You Drew the Six of Fluffy Tails: The Fox Tarot

A 78-piece full tarot, inspired by the traditional Rider-Waite deck, but this time, FOXES.



The Fox Tarot

Kickstarter ending 9/15/15

FoxTarot1I’m sure I said this before, but “creating my own tarot” must be one of those challenges that every fantasy artist picks up, dusts off, puts back on the shelf, picks up again, thinks about donating to Goodwill, puts back on shelf, thinks “Well, I’ll use this someday…”, puts back on shelf…it’s like a copy of Ulyssesexisting more as a challenge than something that should actually be pursued. I mean, it’s 78 individual pieces of art. That’s a lot of art! And like covering the entire Beatles catalog, each piece has its own expectations and challenges. You could just say “Oh, well, I’ll just draw a piece that is my concept of stagnation and hierarchy and call it The Emperor,” but the Rider-Waite deck is so compelling, it’s a symbol set that’s the defining image of tarot.

Mary Hoy (DeviantArt) has taken on the quest to slay the dragon—no offense to any dragon readers—and created the Fox Tarot, now on Kickstarter. Her work has a delicate, haunted quality, as if she put a few drops of liquid Tim Burton into the mixing bowl, though it’s solidly in the cartoony camp. If you’d like to see the heart of the deck, you can check out her Major Arcana on Deviantart. I particularly like The Fool and The Magician.

FoxTarot2One thing that I admire about this set is that it’s inspired by the traditional Rider-Waite deck, but isn’t a strict copy of it. For instance, look at Mary Hoy’s “The Magician” and then glance at the standard Rider-Waite version of the same. There’s some of the same elements (literally! It’s a Tarot joke…), you can see echoes of the older card, but Hoy’s erred on the side of humor, sympathy, and emotion. Her work is a little rough, with sketchy lines and more than a few photoshop effects, but personally, I think it’s an appealing, fresh, and approachable Tarot.

FoxTarot3Re: the Kickstarter itself, it’s worth saying, Hoy is using Kickstarter as a selling platform, not a development tool. Much of the special perks are the sort of thing you could get on a produce-on-demand site like CafePress. One pain point I had with the pledge levels is that the level at which you can buy the deck itself is steep—$45—and that’s more than I’d care to pay for a standard tarot deck (which tend to range from $15-$35, depending.) However, Hoy also distributes through Etsy, where you can get one version of the Fox Tarot for under $30, a more manageable price point. But if you like the product and want the extra goodies—poster versions, for instance—then the Kickstarter is a good investment.

On the other paw, the fact that the work already exists and that this Kickstarter is a 2.0 expansion, with bigger cards (or tinier cards, pick your poison), some touchup, and pretty borders, makes it a solid and low-risk project. Given the risks in backing a campaign, a little security goes a long way!

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