Congrats to Brian and his family on their new addition to the family! Enjoy all the joys of parenthood! It’s great times, I know cuz I have 2 kids. Best wishes on the project as well. It’s doing spectacularly. Thanks for your time. (Project video & link at end of interview)
Here are the 10:
Tell us a little about yourself:
I just adopted a baby boy yesterday!!! I grew up in Texas. I love to
travel, I have been doing magic for over 25 years. have owned my own
company for the last 10 years (Creative magic was a company that we
developed magic trick for magicians – and now teach by magic where we show
educators how to use magic in the classroom.)
I went to BYU and got a degree in marketing with a design minor.
I like Cheesecake, Italian Pizza, and anything Mexican.
1. What got you interested in designing a deck of playing cards?
I have always liked collecting the various deck styles but I have always wanted to do something crazy different. Not just the normal pick a theme and apply it but something crazy outside the box. I have been working on this deck for about 6 years but seriously working on it with artists for over a year. When I realized that it was going to take a few more months to finish the art – I decided to do the Mazing deck just to get my feet wet with Kickstarter and I have big plans for projects after this deck as well (some decks some other things all together)
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
I think it started as a joke – I was just going to make one card that was a club of 6′s just to be funny and then I realized it could be more than just an interesting flip on a normal deck. The numbers could be from different languages and have other symbolism and icons in them as well. I fell in love with the concept but struggled to find someone that could execute what I saw in my head.
3. Why Kickstarter?
I like Kickstarter more than other crowd funding sites because of the focus on art. I was a backer of other projects and this is one of those things that I would never fork out the money and produce with the hopes to sell. This only happens if people believe in it first.
4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
My wife and I travel the world – and we have been picking up decks of cards and number charts form places like Egypt and China and form the Myan ruins and so on. As I would learn things about these places and history I would incorporate them into the cards. The way the cards were made was a collaborative effort with the artist – I gave her a list of all the things I wanted in each number (languages and hidden elements) and then she would sketch out concepts – and tell me what was hidden where and then I would use photoshop to move things around and tweak things and then she would do a more final sketch that I would then again tweak one last time and then she would pencil in that final version on fancy paper and once it was approved she would ink it in. We did that process 54 times. So you can see why it took so long.
5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
The H.O.P.E. sticker – there is a secret associated with the hope sticker and it is creating quite some controversy and people threatening to “turn me in to Kickstarter” and I find it quite silly to be honest. I never in my wildest dreams imagined people would be upset at me during the project for having this secret. I thought if anything I would have backers upset afterwards because they didn’t know the secret - because they would have got the sticker had they known
Anyhow as people threaten me – I hold my ground. If I have to get rid of the H.O.P.E sticker I don’t want to do the deck at all. This project is not about raising money (sure that is nice – especially with the new baby), but it’s really about doing something fun and different. Something that will affect the world in a positive way and give people something to always remind them to look for more in life and you will find it.
6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
For Kickstarter the best advice is to treat every backer like they are your only one. I try to be quick to answer questions and as helpful as I can be and show my appreciation always. In Life the best advice I have ever gotten is to not worry about the small things (and the guy that said this listed off, like jobs, paying a mortgage, and buying food). Funny huh? But he was right – if you have health and people that love you and a dream – the rest will work itself out. I have never had a “job”. I don’t work for a living – I live and it seems to work.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
Push the boundaries. I like a lot of the decks I see (I back a good amount of them) but so many stop short of really doing something remarkable. I would suggest they read the book Good to Great and then never settle for a good deck – only release great ones.
8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
Nope – when I sold my company I decided I didn’t want to sell stuff anymore – I like Kickstarter because it has a beginning and an end (maybe I should have put this in the why kickstarter question) but once this project is over I wont be selling these decks. It goes back to the “work for a living” stuff – I want to create and build and have fun – I don’t want to stand in line at the post office. And then I am not an artist like most deck creators that would have a portfolio or something. That is one thing that makes this project unique – I was more of a director on this project and the artist is Nike (her site is posted on the project page) but the
place to see more cards than anywhere else is a facebook page I created for a future project:
9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
We could include the secret of the $37 hope sticker here and if we do I would want to say – PLEASE keep it a secret. So far everyone has (fingers crossed) – (Ed. note: We will NOT be revealing the hope sticker secret! Sorry!)
10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each.
EXCLUSIVE reveal to this interview… The Heart of Queens!!!
The Spade of 9′s
The Diamond of 5′s
The Club of Aces
Project Video / Link: