Progress Diary

Introduction | Design Statement | Free Major Arcana Download | Read My Progress Diary | Hermeticism & Spirit Keeper’s Tarot | Cultural Integration & the Prisca Theologia | The Book of Maps (About) | Gallery of All Cards | A Child’s Tarot Coloring Book | Online Video Course Series | Return to Main Page

I will be publicly journaling the entire process of creating the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, from conception to completion of the artwork, through the logistics of independently publishing the deck, finding a manufacturer, and what it took of me to grow the seed of an idea into a final product that gets shipped to your doorstep, which I hope will be as powerful a relic in your life as this deck has been in mine. In this log I’ll also be tracking the evolution of SKT from the black and white First Edition, the second sepia-toned Vitruvian, and then the third edition, forthcoming 2021 – 2022.

Log of Entries

4 July 2018 | “Ritual Coloring of the Major Arcana” | YouTube video chat that diverges onto tangents about God, the Devil, and religion in occultism, plus written progress notes in blog entry form on the Minors.

10 July 2018 | “Drawing My Own Tarot Deck: Rumination Notes Fours to Aces” | After completing the lower realm and beginning the transition into the upper realm within the Minors, I paused to reflect and write up a blog post.

16 July 2018 | “Drawing My Own Tarot Deck: Rumination Notes Aces to Threes” | I share some of my thoughts on the upper realm, Aces to Threes, after their completion. Also give a glimpse into the court cards to come.

20 July 2018 | “Drawing My Own Tarot Deck: Ruminations on the Court Cards” | Done! Well, at least the pen and ink line drawings of the 78 cards are done. Here I share my thoughts on designing and illustrating the courts.

25 July 2018 | “Am I Creating a Fluffy Tarot Deck?” | Some after-the-fact ruminations on what I’ve done and at the end of this long rambling post, an announcement of the preliminary intentions to send this deck to print publication as a black and white deck plus companion guidebook. Will be taking pre-orders as soon as I get my ducks in a row.

27 July 2018 | “Just Some Images” | Here I’m sharing for free download two image files and accompanying written words that I’ve dedicated to the public domain. These didn’t end up as tarot cards in Spirit Keeper, but you’ll find them in the front pages and end pages of the Book of Maps, the companion guidebook to Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.

30 July 2018 | “And So It Begins: The Artist vs. Business Reality” | Progress update and some of the logistical issues I’ve been tackling now that I’ve decided to independently publish the deck and order my first print run.

3 August 2018 | “Publishing Your Tarot Deck: Always More Work Than You Bargained For” | Work notes and reflections for the week as I work toward publishing Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.

10 August 2018 | “RWS and Thoth Comparison with Spirit Keeper’s Tarot” | Side by side review, commentary, and comparison of the Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth with the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.

12 August 2018 | “Tarot Box and Packaging Design DIY” | Designing the top and bottom lid box for the deck, some notes of guidance born from personal experience for the newbie deck creator, and registering for your ISBN.

14 August 2018 | “When 8 mm = $5,000 and Other Tarot Deck Creator Musings” | The details really do matter. Shipping and packaging issues I’m encountering as I get down to the blah part of producing your own tarot deck.

31 August 2018 | “Journal Notes on a Deck Production Process” | This is another progress report update, with free download of a digital print at the end. Production of the deck is under way.

12 September 2018 | “What Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?” | Let me break down the numbers for you, explain those numbers, and offer some thoughts to the aspiring indie deck creator on how to calculate your business math.

22 September 2018 | “Reflecting Back on the Design Process” | While waiting on production of the first print run, I share some of my reflections on the design process and personal experience of creating and illustrating my tarot deck.

25 September 2018 | “Physical Proofs Are In! Now Awaiting Full Shipment.” | For those who like to plan ahead, this post will outline the current schedule for pre-orders and the official launch and release date for the deck and book.

31 October 2018 | “Updates and Comment on the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot” | Just a quick (well, if you consider 20 minutes “quick”) video and some blog notes giving updates on the tarot deck and personal commentary.

4 November 2018 | “Behind the Scenes of the Glamorous Deck Creator” | I take you behind the scenes in a photo essay to show you what it takes to get a tarot deck printed via self-publishing, shipped to me, prepped, and then packed and shipped to you.

26 November 2018 | “The Actual Cost of Self-Publishing a Tarot Deck” | After wrapping up and closing sales on the SKT First Edition, I tally up my numbers, do a bit of thinking, and report to you my conclusions. This is a public report of the accounting– the actual numbers, mind you– of self-publishing a tarot deck. Compare this to the earlier blog post before I started production, where I lay out my projections [“What Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Tarot Deck?“].

5 December 2018 | “The Intangible Cost of Self-Publishing a Deck | We covered the numbers that go in to self-publishing your own deck, now what about the intangible costs? How does becoming an indie deck creator affect your mental health? To what extent exactly is it going to disrupt your everyday life? What is the opportunity cost of self-publishing a deck when you already have your own thriving business operation?

31 December 2018 | “Redesigning Cards in SKT for the New Edition” | It’s been back to the drawing board for me on account of a few cards from Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. In this post I’ll share drawings and images of redesigned cards.

18 January 2019 | “Redesigning the SKT Tarot Box” | Sharing my works in progress as I struggle to redesign the top and bottom lid box the deck will come in.


25 February 2019 | “Comparing the First Edition and Vitruvian Edition” | I compare and contrast the black and white First Edition with the forthcoming sepia-toned Vitruvian Edition.

25 June 2020 | “Show Me the Numbers: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing of a Tarot or Oracle Deck” | Let’s talk numbers in self-publishing a tarot or oracle deck vs. signing a contract with a traditional publisher. Watch the video, then read the companion blog post.

7 July 2020 | “Drafting & Tinkering for SKT #3” | Sharing some works-in-progress as I redraw selected cards for SKT the Third.

15 July 2020 | “HALP ME WHY CAN’T I DRAW AN EMPEROR?!” | So many failed, miserable attempts at rendering The Emperor card. Why can’t I draw dudes??

Experimenting with color…

17 July 2020 | “SKT the Third: Experimental Trials with Color” | My first attempts at adding layers of color to the cards. This post also includes a video clip showing my illustration process for SKT the Third.

Introduction | Design Statement | Free Major Arcana Download | Read My Progress Diary | Hermeticism & Spirit Keeper’s Tarot | Cultural Integration & the Prisca Theologia | The Book of Maps (About) | Gallery of All Cards | A Child’s Tarot Coloring Book | Online Video Course Series | Return to Main Page