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The Elsewhere Tarot - Creator Interview

The Elsewhere Tarot is a deck created by Lee Alder Ketcham Seguinte.

The Elsewhere Tarot, revisited: A 78-card, collage-art tarot deck & booklet, inspired by the collision of traditional faerie tale & modern magic.

Kickstarter: The Elsewhere Tarot

Deck Story

The Elsewhere Tarot Kickstarter campaign will fund the printing of a 78-card full colour tarot deck, and a 24 page interpretation booklet. The cards are full-colour, in a collage-art style, with a symmetrical, reversible back.

Lee Alder Ketcham Seguinte ran their first Kickstarter for this deck last year. While there was a fair amount of interest, it unfortunately didn't meet its funding goals. "I've taken some time to learn a little more, and am now launching the campaign again."

• Share a little about yourself

Where do you rest your head at night?

I'm very much a child of California. I was born in So Cal, moved to Nor Cal for university, and liked it so much I stayed. I find that where I'm from shows up a lot in my creative works. I centre stories and aesthetics around both the physical environment of California, and the emotions and...vibe...I suppose of living and working here.

• What was your first ever Tarot deck and how did you come to own/use it?

The very first deck I bought ended up being my primary deck for over 20 years. I bought the Robin Wood Tarot Deck when I was in high school, kind of on a whim, and it worked well for me. The art fit less with my own preferences for art than symbols that I found easy to relate to. I learned to read with the deck, and until the past few years, read almost exclusively with it. I've found in recent years it doesn't connect with me as well, because I've gone through some intense personal changes. The fact that the deck wasn't as easy to read from is a big factor in why I chose to make my own deck.

• Why Tarot?

What about this modality calls to you most?

To me, tarot is a very narrative method of exploring the self, and the world around one's self. The way that the art of the cards themselves connect together, and form something like a storyline resonates with me incredibly intensely. I use the cards often as a means of communicating messages from one's self to one's self, and the story told can mean more than even the symbolic meanings of them individually.

• What is/was your most recent Tarot project?

The Elsewhere Tarot is the first and only deck I've made. I'm not sure if I'll make another one. This one has a lot of myself put in.

• Tell us about the cards: the technical and specifics?

The specs for the cards are as follows-- The cards will be 2.75 x 4.74 inches, blue core, with a gloss varnish finish.

It is a full, 78 card deck with the suits Knives (swords), Branches (wands), Mirrors (cups), and Stones (pentacles/coins). The Page of the suit is the Toy, the Knight of the suit is the Tool, the Queen of the suit is the Lady, and the King of the suit is the Monarch.

They are done in a collage-art style.

• Can you share a little on the process of your deck and its creation?

I'd actually encourage you to take a look at the updates/posts on the Kickstarter. I've posted quite a few entries about the making of the cards in general, and some specific ones.

Here's a little bit from some of those entries-

For every card in this deck, my first step was to look at it in the decks I currently read from most frequently, to get a feeling for the card's imagery, and how I relate to it. I have 2 decks I primarily use-- the Robin Wood Tarot & The Mage: the Awakening deck (say what you like about a deck for a role playing game, it's got glorious art). After fixing in my head how the card felt, I looked at the traditional Rider-Waite deck, to know what classic symbols belonged to it. Once I had fixed in my head the general feeling I wanted, I started thinking about what elements and pictures I wanted to include to get that feeling across, and then collecting images that fit from various stock art sites.

I can't really explain how all the parts of the card come together. I mean, I know why I pick each part. I know what they mean, and why they're there. But how they end up combined on the card itself is the part of this that felt most personal. I spent a lot of time moving different cropped out elements around on a blank card template, till it clicked. It involved a lot of rotations, and cropping, and selectively changing opacity, as well as working out different ways to adjust, blur, or otherwise adjust the individual clips so that they actually fit together instead of seeming to be randomly stuck on top of each other. That was the hardest part-- making the card look like one, cohesive work.

• What decisions were made when deciding upon the aesthetic and design for your deck?

That's covered in the previous answer, for the most part. But a little more specifically, I'm a indie child of the late 90s early 00s, which means I grew up on zines, and that cut-out-of-magazines style. That is exactly what I wanted to capture in my cards. I wanted the reader to have that experience of cutting out pictures, and putting them together.

• Do you have a favourite card from the deck - and why?

Weirdly, one of my favourite cards is the 9 of Knives. While both have rather negative interpretations, the imagery on them is incredibly striking, and I was excited about creating my own version of it.

I wanted to create a sense of loss, and disaster, but also an almost claustrophobic sense. The broken doll and the face in the background both are meant to emphasize this. The doll has no volition, no ability to move on her own even whole, but she’s been completely torn apart. The face is in motion, its expression almost shifting from one to another as the viewer looks at it. It’s moving, but still is static. There’s a sense of being trapped, but agitated at once. I have a tendency to make images overly complicated. It works well for this deck on the whole, but some cards needed to be more spare. It took restraint to leave this one as it is, with less elements than many of the cards, but I think it’s stronger for it.

• What message do you hope your deck will convey to its audience?

I want to capture the magic that exists in the modern and developed world. The way that we, even now, have our own myths and stories. I want the cards to reflect the shape of modern magics, and modern myths. I want the reader to be able to find themselves in parts of the cards, and guidance in other parts. I want to connect to people who are drawn by disparate parts, working together, and who feel fractured in the world.

• How can people find you and your deck?

My Kickstarter will run till April 19, it can be found here:

After that, it will hopefully be found on my website with my other writing and creations.


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