Why is a Card Back Design So @#$%&* Difficult?!?

I’ve been getting my ass handed back to me every time I try to draft a card back. The above three are the most recent attempts. Left and center ones are way too busy, even for busy-body me, and although the right one above isn’t quite there yet, it’s promising. I can probably work out the details.

In the above snapshots of design elements, for each, I hand-drew a quarter of what you’re seeing as the image. After drawing in that quarter, I create a mirror image of it and attach it to its side to create a half. Then I create a flipped image of that half to create the whole.

It’s so satisfying to me to watch it blossom into the final ornate image. =) Because the quarter that you actually draw is– ehh– I mean, it’s lovely, but nothing crazy, right? And then you mirror, flip, and suddenly, whoa!

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Ancestor Veneration When It Isn’t Your Father’s Wish

I received a question by letter, which I wanted to answer privately, but didn’t have an e-mail address or even mailing address. So here’s to hoping this post is seen by who it’s intended for. ❤

The question presented:

Dear Benebell,

I am a Taoist witch, but my religious family thinks I am a Baptist Christian and therefore against non-Baptist religious practices.

Last night my dad and I were watching a Taiwanese movie and an ancestor veneration scene came up. My dad began a conversation about Taoist traditions and said, “When I die, please don’t venerate me like a Catholic or Taoist would.”

I am a strong believer in ancestor veneration and plan to venerate both of my parents when they pass away.

I do not want to go against my father’s personal wishes as I love and respect him, but I also do not want his spirit to go un-venerated because I love him dearly.

What, in your opinion, is the best way to go about this?

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Revisiting the SKT Major Arcana

“Before” pics — first draft of the coloring/revision process from 2020

After completing the first draft of coloring in the SKT, my technique improved to such a point where the First Septenary, i.e., the very first cards I started the coloring on, paled in comparison.

Literally. As in, like, I didn’t have enough color. I wasn’t going to redo all of the Majors. But the First Septenary (Keys 1 through 7), definitely.

Above, the top row shows the Magician, Priestess, Empress, and Emperor cards I first colored in at the onset of this third edition undertaking. This was around spring of 2020.

The bottom row shows the same four cards as I’ve re-done them just now, about half a year later, after completing the first draft of coloring for all 78 cards (well, 80 in my deck).

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