Some Pictures

Thought I would post some photos that i just took of my proto deck.  It sure looks nice borderless doesn’t it?    I am going to start looking in ernest for a publisher, so if you have any ideas, opinions (wo you like, who you don’t like, who uses good quality materials and who doesn’t etc. ) feel free to send them in privately or on here, I will appreciate it!

I am going to have my first session with the 9s tonight, so exciting!

I have been making brief notes on them for a long time now, oh this would be nice in a 9, that would be nice on a 9, etc.  so I will go through all of that and really sit down and decide where the 9s are going.  I have already been writing down my thoughts on them.  Isn’t it nice to start a new set of cards at the start of spring?  Feels good.  Maybe I will do Swords first in honor of.

Here’s the pictures.  I have a video to go along with this I need to edit down a little and will probably add later.

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14 Responses to Some Pictures

  1. Anarkali says:

    For a limited art edition, I think Fulgar would be crazy not to take you on:

  2. ironwing says:

    It does look nice borderless, but a thin white border wouldn’t detract from the images (and some of them would look better that way, I think) and the border does have a practical purpose that is seldom mentioned: It protects the images as the edges of the card become worn with use.
    Another small tarot publisher, Adam McLean:

    I sent e-mail queries to USGames, Llewellyn, Red Wheel/Weiser, Inner Traditions, and AGMuller when I was looking for a publisher. Although they all sent rejections, their replies were timely (within a month). And none of them mind being rude, which can be entertaining. My very favorite comment came from AGM – “What are pips?”. I think Inner Traditions has published some of the most interesting and daring decks of the bunch, but they vary widely in the size of the cards and quality of the cardstock. Ultimately I found self-publishing to be expensive but rewarding (you have complete control over printing, packaging, and marketing, and the deck is made in the US). And my deck is the most durable deck that I’ve owned – my personal copy has been used almost daily for more than four years.

    • Tarotsmith says:

      I’ve thought about the edges wearing if they were borderless. That wouldn’t look good either. I’ve heard of that happening with decks with black borders too.
      I know there are a few often used borderless decks like the Morgan Greer but I’ve never had one I’ve used so much that it got worn. wonder how they stand up?
      Another drawback I was thinking about was that there would be no margin of error when cutting the cards and you could possibly get cards with slivers of the next card on the edge.
      I assume when I get a publisher these are things they are going to heavily weigh in on.
      Thank you for the list of publishers. I hadn’t thought of AGMuller.
      **I think Inner Traditions has published some of the most interesting and daring decks of the bunch, but they vary widely in the size of the cards and quality of the cardstock.**
      That’s good to know!

      I’m going to avoid self publishing because my ultimate goal is to have the Mary-el widely available and affordable. I could still self publish on the way to that goal, though.

  3. Earl says:

    Hey Marie, I have a comment on how you might want to publish your deck. A while back I purchased a deck from Chris Butler called the Greylight tarot. The actual deck was nothing special and it ended up on ebay. However, the deck was superior to any deck I have seen in one way and that was in its construction. What he did was use a high quality 180gsm inkjet paper such as fuji. Then he laminated the cards with 150gsm matte finish laminating pouches and then cut and cornered them by hand. You may want to use glossy instesd of matte as your deck is very lusterous and the greylight is monochrome. This process makes the deck not only beautiful to look at but also to touch. Being a tactile and kinesthetic type guy I just couldn’t keep my hands off the deck. I just wish it would have had some content. Your tarot really does deserve to be preserved in such a fashion. As for the TROLLS oops I mean the publishers your reaction to them as entertaining is perfect of course I would have said amusing but we get the point. As an aside Llewellyn gave Poppy palin a hard time and forced her to call her deck a tarot when she did not want to. And further the original publisher of The Greenwood Tarot forced Chesca Potter to replace the origial drawing of the lovers card with another version which is inferior. Anyway It will be interesting to see what you do. Earl

  4. Tarotsmith says:

    Hi Earl:)
    I probably will do something like that, a handmade deck. Ultimately I want a commercial publisher though. I’ve heard a lot of stories like the ones you mention, there’s a lot of negotiation that goes on as far as the content of a tarot deck between the creator and the publisher. You can see their point, they want it to appeal to a wide audience because they are in business. On the other hand the creator has their own agenda. It’s a tension of the ages, lol.
    I want to see what they say at least.

  5. ironwing says:

    I forgot to add one boring technical detail: The Ironwing Tarot cards have 1/4″ of white space between the edge of the card and the border. I would have preferred about 1/8″, but I had to use what the printer required for images that did not have a full bleed. It allowed them a little leeway when printing and cutting the cards, as well as room for rounding the corners. Not all of the images needed a border, but some of them did – especially the Majors – so I chose the simplest and least-obtrusive option. Another option (which I want to use with the Lichen Oracle) is to do a colored border with a full bleed to the edge of the card, which can be a bit thinner.

  6. Minh says:

    Hi Marie, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to printing your cards with no borders (full-bleed is the industry’s term). In order to do that, the artwork itself needs to have a 1/8″ bleed around it. This means if you want the actual size of your cards (after trimming) to be 3″ x 4-1/2″, the scanned artwork dimensions should be 3-1/4″ x 4-3/4″ (and at 300 dpi). Printers do not lay out the artwork exactly right next to one another and trim them for the inevitable fact you WILL get cards with slivers of the next card on the edge. Trimming equipment is never that exact which is why 1/8″ bleeds are required. Hence, unless you had planned for this from the beginning and created extra bleeds in your artwork that you do not mind get chopped off, I do not suggest printing your cards full-bleed.

    Regarding having a white border, 1/8″ is really tight and will scare off a lot of printers but a really really really good printer may not mind it. 3/16″ may be the safer route to go if you find 1/4″ is too much white space.

    Anyhow, I know all of these things by heart because I am a graphic designer who deals with offset printing on a regular basis. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me because I would really like to see your cards get done correctly, not just with the printing but also the packaging which should definitely be as beautiful as the individual cards themselves.

    I really do not think you will have any problems finding a publisher, or many for that matter, who would love to produce your cards. Whichever publisher you end up choosing, make sure they are the best and will go all out in producing it because like I said you cards deserve the best!

  7. Ian says:


    Will I, from Chile, be able to get a copy? Have you thought about people from outside USA getting a deck?


  8. Tarotsmith says:

    Hi Ian,
    When I did the majors only deck I shipped them all over the world so it won’t be a problem at all.

  9. Ian says:

    Oh, I see. It’s good to know that I’d be receiving my copy directly from you.

    Any idea on the price so I can start saving?


  10. Tarotsmith says:

    Well, if I self publish it will come from me. If I get a large publisher you should be able to get it anywhere.

    No matter what you will be able to get a copy from me.

    I wish I could give you a price – I just have no idea at this point.

  11. Anna says:

    Dear Marie, I’m from Moscow. I’ve reading your journal and waiting your deck to be ready. I apreciate work that you’re doing – each of your majors and minors is wounderful. I’ve seen many decks and it’s dissapionting when people just make new drawings, not really feeling it like you do. Thank you for sharing your feelings and dreams with us. I’m sure that it’s not a problem to ship it to Moscow but I have relatives in CA and NY – so that would not be a problem as soon as it be ready. May I ask you to tell me when are you planning to finish it?

  12. Anna says:

    and it’s very unusual without borders but it looks really great!!

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