Updated Cover for The Thorn Queen

For the past few years I have been working with an author, Elise Holland, on her middle grade novel The Thorn Queen, at www.whyismud.com. I’ve posted about it before – I completed some illustrations for the design of the website, and have been illustrating the chapters as they’ve been published online. I recently revamped the book cover, which is what I’d like to share with you here!
Click the image to see a larger view!

I wanted to keep the style consistent with the other images I made over the years for the website, so the image is a pencil drawing colored digitally. Elise and I wanted an image that would invite the reader into the world of Glendoch, but with a hint of menace!
Definitely check out the book – it’s a lot of fun!

Hidden to most, this glacial world once crackled with beauty. Now it waits for war—divided and bound by strict rules. So when twelve-year-old Meylyne trespasses in the Above-World and falls from a tree on Glendoch’s sickly prince, she must flee or face imprisonment in the Shadow Cellars. She is convinced she will perish, yet with the help of her friends she inches her way back home … until the day she collides with the Thorn Queen.

And home just got further away than ever.


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Everyday Witch Tarot – Deborah and I Finally Meet!

After over two years of working together, Deborah Blake and I were finally able to meet in person! Deborah is the author of our tarot deck, the Everyday Witch Tarot, published by Llewellyn (and she’s the author of many other fabulous books!).

Both of us put together special editions of the deck that came with various goodies, including the box for the deck being signed by both of us. Scott and I drove to her place in Upstate New York on our way to visit friends in the Catskills. It was marvelous to meet up and meet her cats, and she got to meet our dog Rayo! We had fun chatting and signing.

Here are some pictures!


Holding our deck! I gave her the Ace of Cups painting which you can see framed above our heads. :D


We discovered our crazy resemblance to each other!!! Look at that!


Another view!


All forty of my stock that we signed.


Deborah had twenty-five for us to sign.


The three of us together!

Check out my Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/albaillustration if you want to order the deck or prints of the cards!

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Everyday Witch Tarot is HERE!!!

Deborah Blake and I were thrilled to find out that the Everyday Witch Tarot was coming out EARLY. How often does that happen?? It’s been out a week already and it wasn’t supposed to be released till January 8th! So the deck is now available via Amazon, Llewellyn, and in other stores too! We’ve already got some great reviews on Amazon.

Here’s a photo of it in my hands for the first time… so pretty! I love the packaging.

The Limited Edition I created sold out quickly, and now I am hard at work doing the sketch requests. Here are a few finished ones:

img_20161215_151213 img_20170103_114032_682 img_20161231_131048_740 img_20161219_154446
As you can see, there have been a number of cat requests! I’m having a lot of fun with them. Always love a chance to work in black and white.

2017 has started off well so far! I’m also in the midst of working on new illustrations for Llewellyn’s 2018 Magical Almanac. And I just found out Scott and I were again selected to participate in the Gen Con Art Show in August. It’s the 50th anniversary so it should be a good time for sure!

Did I ever mention my Redbubble store? You can now purchase some pretty cool merchandise (shirts, journals, phone cases, pillows…) with my artwork on it, including images from the Everyday Witch Tarot. Check it out at www.redbubble.com/people/elisabethalba!

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One Month till Everyday Witch Tarot!!!

Only one month left!!! ONE MONTH!!! It’ll be here before we know it. 2017 is looking up!
Deborah and I can hardly contain ourselves, we’re so excited to see the Everyday Witch Tarot in person. So we’re going to throw another GIVEAWAY!

But first! We’d like to announce that we are now taking pre-orders for the Everyday Witch Tarot Special Edition. “Special Edition?” you ask. “What’s that?”

Here are the details!

There are only 16 spots left, so order yours today for the special price! After publication on January 8th, the price will go up to $90. See that dragon sketch above? One of our early collectors requested “dragon” for her keyword. I had a lot of fun with that one!

One thing I love about this Special Edition is that I get to meet Deborah Blake in person! We’re going to meet up in January after the deck comes out to sign everything together. I’m really excited! There will definitely be a blog post with photos of the meeting, signing, and merrymaking.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!

This time Deborah is giving away either Llewellyn’s Witch’s Coloring book OR the Hip Witch Tarot – your choice of one! I am giving away a signed print of the Ace of Cups. Go to Deborah’s blog post at http://deborahblake.blogspot.com/2016/12/one-month-until-tarot.html to enter the giveaway. Good luck! (:

You can pick either the coloring book or the tarot deck!

You can pick either the coloring book or the tarot deck!

The signed print!

The signed print of the Ace of Cups from the Everyday Witch Tarot!

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Everyday Witch Tarot – a gift for the holidays?

The Everyday Witch Tarot deck I created with Deborah Blake comes out on January 8! It’s unfortunate that it won’t be out in time for holiday shopping, but Deborah came up with a great solution! If you’d like to pre-order the deck for anyone for the holidays (or have already done so), we’ve created a greeting card that you can give them that notifies them about the gift! We have an actual card version that we will send to you in time for the holidays (USA only) and a digital version that can be printed at home.


