I am pleased to announce that I have just completed the final assemblage for the Tarot of Bones! The Lovers was a tough card to create; in sawing the resin replica albatross skull I bought for it in half, I miscalculated the cut and one half ended up with a seriously truncated beak, which I then had to painstakingly resculpt, and both needed repainting. However, this actually worked out better, as it allowed me to give each half a distinct personality, inspired by this video of the mating dance of Galapagos albatrosses. I surrounded them with a variety of shiny stones on a verdant green background; Galapagos albatrosses tend to nest on rocky shores with little vegetation, and I thought this pair deserved more luxurious accommodations. It’s an idealized situation for an idealized card, though when reversed it can call up conflict, chaos, and blame-laying all around.

So now that the assemblages are done, what’s next? My production schedule goes into some detail of the steps still remaining. The next thing I need to do is put the finishing touches on the Tarot of Bones book manuscript and get it sent off to an editor. Beyond that, I need to take the final photos of the assemblages for the deck, since the photos currently on the site are just “Hey, look what I made!” shots. I admit I’m somewhat intimidated by the photography end of things, since I am an amateur at best. But I have a lot of people giving me good suggestions and tips to help me through the learning curve.

This means I still have many hours of work ahead of me, taking and editing and laying out the photos into card templates for the printer. As I am not using the remaining money from the first IndieGoGo campaign for living expenses, I look at this time and effort as an investment in the future. There will be a second IndieGoGo campaign starting in February; it will give those who missed out on the first one a chance to chip in, and it will help raise funds for the substantial printing and shipping costs for the final deck and book. In the meantime, if you want to help me offset the time I’m not able to put toward more immediate income, you can check out my books and art for sale.

Despite the huge amount of work still ahead of me, I’m really, really excited about hitting this milestone a day ahead of schedule (especially since I didn’t get started until halfway through January 2015). Producing 79 elaborate pieces of artwork in a year, on top of my usual art production, writing efforts, and other creative projects, was a really massive endeavor, and there were times I was worried I wouldn’t have all the pieces done on time. But here I am, all done, even if I did save the pieces with the more confounding engineering challenges for the very end 😉

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