USGames: What surprised you the most about creating your deck?
Lisa: This project was 50% preplanning, 50% spontaneous improvisation. I pulled the plug on premeditation even while researching the ghosts. I chose those ghosts and spirits that called out: "We need to be in your deck!". I had little trouble matching ghosts/spirits with card meanings as if their inclusion in the deck was preordained. I was also surprised by
all the secondary imagery that poured onto the watercolor paper. Given how "pretty" some of my illustrations have been in the past, this work broke through walls of forbiddances. Nothing was censored–a crack in the unconscious dam grew into a torrent of unstoppable energy. It was both a brilliant loosening of conscious ties and a scary severance of predictable, safe pictures. I think a sort of trance energy took over, allowing me to slip in and out of different layers of consciousness through visual means. I had broken through to the other side, rendering me exhausted between writing and painting sessions!
One example of this phenomenon was the visual manifestation of Wanjina representing Four of Pentacles. I had experienced these figures in my dream state for years, humming with a sort of otherworldly dominance. I didn't know they were Wanjina until I stumbled on their images while looking at Aboriginal art. I finally took figments of dream imagery and, like dream journaling, I channeled my encounters onto paper. Through these visual articulations, the ominous visitors vacated my dreams and fled to the fields of my occasional woolgathering. That is the first time I can remember art clearing out sandman's realm. This deck, for me, was not without certain paranormal experiences and personal revelations.
USGames: Name three people who are personal inspirations in the tarot or oracle world?
Lisa: I'm inspired by kindness, wisdom and integrity in the tarot world. The following are a few people I think embrace all of those values that I admire:
Kris Waldherr is the only person I know who can do it all (author/writer/designer/blogger/novelist) and do it all well. She is a multitalented wonder who has created some of the world's most beautiful decks and books. Her contributions have changed the tarot/oracle landscape forever. I'm honored to be friends with such a versatile lady and after 15 years of consistent exchanges, I feel blessed to know someone who has witnessed my creative journey as intimately as she has. She lives her passions and never ceases to inspire me.
I'm also inspired by the humbleness that is the talented Patrick Valenza of Deviant Moon Tarot fame. I think he's one of the nicest people in tarot, hands down. He's always quick to elevate others and seems honestly appreciative of his fans and his own wonderful success. I find Patrick refreshing because, let's be honest— there are always egomaniacs and vampires that tend to run amok in publishing! I myself gravitate to humble genius.
I also admire Joanna Powell Colbert and the passionate dedication she pours into everything she does. She is a wise, talented lady whose sagacious words: "You get what you give" have really stuck with me.
I've also been a huge fan of editors and art designers/directors. I think in another life, I would have loved to be an editor or art director. I love word games with my brilliant editor pals! They're just so geeky-cool to me and they've always made MY job more interesting and fun. I honestly don't feel the people behind the scenes get enough credit for being part of the success of tarot.
USGames: Who are your favorite artists?
Lisa: This list is ever-changing, but at present my favorite dead artists are: Moritz Von Schwind, Sulamith Wülfing, John Bauer, and Edvard Munch. Some of my favorite living artists include Lauren Mills, Lisbeth Zwerger, Bonnie Marris, P.J. Lynch, Susan Jeffers, and Yoshitaka Amano. I also admire the animator Genndy Tartakovsky, who created the wondrous Samurai Jack cartoon.
USGames: What do you do for your leisure time?
Lisa: For the past year I've been studying Jazz piano with Brenda Parker. I learned classical piano as a child, but Jazz appeals to my middle-age complexities. That one hour a day serves as mental therapy as it resets all the chess pieces in my brain. Music has become a contagious commodity in my household with both my daughter and husband playing instruments as well. In fact, my husband Kort recently acquired an electric violin so he can join in the family jam.
Music is part of the creative life I was referring to in a previous question and it feeds the artistic vibes that reverberates through our house. I also have a (long-awaited) new kitchen and am indulging my gourmet cooking desires through trial and error. This also feeds the creative soul, so to speak. I'm basically a homebody who enjoys the simple things like hunkering down with a good book, reading fairy tales with my kids. All time is sacred time.
With that said, my guilty pleasures would include watching cartoons and nibbling on dark chocolate! For those interested, you can visit my blog to see how I juxtapose my "Studio Hermit" life with the day to day. To me, the pieces of our lives are symbiotic, one activity feeding another. It's all how one looks at things–anything can have a creative component; and in my opinion nurturing a creative life is living a healthy, balanced one.
USGames: What is one piece of advice you would offer someone who wanted to create his or her own deck?
Lisa: Be true to your unique vision and inner voice. Don't force anything. Have realistic expectations. If you're not driven and passionate about creating a deck, then you may want to find something else to do. Deck creation is a total commitment.
With that said, I'm so happy to see so many wonderful authors and artists out there working on decks and in some cases, seeing them through to publication. I find the growing interest in the tarot/oracle genre exciting!
USGames: What does the future look like from your side of the computer?
Lisa: I will probably draw and paint until I drop, then watch out for Lisa's ghost with paintbrush in hand! 🙂
Remember all comments on all three parts of Lisa Hunt's interview will be entered in a drawing. We will draw names at the end of the month.