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.

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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!

downloadable-giftcard-everydaywitch-small

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

thetower

“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?

Strength

“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-deck

Tarot to Go!

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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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Tiny Paintings!

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with tiny paintings… they are all around 2×3, and I just doodle and paint whatever I  want on them in whatever style I feel like! It’s very refreshing. Here’s a selection. Many of these have been sold!

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img_20160515_140448 photo-oct-15-11-09-11-am photo-oct-15-11-08-53-am photo-oct-15-3-07-06-pm14362586_1097937223636168_5224049434075309732_o 20161024_113217 img_20160517_143734img_20160512_160732   img_20160609_134216 img_20160602_152501

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Four Months till Tarot Publication… and a Giveaway!

In four more months, the Everyday Witch Tarot will be published by Llewellyn! Deborah and I are super excited. So excited, in fact, that we’re revealing the process behind another card, AND having a giveaway (see bottom of post for details)!

We’d like to share the Judgment card, which is also used on the cover of the kit box. Everyone has seen the image by now, but here’s a bit of the work that went into making it.

Here is the original Rider-Waite version of the card that ours is based on:
maj20

Deborah writes, “I tend to look at the Judgment card in a more positive way than some. Not so much as a judgment ON you, but more how you judge your own life. Do you like what you see? This witch is clearly following her own path with joy, which is what I was trying to represent with this card.”

The image description Deborah gave me was, “A witch in a black hat dances merrily down a path playing a flute [think Pied Piper] with her black gown hiked up to show her striped stockings, a black kitten bouncing in her wake, chasing a butterfly which flits in amongst the musical notes from the flute. A shining light beckons from the direction they are heading in. The mood is of anticipation.”

I began with rough ‘thumbnail’ pencil sketches, and once a composition was approved I moved on to the drawing and digital color rough to figure out how I wanted to paint it.

1. Thumbnail sketch. 2. Final drawing. 3. Digital color rough.

1. Thumbnail sketch.
2. Final drawing.
3. Digital color rough.

Before doing the drawing, I took photo reference of myself pretending to be the witch in the image. I wanted all the figures in the deck to have accurate anatomy and feel more lifelike and dynamic, so I took a lot of photo reference!

Ooh la la! A wooden spoon served as my flute, and I had been using the pot and bowl on the floor as rocks I was standing on for a different image.

Ooh la la! A wooden spoon served as my flute, and I had been using the pot and bowl on the floor as rocks I was standing on for a different image.

I also looked at photos of canyons, shrubs, and playful cats.

Here is the image after inking on watercolor paper. Unfortunately I don’t have any process photos mid-paint, but this is what I painted on top of!

judgment-inks

Here is the final painting, and below is the text from the guide book that comes with the deck.

judgment

“Here we go again.”
Where has your path led you and where will it lead you now?

A witch in a black hat dances merrily down a path playing a flute with her black gown hiked up to show her striped stockings, a black kitten bouncing in her wake, chasing a butterfly which flits in amongst the musical notes from the flute. A shining light beckons from the direction they are heading in. The mood is of anticipation.

The Judgment card is often perceived as something ominous due to the traditional picture that features naked dead people being summoned by the Angel Gabriel’s trumpet. What isn’t clear is that this call is less about “being judged” by someone else and more about taking a look at your own life and finding it unsatisfactory. Our witch on the card is following some music that only she can hear, playing along as she moves happily down the path towards rebirth, renewal, and letting go. She is light of heart and feet because she has put down old grudges and hurts that were dragging her down. There is joy in finally heeding the call to the life you are meant to be living.

Things to consider: Are you following your own music, or dancing to someone else’s tune? The Judgment card reminds us to listen to our own inner wisdom. It can also be a suggestion that we are judging ourselves too harshly, or taking others judgment of us to heart. If this card shows up in your reading, it may be an indication that it is time to let go of the old and embrace the new. Rebirth and renewal await, if you are willing to go down the path that will take you to them.

And the Judgment card on the cover of the kit… The team at Llewellyn did a fabulous job with the design. We couldn’t be happier!

Everyday Witch Tarot Kit-s

And finally… Deborah and I are having a double giveaway!!!! Two winners will be picked! Go to Deborah’s blog at http://deborahblake.blogspot.com/2016/09/tarot-deck-update-and-2-prize-giveaway.html to enter the giveaways! We are offering a copy of Llewellyn’s Witch’s Coloring Book (which has some images from the deck that you can color in yourself!) and a signed print of the Judgment card! Here is the print – it is on archival matte 11×14 paper, signed by me!

print-giveaway

The Everyday Witch tarot deck can be pre-ordered now direct from Llewellyn at https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738746340 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Witch-Tarot-Deborah-Blake/dp/0738746347.

Meanwhile, if you are eager to check out a new tarot deck now, the Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot was released today from Llewellyn, written by Melanie Marquis and illustrated by Scott Murphy! You can get it at https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738741666 or on Amazon!

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6 Months till Publication!

Deborah and I are super excited that today marks 6 months until the publication of the Everyday Witch Tarot, published by Llewellyn Worldwide. Time has flown! We thought it would be a great time to share another image. With 78 cards in the deck, we really haven’t shared that much of them!

Below is the card art and book text for The Tower.

The Tower

thetower

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

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?

The deck can be pre-ordered at https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738746340.

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Map for AAA Carolinas

Just wanted to share a fun job I recently completed for AAA Carolinas Traveler magazine. It is a table-of-contents map – I had to illustrate icons to represent articles in the magazine, including place names, and the graphic designer added page numbers on top.

aaacarolinas-toc
And here it is in the layout with the page numbers included on top. I love the circles!

map-in-layout

I worked with AAA (the Northern California, Nevada, and Utah regional mag) before and you can see that map of Germany’s Mosel Valley at http://www.albaillustration.com/blog/?p=343. When I was in Germany last summer I was able to visit the Mosel Valley and see some of the places on the map I had created. Hopefully someday I can check off some more of the places on this map!

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