Shuffled Ink spoke with Calion Winter, creator and artist behind the Barkana Custom Tarot Cards Dog-Themed Tarot! Each of these fully custom tarot card deck’s 78 cards features a real dog with its own unique story and personality to match the meaning. Learn how this deck filled with heart, personality, and even more fur came to be!
Collaboration is Beautiful
Calion’s experience in the art world inspired him to explore the world of tarot. Capturing the character and personality of 78 unique dogs for this deck seems like a daunting task. However, he didn’t go at it alone, the artist describes the creative process as “beautifully collaborative”
Calion said: “I started reaching out to folks who followed my art asking if they wanted to commission their own dog to be on a card. Word spread and the cards filled up quickly for the first half (Majors) of the Barkana Custom Tarot Card deck!”
From there, Calion began diving into the creation process. “I then got to work illustrating each card. It was a sketch first, then a painting, then a few digital edits. Once I had all the paintings complete, I designed card borders and got them ready for printing. Each person who had their dog in the deck had the chance to offer feedback in each illustration stage, too.”
Let It All Out
Tarot cards have long been used for storytelling and self-expression. With this special custom tarot deck, each card tells the story of a dog. Calion’s main focus during the creation process was to capture the dog’s personality and likeness. When asked if any stories, in particular, stood out, Calion shared that the Death card holds a special place in his heart. “It features a retiring service dog, who helped his human for over 9 years. But, retirement was a tough change for them both–as he got lonely at home, and she was struggling without her necessary companion. Yet, through it all, they found more peace and calm, even though it was a bumpy adjustment to that change. I think that really encapsulates what the Death card means.”
For tarot newbies, pulling the death card might evoke fear, but worry not. This card can be one of the most positive. In most cases, the death card symbolizes a period of transformation in one’s life and letting go of the past.
You’ll Get Through This with Barkana Custom Tarot Cards
This Barkana custom tarot card deck is deeply personal for many reasons. A driving factor for Calion to create a tarot deck was to give back to a special cause. Calion has overcome his fair share of hardships accompanied by his service dog. The artist lives by the personal mantra “you’ll get through this” Calion shared: “I’ve learned through it that all hardships do pass. I just remind myself new challenges will too, and that I have the resilience to heal from whatever lingering effects the past has left too.”
Put Good In, Get Good Out with Custom Made Tarot Cards
Calion hopes this deck does a lot of good. A colorful card deck filled with cute pups is enough to spark joy in its own right. Every card was created from a detailed watercolor illustration over the course of nearly five years. Additionally, the tarot deck supports an amazing cause. The project also raises awareness and fundraises for service dogs!
Calion trusted Shuffled Ink to be a part of this custom tarot card project after hearing great things about our quality and affordability. “Without Shuffled Ink, I definitely wouldn’t have felt so confident in my art. I’ve had bad printing experiences in the past, so working with Shuffled Ink was extremely refreshing and positive.”
The Barkana: Dog-Themed Tarot can be purchased here. If you wish to learn more about Calion and the dogs featured in the tarot deck, you can follow along! The Major Barkana is on Instagram and Facebook.
About Shuffled Ink
Shuffled Ink is a multigenerational family business that specializes in printing custom playing cards, tarot & flash cards, custom card games, packaging and more for businesses and individuals worldwide.
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