Tarot Feature: Tarot Nova

Tarot Feature: Tarot Nova

(crossposted at Ridley the Fool)

You may be surprised to know that Tarot Nova* is the only deck I actually own, despite all my Tarot Features. My mom bought it for me many years ago, and at first I didn’t like Julie Paschkis‘s simple, Medieval woodblock style. But it’s really grown on me and now I like it quite a bit. It’s whimsical and fantastic – just looking at the Knights, you’ll see that three of them have pretty non-traditional mounts.

The Knight of Pentacles rides a turtle, the Knight of Cups rides a dolphin, the Knight of Wands rides a horse, and the Knight of Swords rides a bald-headed eagle.

The cards are small – good for small hands, and almost square. The corners are rounded (love it) and color-coded: purple for Major Arcana, red for wands, yellow for swords, blue for cups, and green for pentacles. On the downside, they are too thick and smooth to shuffle normally, and their shininess makes them hard to photograph.

I would also not recommend the Tarot Nova for beginners, as its imagery departs somewhat from Rider-Waite-Smith and can be confusing. For example, the IV of Swords represents rest, but Tarot Nova’s boxed-in person projects a feeling of confinement and being trapped and uncomfortable. So sometimes I ignore the imagery altogether, but other times it can help.

In general, though, Tarot Nova is a charming deck and great for petite-handed readers.

*It’s not actually called Tarot Nova – it’s sold in several (?) versions: I’ve seen a super-tiny deck, a “Fortune Telling Kit”, and a “Tarot: the Complete Kit” (the one I have).

My art: sea turtle

My art: sea turtle


This is a colored pencil sea turtle based on the one in Stephanie Pui-Mun Law‘s Queen of Cups watercolor. It was supposed to be a gift, but then I accidentally sprayed it with adhesive instead of fixative… yep. It is Artist Trading Card sized, 2.5 by 3.5 inches.

Art Discovery: Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc

Art Discovery: Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc


So this is interesting: the Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc, a fan manga (doujinshi) made by digitally altering Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga images. The fan artist is OhtoriArt (formerly Vivian exMoon), who is also an avid cosplayer.

(I suggest not reading it unless you’ve read/seen all the Sailor Moon stories to avoid spoilers. Also, read it right-to-left.)


I think even the goal of this doujinshi is impressive – first, you have to have a story idea, plot it out, write it, and storyboard it. Then, among the many volumes of Sailor Moon, you have to search for the closest original image that you can work with. Then you have to alter it the way you want and match the alterations’ visual quality to the source material.

Original on the left, modified version on the right
Original on the left, modified version on the right

Here are some more examples of just how extensive the modifications can be. I have a little retouching experience – it’s hard! It takes a lot of Photoshop layers, that’s for sure.

Head over to the Acts page to start reading!

Tarot Feature: Tarot of Trees

Tarot Feature: Tarot of Trees

(crossposted at Ridley the Fool)

I love Dana Driscoll’s Tarot of Trees – so vibrant! Also I love trees.

Driscoll says that she started the project because she couldn’t find a Tarot deck that really spoke to her, so she decided to make her own. She painted the images in watercolor, acrylic, and ink – you can definitely see the watercolor in the winter skies of the pentacles. The original paintings were four by five-and-a-half inches and took a bit over a year to make. Head on over to her Process page to see several in-progress photos of the Three of Swords – I like how she builds up the background.

The deck comes in two forms: a physical one and as an app made by The Fool’s Dog, an app company specializing in Tarot.

Below are some of my favorite cards.

The Fool
The High Priestess
The Moon
The World
Page of Swords
Ten of Wands
Nine of Pentacles
Page of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles
My art: I’m a plant mom!!

My art: I’m a plant mom!!

I ordered seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and planted them at the beginning of April. I was inspired by Stardew Valley to start growing my own food, and eventually I’d like to have enough plants that I can save some money with a container garden.

Little did I know that from this practical desire would spring intense delight and love! I have fallen head over heels for the little sprouts that came up! Actually some are still emerging and I squee over every new one.

Here are some photos (please forgive my terrible phone camera):

Cabbage sprouts at three and half days!
Cabbage sprouts a day or two later
Tomato sprout
Stinging nettle sprout – so tiny!
Art Discovery: Iterative Drawing by Sycra

Art Discovery: Iterative Drawing by Sycra

I came across a video by Sycra about his Iterative Drawing method. He considers himself more of an analytical person – not “naturally” artistic – and Iterative Drawing has helped him become a better artist while appealing to his analytical personality.

You can watch the video on YouTube – Sycra describes what the method is around 9 minutes in. It’s basically drawing the same small thing over and over, each time analyzing what could be better about it and then doing that. So don’t bother drawing a whole detailed figure – you’re wasting time. Draw a bunch of hands first, then move to heads, then something else. This lets you skip over those 10,000 hours you supposedly need to become really good at something.

Artists can also iterate color – develop a good color sense by trying out different color combinations in quick succession. I love doing this – it’s just super fun to see all the colors at once, like when I drew original characters for the Avatar universe.

Artist profile: Yoyo the Ricecorpse

Artist profile: Yoyo the Ricecorpse

My partner introduced me to Yoyo the Ricecorpse, who he found on Tumblr and who seems to be everywhere! Y.T.R.’s super-cute, off-kilter drawings and animations are immediately evocative. Her works can be anything from a 3-minute action-packed music video animation, to photo-illustration hybrid GIFs, to watercolor-and-ink characters.

It was SUPER HARD to narrow down just ten images, I am not even kidding. Below these are all the links, including Yoyo the Ricecorpse’s Etsy store!

from The World and Under Part 2: No.8 Ramen House (click for more)
DANCE DANCE DANCE (click for more)
Travel Bun in Venice
Magical Bud (click for more)
from The Life of Eggie and Toastie (click for more)
HI BUD (click for more)
from Little Girl (click for more)
Space Bug
from Winter Blues
Pixel Ramen Friends

Links for Yoyo the Ricecorpse (check them all out – they all have different things):