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Ars Felix – Houdini Magic Séance: Poker Playing Card Deck, EPCC printed

Ars, thank you for your time and wishing you the best with your project! (Project link at end of interview)

Here are the 10:

1. What got you interested in designing a deck of playing cards?
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
My interest really started a few years ago after reading about Houdini’s life and times.  Sometimes reality is more colorful and interesting than fiction, and Houdini was certainly one of the most colorful characters of his time.  I was surprised that the only Houdini themed playing card deck I could find was just a standard deck with a stock photoshop filtered image.  There was so much room for storytelling or just a great celebration of his life in a card deck that I decided I would start one myself.  This was around the time that Kickstarter started to come into it’s own as a platform for publishing custom decks, so I proceeded with that in mind and started working on art for the HOUDINI Magic Séance deck.

3. Why Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a great way to finance quixotic projects.  It is a platform to reach out to that handful of people around the world who might be interested in the strange or esoteric things that you could never get a legitimate publisher interested in, or that wouldn’t really make sense for them to publish.  If your idea isn’t ready it is also a good way to get feedback.

4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
Nat Iwata, the creator of the Steampunk Cthulhu and Steampunk Pirate decks was kind enough to introduce me to The Expert Playing Card Company.  EPCC create the highest quality playing card decks and I feel very fortunate to have partnered with them and the Conjuring Arts Research Center on the HOUDINI cards.  Having magicians help me produce the deck is going to really make the difference in quality that I think Houdini deserves.

5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
I am trying to do more with less these days.

6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
“No matter where you go, there you are.”

7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
The HOUDINI deck is currently funding and every day has been a learning experience!  I think it is a good idea to read all the information that project creators have graciously posted online and analyze where things went right or wrong for their projects.  Not everyone is good at graphic design software, webpage layout, writing copy, generating online buzz and all the myriad other things that are required for a really successful Kickstarter.  Backers are getting more sophisticated and expect a really professional project page, so don’t be afraid to get help with the areas you may be weaker in.  That being said, I would still rather back a project that is earnest and personally inspired than one that appears to be done by a slick commercial group fishing for venture capital.  That seems to me to be more of the spirit of the thing.

8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?


I’ll be posting more projects as they are readied.  I’m working on another H.P. Lovecraft project, a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style book, a dinosaur project, etc. etc.
You can also find me on twitter @arsfelix

9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Make sure you research shipping for all your reward levels and do not cut corners there.  I also think it is better to over estimate how long it will take you to deliver rewards, as it is a pleasant surprise if you can deliver sooner than backers expect.

10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each.
I’ll share a few pictures from past and current projects I have done on Kickstarter.

This is a card I painted for a Nutcracker themed card game that is now available on Drivethrucards.com
It’s a Hussar in the Mouse King’s army.  I just thought it was kind of funny to have a mouse modeled after Géricault’s “Charging Chasseur” on top of a rocking horse.
Poker Die single

This is an ink drawing I did for a series of H.P. Lovecraft ex libris bookplates that were successfully funded on Kickstarter.  This is a simple memento mori style image of a consummate reader.
And finally, this is a preview image of a card painting from my current project, the HOUDINI Magic Séance playing card deck that will be printed by the Expert Playing Card Company and the Conjuring Arts Research Center.

Project Video / Link:

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