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Brain Vessel Creative – Seven Seas Playing Cards

Guys, thank you for your time and congratulations on your successful project! (Project link at end of interview)

Here are the 10:

Just to introduce myself, I am Jason Kreiger the illustrator and designer for Seven Seas Playing Cards. Along with my business partner Doug Koozer we make up Brain Vessel LLC.

1. What got you interested in designing a deck of playing cards?

The idea first caught my attention when I saw Jackson Robinson’s Federal 52 deck on Kickstarter. Once you start seeing great illustration on cards like his, you can see how great of an outlet playing cards are to get your art in peoples hands. With playing cards we can get a lot of unique pieces of art in front of people for a reasonable price and create something really cool.

2. What was your inspiration for this deck?

We wanted to create a deck that fit well with our business, Brain Vessel. I wanted to base the deck on 17th century sailors and a life at sea. Half of the deck (hearts and diamonds) are dedicated to the sailors, their ships, and famous explorers and pirates of the era. The other half (spades and clubs) focuses on the superstitions, myths and obstacles that the sailors faces such as sea creatures and ghost ships. There is so much folklore and history to draw upon so we created the captains log written by Matthew Fishgold to elaborate a little more on the stories behind each card.

3. Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is the only way we would be able to do this ourselves. It’s a great way for artist to get their product our directly to an audience. With it we’ve been able to build our business. With the success of our Kickstarter we were able to expand our office and create a shipping and fulfillment center as well as a new website for all our products at www.bvcargo.com. The other great thing about kickstarter is that we got to listen to the community and get direct feedback so we could create a better product in the end.

4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?

Well I’ll tell you a little more about our business here at Brain Vessel. We are a branding and creative services company. Most of the time we are busy doing work for clients which can range anywhere from illustrations, product design, branding, or animation. We wanted to expand our business with our own Brain Vessel projects which is what sparked the playing card venture. You can learn more about Brain Vessel as a company at www.bvbranding.com.

5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?

I couldn’t do without my Wacom cintiq which is what I draw everything on.

6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?

Hold on tight!

7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?

Hold on tight!

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

You can visit www.brainvessel.com which can take you to both our cargo and branding site. You can find the most recent news on our projects however, on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BrainVessel

9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks for the interest in our playing cards. We plan on having more projects in the future. Currently our writer Matthew Fishgold is doing research on a Seven Seas Novel which was one of the stretch goals we were unable to get to. Expect to see that in the near future as well as a potential nautical themed stand alone card and dice game. I can’t say much else about that one at the moment.

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 thought I’d share some of my favorite cards and tell you a little extra about each.


The first is our Jack of Diamonds- Blackbeard. This card is neat because the winner of our Blackbeard contest, William Karr got his likeness illustrated as Blackbeard. This was a contest we held on our facebook page where entrants would send their picture do us and we’d have the community vote to see who should be our Blackbeard.


This brings me to by other favorite card, the Ace of Clubs- Mutiny. With this card I took the four runner ups in the black beard card and portrayed them as a crew of mutinous pirates.


The four of spades is great because this is a great example of what is different in the Captain’s Deck. We wanted to simplify and streamline the Captain’s Deck for a more playability. We simplified all the 2-10 cards which made for a more elegant appearance. Plus you get to see a little more detail of each illustration such as in this one which may  be covered up in the Seven Seas version.


Last is the Queen of Hearts which is one of my favorites because I used the likeness of my girlfriend for the portrayal of a female pirate that not many have heard of but was an empowering and captivating individual.

Project Video / Link:

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