I made a little video to showcase the evolution of my Lovers card from the SKT, laced with Bach’s Prelude in C Major. =) You can click on that YouTube logo along the bottom bar of the video to enlarge.
Please understand that nothing has been committed to just yet. This is nothing more than an experimental trial, though I’m sharing it with you as an entry in my SKT progress diary. Your honest feedback is welcomed!
Actually, it’s very welcomed. Like the previous shitty-Emperor-card post. You all gave me really good critiques that were specific, detailed, and because of the collective you, I had something tangible to work with as I continued trying to draw a good Emperor card. (It’s still in the works. We’ll revisit Key 4 at a later time.)
I knew for the Majors I wanted to work with the king and queen color scales as my starting point. However, I didn’t want super bright, bold colors. And say I use bright yellow and that purple color together on my Magician card– like, you can imagine how gaudy the final result would be. And just wait until we get to the angry reds and bright oranges… egads!
Above you’ll see my first idea, though I discarded it about as quickly as the idea came to me. But I’m just showing you so you can see that good ideas aren’t born as good ideas. At least mine aren’t born that way. They’re more typically born as very, very bad ideas.
I speculate that one of the secrets to my productivity is I’m not afraid of putting in time and labor into very, very bad ideas.
For example, I’ll just compare myself to my hubby, James. He’ll come up with an idea in his head, intuit that it’s not the most perfect idea ever just yet, so he won’t lift a finger in execution. He’ll continue to stall, cogitate, and just sit on that intangible half-baked idea, beat himself up over not being able to come up with anything better, and then just stall and stall and not actually do anything.
Meanwhile, in all that time that he’s been sitting there pondering, I have accumulated a stack of physically-complete bad ideas.
In contrast to him, when I get stuck, I can literally spread out the exhibits of all my very bad ideas to form a picture collage, and then from that collage, gain the insights I need to get to the good idea.
Another thing I’m not afraid of: asking for help.
You know what asking for help implies? Asking for help means you first have to admit to yourself that you aren’t competent. You don’t know what you’re doing. You can’t do this by yourself. You have to admit that you’re not good enough… at least not yet.
Jamie Sawyer (click here for her website) created the Sawyer’s Path Tarot, Sawyer’s Lenormand, and Sawyer’s Animal Portals oracle. She’s an incredible tattoo artist and wood-worker. You’ve got to check out her Etsy shop (click here for her Etsy page).
I reached out to her for some art lessons.
These are some snapshots of me getting my learn on. =) Here Jamie is showing me how to do what I want to do by demonstrating on the Magus card.
I got the XP-Pen Artist 12 drawing tablet and use Krita, a free open-source digital painting program, plus Jasc Paint Shop Pro. That’s what I’m working with to digitally upgrade SKT the Third. (I get asked this repeatedly, so there you go.)
Quick review of the tablet: I don’t love it. But I didn’t want to shell out the dough for an iPad + the fancy pen thing you’d have to buy in addition to the iPad. At its budget-friendly price point, the Artist 12 is good enough for what I need to do. It’s also really easy for a total beginner to learn how to use. (I am a total beginner.)
Once I learned how to do what I wanted to do, I got to work.
And here’s where I’m at now with my coloring. So many points to talk about. To start, it’s fascinating to me how something at the fundamental level of the image changes entirely with just the addition of color. You’d think it’d be just a coat of makeup or something, but no– that full-color Key above now possesses a distinct and different disposition from the same Key in the First Edition, versus the sepia Vitruvian Edition, versus just going the route of adding one or two accent colors.
Now I’m at the stage of having to decide whether full-color is the route I want to go.
If I decide that full color is too much, then that means I’m back to square one, and still don’t know in which direction to go in.
If I decide that full color is the way to go, then we are looking at 2022 rather than 2021 for publication. The prospect of going full color also puts a big knot of dread in the pits of my stomach as I begin to assess just how much time and work that’s going to require.
I think the video of excerpted clips run at 10x speed misrepresents just how labor-intensive transforming these images into full color is.
It’s not like I hit a paint can function and all the leaves on the tree turn green. No. Each and every single leaf needs to be independently selected, colored, then shaded in for depth.
I magnified the phoenix to 500%, then used my stylus tablet pen thing to draw lighter feather lines. Then I zoomed back out to add color. Then I zoomed back in to shade in each and every single feather.
Same with the dragon scales, and if you watch the video closely enough, you’ll see in fact that I’ve rendered three different patterns. After rendering the patterns, I then have to select each scale on the dragon’s body one by one to shade in. Then it’s tweaking and more tweaking and more tweaking, adding contrast, taking it away, adjusting colors, etc. etc. etc. for 12 (twelve!!!) consecutive hours until my eyes are blurry and I can’t see straight anymore.
And that’s just the coloring. Remember, there’s still a bunch of cards I need to re-draw, and even more I need to change up. So the hours for that needs to be factored in as well.
For now, back to The Lovers card. =)
Below, in the top row left to right, you’ll see the untouched scan of the original drawing in ink, then blacking out the background for what became the First Edition SKT Lovers card, then re-drawing the background, and transitioning into sepia tones for the version from the Vitruvian Edition.
Above left to right, you’ll see the Eden sketch that became the background for my revised Lovers card, the Vitruvian version with my first learning experiences with coloring, and then finally, after Jamie taught me how to color with my drawing tablet, the end result.
I’ve come a long way in two years. It’s the influence of my HGA. =)
We’re each going to come away with our own true perception of the Holy Guardian Angel, and I believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But as this is my blog, permit me to share with you mine.
The HGA’s being, or existence, is both hard and soft. It’s both. Both are “real.” There’s an external, independent, free-standing something in the collective consciousness that is so distinct, so individualized that it will appear as a personified spirit that you become tethered to. Spirit = consciousness to me.
And I invoke or evoke that spirit/consciousness through my mind, so in that sense, the HGA is also an aspect of my own personal consciousness. It has become a piece of my consciousness because of this work I’ve done to activate that piece within. And that can feel schizophrenic. I blink and there it is. I blink again and it’s gone, I’m back to being just me.
The Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is about cultivating stronger attunements to the many aspects of spirit, of both collective and personal consciousness because consciousness = spirit. The more you work with this deck, the more amplified your psychic abilities will be. And those psychic abilities will be transferable– long after you step away from the SKT, you’ll find yourself with more power and more fuel to do all that you seek to do.
At least therein lies my ambitions and mission statement for this deck. =)
I’ll continue to keep you posted on my progress from now until 2021/22. Have a great weekend!