Soul Vision Tarot 2005: Interview With Artist Winter Wren
by Bonnie Cehovet
This is the second year that I have had the opportunity to review an independently produced deck called the Soul Vision Tarot. One of the artists involved in the creation of both the 2004 and the 2005 versions of this deck is Tarot author/artist Winter Wren.
I find it compelling that a group of artists, many with no Tarot background whatsoever, consistently come up with work that follows very traditional Tarot lines. The intent of the card shines through, as does the creative effort of the artist.
BC: I want to thank you for taking the time to talk about this wonderful project with us. The theme of the 2005 Tarot deck is artwork inspired by major artists. How did this theme come about? What were the artistic guidelines?
WW: Our group founder, Lori, she comes up with many of the themes based on things the group mentions over the course of time. Artistic guidelines were once again, to be a standard ATC with either work from or inspired by a major artist.
BC: Many of the names on these cards seem familiar from last year. Are many of the artists involved with this group involved in the majority of the groups projects?
WW: Soul Vision is an open group, anyone can join, so there are some new faces as well, but an ATC exchange of this size is no small thing. Each artist has to have 79 copies of their work per card they do. That is not cheap to reproduce. It is a matter of having them tile copied at the local copy shop, who may argue about doing it for various reasons, then taking them home and cutting them out precisely. So, fewer people tend to choose to get into such a swap.
BC: I absolutely love this deck! What was the group concessus when the project was completed - were they happy with the theme, and with how the work turned out?
WW: I think people are very happy with this deck. I know that I certainly am.
BC: How did you personally go about deciding which artists influences to use in your cards?
WW: As some people know, my undergrad degree concentration was art history. Initially, I was only doing two cards in the deck and I decided to focus on my favorite female artist from the Renaissance period, Artemisia Gentileschi. By the time I agreed to pick up the extra card, all my art monographs were packed already for a long anticipated move. So I decided to focus on Tarot artist Karl Rohrig for influence because I love his deck.
BC: We have to talk about the Six of Pentacles, which is one of your cards! The first thing that I note about this card is that it appears layered to me. Not in an obvious way, but in that I focus on the card differently each time that I look at it. Influenced by Karl Rohig, it has a very mystical/magickal quality to me. Tell us how you came to choose this artist as an influence, and a bit about the process of developing this card.
WW: The card is very layered. It was produced in Adobe Photoshop over the course of about 4 days. The hardest part was getting the right images to start with. But I love my digital camera. Between that and my scanner, it was pretty much a matter of shooting, scanning and then layering images. I learned, long ago, never, ever, never modify the original clip. Work on copies until you really got it right. As for the influence, the Rohig deck is a favorite of mine for a long time now.
BC: Another one of your creations was the Empress. Influenced by Artemesia Gentileschi, this card is stunning in its simplicity. How did you come to choose this artist as an influence, and what led to the simple, straightforward nature of this presentation?
WW: Ah, Artemisia, I love her. Look what she did and when she did it. Women did not get to do things like that easily in her era. And then the horror of the rape and the trial. She was a wonderful, strong and talented woman. And I truly figure there is little I could do as an artist to say it better than she did.
BC: Winter, what advice do you have for artists that want to join projects such as this?
WW: Join Soul Vision. Become familiar with the Soul Collage concept. The whole thing is wonderfully supportive and healing.
BC: I want to thank Winter Wren for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about this outstanding project! There are many forms that the Tarot can take, and taking part in the creation of a joint deck like this is worthwhile from a personal creative point of view, and also from the pure joy in seeing that artists with varying backgrounds and perspectives can create a project that comes together in a very significant manner. I hope that this encourages others to follow their personal muse!
Winter Wren is a highly creative artist, professional Tarot reader, teacher, author (Llewellyn's 2005 and 2006 Tarot Reader), and President of the American Board For Tarot Certification.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.