The front image is the Strength card from the deck.

The digital version is a postcard with all the text on the front. The file is a large high-resolution jpg for at-home quality printing!


Please email me (mail@albaillustration.com) or Deborah (magicmysticminerva@yahoo.com) if you would like either version. You can also message us via facebook. If you would like the printed card, send your address as well.

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Less Than Two Months till Tarot Publication!

Deborah and I are totally pumped about the upcoming publication of the Everyday Witch Tarot! What a long process… to finally see the finished product and hold it in our hands will be amazing. We’d like to share two more images from the deck, as well as throw another GIVEAWAY!!! See bottom of post for info about the giveaway.

It’s been a tough few months. We thought the Tower and Strength cards from the Major Arcana would be appropriate cards to share during this time.

The Tower


“Chaos and destruction—things go boom.”
Sometimes things have to crash and burn to make room for something new and better.

Deborah writes, “The Tower is one of the cards people find most frightening, since it always denotes some kind of chaos and major change (usually one that doesn’t show up in a positive manner). My take on it is a little different, as you can see from what I wrote in the Everyday Witch Tarot book. I’m not saying that things don’t look BAD when this card shows up…just that we need to look past the obvious “towering” that’s going on, to see if there is a glimmer of light visible through the smoke.”

From the book: A fairy tale tower lies in smoking ruins. To one side is a witch with a mischievous look on her face, a wand hidden behind her back with tiny sparks shooting out of it. A black cat peers cautiously out from underneath some nearby bushes. The witch is wearing a black pointed hat and a black cape, and both the cape and her long dark hair are blowing in the wind created by the explosion. The feeling of the card is wild and chaotic, but not depressing. In fact, you suspect that perhaps this witch has purposely blown things up. You just can’t for the life of you figure out why.

Life rarely runs smoothly, but there are times when it seems as though our entire existence is crashing down around our ears. Jobs are lost, relationships implode, we lose friendships that we treasured. Some of this is just Life. After all, as everyone knows, Stuff Happens. But much of the time, that chaos and destruction has to occur to make room for something new and better. Take heart. Try to see the positive in even the worst situation. You can survive the blast.

Things to consider – Depending on where this card falls in the reading, the explosion may already have happened, you may be in the midst of the chaos, or disaster may still be on its way. If the tower has already gone boom, what can you learn from the experience? What new and positive things can rise out of the ashes of what you have lost? If you are in the midst of the mess, how can you cope better or who can you ask for help? If the crisis is on the horizon, how can you prepare better, now that you know it is coming? Look deep and you may find that you already knew there was something you had to let go of, no matter how difficult the process might be. What can you build out of whatever remains?


“I am power, hear me roar.” You are stronger than you think.

“I am power, hear me roar.”
You are stronger than you think.

Deborah writes, “From Deborah: Strength is one of my favorite cards in any deck, and especially in ours (I just love the way Elisabeth drew it). It is a good card to get along with The Tower, since it shows that you have the strength you need to deal with whatever is going on.”

A witch in a black hat points the wand in her right hand off to the side, pushing away a powerful storm. Light is streaming out of the wand, and a funnel cloud can be seen moving away, taking darkness with it. The rest of the card is light, and the witch is so confident in her magic that she isn’t even looking in that direction. Instead, her attention is directed at the giant lion to her left, which she is feeding a cookie to with her other hand. At its feet sits a black cat, looking proud, as if it is saying, “It followed me home, can I keep it?”

There is a lot of power in the Strength card, but it isn’t because the witch has more magic than anyone else, or can turn you into a toad without a second thought. (Although both of those may be true.) Her power comes from confidence in her own abilities, and knowing that the universe makes all things come right in the end. Even her cat has that kind of confidence, and views the huge lion as just a slightly larger member of the family. The Strength card reminds us that we have what it takes to triumph, no matter what comes our way.

Things to consider: If this card appears in a reading, it is almost certainly there to remind you of your own inner strength. It is saying, “Yes, yes you can.” You may feel overwhelmed or uncertain, but whatever you are facing, you have the strength to endure, and in the end, triumph.

Take heart, everyone!

And now, finally, THE GIVEAWAY!!!

Over on Deborah’s blog, at the bottom of her post, you will see the giveaway. Here’s the link: http://deborahblake.blogspot.com/2016/11/less-than-two-months-until-tarot-release.html. We’ve got two items for two lucky winners! Deborah is giving away the mini Tarot to Go! set, and I am offering a lined hardback notebook featuring the art for the 9 of Pentacles on the front! Good luck!


Tarot to Go!


128 page journal for all your tarot note-taking!

If you don’t win the journal, fear not! You can get your own at www.redbubble.com/people/elisabethalba/collections/593678-everyday-witch-tarot.

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