Created by NoMonet (aka Steph King)
Illustrated by Arnell Ando, Keely Barham, Julie Hagan Bloch, Tracy Cutts, Debba, Becky Ericsen, Rice Freeman-Zachery, Alexandra Genetti, Connie Houser, Mark Jetton, Jill Jones, Dennis Jordan, Sandy McCall, Amy McClure, Michele Monet, Catherine Moore, Teesha Moore, Tracy Moore, NoMonet, Sarah Ovenall, Renee Pearson, Cathleen Perkins, Red Dog Scott, Roslyn Stenahl, Susan Renee Tomb and Barbara Wolfe
Published by NoMonet Full Court Press, 1999
78 Cards: 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana
Card Size: 120 x 78mm
Suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, Coins
Court Cards: Prince, Princess, Queen, King
Justice 8, Strength 11
When I discovered this deck I was attracted to it because of its artistic appeal and before it had even arrived on my doorstep I knew that I would be in for a treat. Once I opened the package and started my journey through the cards I felt like I was attending a gallery exhibition of 78 very individual and interesting artworks.
The Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot was conceived and produced by NoMonet (aka Steph King). This project is a collaboration by 26 artists who each illustrated 3 cards. This collaborative approach can ring alarm bells, warning of what could potentially be a rather in-cohesive deck but here it has been pulled off successfully. The varying multimedia styles of the 26 artists mean the cards compliment each other by the very nature of their uniqueness, and unite to produce a delicious deck. Of course there are cards that appeal to me more than others, which is only natural, yet I believe the variety of art styles means the deck will appeal to a wide audience.
The cards are well thought through, not only stylistically, but also conceptually. Some card interpretations follow the more traditional RWS or Marseilles approaches while others are quite unorthodox, yet just as valid. The artist’s ‘inner vision’ can be seen within each card. And as the artists each produced only 3 cards it feels as though all 78 have been given time and attention, the Minor Arcana receiving as much as the Majors.
This deck requires a number of viewings to take it all in, even then there always seems to be something new to be discovered. As I was looking through the deck to write this review I was yet again lost in time and delighted with new discoveries.
The Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot has been produced with love and attention to detail, not only the deck which is of a very high quality, but the complete package, which also includes a 170 page book and a beautiful matching fabric drawstring bag, which is a lovely touch and a rare treat.
The accompanying book contains well thought out card commentary, often fusing more traditional card meanings with personal interpretations by the artist. There are also connections between each card and movies or television shows to illustrate the card themes, which is a unique idea and very effective, especially when you have actually seen the movie in question. That said, the descriptions are strong enough that you get the idea anyway and can visualise the types of scenes that are being described. The book also includes notes on the creative processes and techniques to produce each piece of artwork, and biographies of each of the artists.
Some of the artists had already produced their own decks prior to the Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot being released in 1999 such as Arnell Ando (Transformational Tarot, 1995, 2006) and Alexandra Genetti (Wheel of Change Tarot, 1997), and Sarah Ovenall (Victoria Regina Tarot, 2002) had her deck published a few years later.
I have not seen the limited edition of the deck, which does have a higher price tag, however I imagine it would be worth its weight in gold, especially for Tarot collectors, as the standard edition is a delight in itself. From what I can gather the limited edition, of which only 250 were produced (and may not be still available) is signed by each of the artists and includes a hand-coloured book with a handmade cover.
This is a beautiful deck and is a must have for any Tarot collection. And although I have not personally done readings with this deck, I believe many people will get a lot out of this deck and book set, whether for readings, meditation or the content it contains. And not that we should need any added incentive, but ten percent of the proceeds go to Muttmatchers, which is a non-profit organisation that helps to place unwanted pets into homes.
Stella Luna © 2010 The Tarot Reader. All rights reserved.