The Funny Tale of How I Came to Be on the Radio Last Monday

The Funny Tale of How I Came to Be on the Radio Last Monday

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Event, Stories | 0 comments

I had some friends in a band who were going to play for my art show. The morning of the show, they canceled. I felt obligated to get a replacement, as the restaurant owner had been touting all week that my opening would have a musical act. I asked friends left and right if they could help me find a replacement on the day. Part of me knew it would be fine if I didn’t have anyone to play, but gee, it wasn’t going to be nearly as fun, so I wasn’t going to give up. I tried to remain stress-free and calm, trusting that the universe would provide. I spoke of my search to the waitress at the restaurant where my art was on display. The owner wasn’t in yet so I couldn’t tell her the bad news. The young woman there said she knew quite a few bands. I gave her my number, and sure enough, a couple of hours later she called saying she would forward me on to a woman named Sabrina, who was helping coordinate the gig for a band she knew. Sabrina and her friends were dolls. Not only did I book her friends’ band Drala for the night, but I got a second referral for a lovely gentleman named Jonathan Brinkley. They were all fabulous, though their music was incredibly different (Drala is sometimes described as “electronic ghost music” and Jonathan is an acoustic vocalist). Each of them was kind and supportive to my project in their own way, and I very much enjoyed their music and getting to know them all. I chatted with Sabrina when the show was all done, and she really resonated with my project. She invited me to be on a radio show she helped with on KBOO that Monday. I admit I was a little surprised when she followed up the next day and confirmed I’d be on there! Had I not had a band cancel their gig, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity. Talk about making lemonade from lemons. (Before I got on the show I had a lovely brainstorm session with Sabrina and Chelsea Uniqorn of Drala. Those ladies are fab.) My appearance was very short on the show, I mostly just got the chance to describe my project and put out the URL a couple of times (I’m pretty sure I got one backer out of the appearance!), but the fun thing is that it all led to yet another opportunity. I met Anne and Dennis, who were helping to coordinate the Harry Smith Seance event this Thursday. Anne told me that Harry Smith was big into Tarot, being a huge collector of decks, and having created one of his own. They were both on the show before me, and Anne invited me to have a table at their event after it was...

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Making a Tarot Deck: One Artist’s Quest for the Elusive Passion Project

Making a Tarot Deck: One Artist’s Quest for the Elusive Passion Project

Posted by on May 5, 2013 in Stories | 0 comments

There is something that I learned from doing Tarot readings for the last few years: just about everyone is seeking a passion project.  Something so profoundly interesting to them — nay, haunting, grabbing, possessing — that they will stay with it even if it drags them through hell. Here’s something I’ve learned the hard way: finding a passion project — or being found by a passion project — is only the first part of the equation. Staying fixed on this seemingly elusive conquest can be an excuse to avoid the even greater difficulty of keeping a project sustained. Creative endeavors are always fraught with difficulty and it’s only through beautiful friction and confusion that true art is born. The temptation to give up can be strong if we don’t deeply care about what we’re making or haven’t yet learned to follow the inevitable ebb and flow of the creative journey. I looked for my own passion project for a long time, but in the end it actually found me. It’s called The Portland Tarot, a Tarot deck capturing ancient concepts through the illustration of Portland, Oregon landmarks, people and ideas. It all started as a design for a local Tarot art show and grew into an ambitious endeavor to create seventy-eight original pieces of art, each imbued with their own symbols and meaning. I officially launched the project in October of 2012, but recently pushed out a bigger campaign to get the resources needed to make it real. After uncovering this fulfilling venture and spending some time in its euphoric throes, I began to wonder how I got here in the first place. Like many I’ve known, I had been actively seeking the elusive beast called the “passion project” and had spent much time pondering the perfect formula for my own artistic bliss (but far too little time experiencing it). When I look back, I think finding the way to my own thrilling endeavor started with discovering a divine combo of a variety of interests. I’m always looking for more opportunities to get to know Portland and I love exploring its spiritual side through my photography. I also relish in a good Tarot reading and can spend many blissful hours with a Wacom tablet and MacBook Pro to entertain me. Put it all together and I am satisfied artistically, spiritually and socially. The other key to my keeping engaged and motivated was making the decision to work within my strengths. I have many creative interests, but I’ve always had a special knack for composing digital collages with Photoshop. In the beginning I was mentally overwhelmed by the effort it would take to collect a photo library for my composite images. Now I see the process as an excellent opportunity to explore the city and its people through my lens. So, can I truly say the project “hit me out...

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Art Show Opening and Kickstarter Benefit for The Portland Tarot, May 8th, 6-9pm

Art Show Opening and Kickstarter Benefit for The Portland Tarot, May 8th, 6-9pm

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Event, Kickstarter, Stories | 0 comments

Want to see some big prints of the art in person? There’s an art show coming up next week! Wednesday, May 8, 6-9pm Cathedral Park Restaurant 6635 N. Baltimore Ave. Portland, OR 97203 We will have a folk/jazz band! The weather looks to be lovely, and the view is incredible from the restaurant. Plus the drinks and food are amazing. Raffle tickets will be $5 each. If you choose to pledge to the Kickstarter, you can get a raffle ticket for each $5 you pledge, up to 6 raffle tickets per person! There will also be an opportunity to play King or Queen of whatever suit of your choosing in a take home Tarot card, for only a $10 contribution. If you pledge for one of the higher-level Kickstarter rewards at the party, you can go home with a bonus print of your choice. I’ll also be selling some smaller prints of art that aren’t currently available on the Kickstarter. The restaurant and bar will be open for business that night, so come on by, grab a drink and some dinner, and join us for a fun night of Tarot and art. More info on the Craigslist post for the event: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/eve/3781018619.html About the Tarot Card Photo Op Since so many folks have asked me to be in the deck, I thought it would be fun to set up a backdrop and let folks pose as the Queen or King of the suit of their choice. We’ll take a quick photo (you can toss on whatever costume-y goodies you want that we happen to have on hand) and then place it into a Tarot card template and print it out for you to take home. Now, if you are dying to be in the actual deck yourself, the only way to GUARANTEE it is to take advantage of the Kickstarter reward that allows you to do just that! I’m not taking any new model requests right now, as I’m fully booked up for all the pieces I have planned to date. So if you’ve got a hankerin’, then this is the way to make your dream a definite reality. But, if you just want to have a little fun playing Tarot, then our fun photo set up next Wednesday might be just the thing to sate you! (Or will it make you hungry for more? Hmm…) Hope to see you there! It’s gonna be great...

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Q&A About The Portland Tarot Kickstarter

Q&A About The Portland Tarot Kickstarter

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Kickstarter, Stories | 0 comments

I’ve had chats about the project Kickstarter in various venues, and there are two questions I often see asked about the project… While I do cover my reasoning in my Kickstarter, I figured it was worth covering these topics in more depth here. Q. Why are you fundraising before the deck is close to complete? A. The style of artwork that I am creating has some overhead involved that I have been covering out of my own pocket awhile. An expensive studio bulb needing to be replaced, more involved shoots that need hair, costumes or props, and other sundry costs come up. If the cash flow isn’t there, then the momentum can be disrupted. Because so many folks were eager to see the deck completed, I wanted to keep things flowing and prevent having to drag the project out over a longer time period in order to wrap it up. I could have simply done a Kickstarter for these costs and not lumped in printing, but trying to run two separate Kickstarter campaigns did not feel like a valuable use of my time. The beauty of doing both fundraising endeavors at once is that I save myself some time that I can put back into finishing the deck quickly. And I also know exactly what the final product will look like early on, which also saves time in production. Q. Why is the budget so high? Is it because you are covering your time, too? A. The budget is high because I am printing the deck locally. I believe very strongly in the sustainability of keeping it local, and the quality product that I can deliver by being able to work closely with local vendors who are committed to excellence. There is absolutely no money left over in the budget to cover my time. Unless I get money in excess of the budget, I will continue working on the project as I have so far, between a combo of taking a day out of my usual work week (something I can do working for myself), and working on evenings and weekends to take all the photos and put the illustrations together. It’s worked so far, and because I am so passionate about this project I am happy to continue in this fashion. I could have started out with a lower budget with a product that I had printed overseas, but I chose not to do that, because it really felt out of sync with the vision for the project. Having a Portland deck not printed in Portland did not feel right to me. I would certainly welcome some extra income to put toward my time! But for now I would be content knowing that I got the funds needed to make the deck the best it could be, in alignment with values I hold dear. I hope the above...

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