at how these small lesser known deck publishers are producing higher quality decks than the big-business publishers these days.
Each card has three messages noted with symbols to indicate the purpose of the message. If you’re inquiring about a general life question, it’s the message after that first symbol, as pictured in these photographs, the circle thingie. If it’s about work, career, or creative projects, it’s the pencil symbol. If you’re seeking divine inspiration, it’s the eye.
Each card features a well-known artist, an original caricature drawing of that artist plus imagery around the artist iconic of the artist’s style. Although the oracle messages are written by the deck creators, not the artists themselves (these are not famous quotes or anything like that), the deck creators take a lot of inspiration from the artist’s persona to write the oracle messages.
The deck is great for “card of the day” draws. As a one-card reading deck, it’s indispensable. At a dinner party, have each person draw a card from the deck to denote where the are right now in life and what divinatory message is being revealed to them at this time. Then everyone turns their cards over at the same time to share the revelations.
Or pull three cards. The first, read the “Life” message only to indicate a general overview. For the second card you pull, read only the “Work” message for divine counsel on what’s going on with work. Then for the third card, read only the “Inspiration” message for how you can navigate yourself toward exactly what it is you want.
Although you do see good faith efforts at showcasing a diversity of artists from different cultural backgrounds, I did notice that the, shall we say, non-American and non-European artists showcased are only the ones well-known in the West. A lot of really famous artists in, say Mexico, China, etc. but that perhaps haven’t made their way into the American-British scope of awareness weren’t included, so in terms of the research conducted for the deck, I speculate it was rather limited. None of that, however, or at least per how I feel, takes away from the loveliness of the deck.
The Guidebook should not be ignored in Art Oracles.
The Guidebook provides background art knowledge that satiates any info geek.
The one thing I would gripe about here is the card back design. I’m not in love with it. I like the optical illusion effect of the rays coming out from the center point, where you then see a rather un-creative “AO” logo for “Arts Oracle.” There’s also a University Lettering vibe I get from the logo design, kind of reminding me of how fraternities and sororities design their Greek letters.
Like what I did there, in the above pic? Probably need to be a Van Gogh aficionado to spot it. Anyway, Art Oracles is a brilliant deck and one I highly recommend. I love it and sing its praises to all my artsy friends. It’s a great beginner’s oracle deck, in the sense that you can be totally disconnected to spiritual exploration, pick up this deck, pull a card, and find useful insights from working with the cards. It’s practical, it’s light-hearted, and the messages are nonetheless substantive. Non-cartomancers and seasoned cartomancers alike are going to be thrilled to get their hands on Art Oracles.