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Doug Frye – The Æsir Deck- Viking Gods on Playing Cards

Doug, 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?
I’ve loved cards and card games for a long time. Before marriage and kids I would play far, far too much poker in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. I also co-wrote _Winning Secrets of Online Poker_ with my brother Curt in 2005. It’s a how-to and basic strategy book for several different games. I have become a bit of a card collector and ran across Kickstarter decks around April 2013. Seeing the decks got me interested in sharing my ideas with others in the community.

2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
I was working with an artist and he presented me a design of an eagle for a card back. When I saw it I thought “Sky Father” and Googled the term. One of Odin’s many nicknames is “Skyfather,” and I saw the immense history and cast of characters available to me for the court cards and the story behind the deck. I’ve liked Vikings and Viking lore over the years and decided it would be fun to use that concept for this deck.

3. Why Kickstarter?
Quite simply, Kickstarter seems to be the best place for crowdfunding a deck of cards at this point. I like that it’s a yes/no on funding and the fees are manageable.

4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
Aside from poker, in which I prefer the “split” games like Omaha 8-or-better and Stud 8-or-better, my time outside of this spent working and trying to be a good dad to my twin toddlers and a good husband to my wife :)

5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
After my family’s material needs, the most important thing is intellectual/creative fulfillment. I don’t know what I would do if my
imagination went away or I couldn’t find an outlet for it.

6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t quit your day job while you’re trying to make your passion your livelihood. If you do something in your spare time anyway, trying to turn it into a living wage will almost never happen overnight. If it does, congratulations :)

7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
First, learn how to calculate the break-even point for your project and then accurately forecast the costs. Work-for-hire or percentage splits make your earn more to become profitable. Kickstarter takes 5% and Amazon and other payment processors take a share. Postage and shipping materials add up quickly. For Bicycle cards, a typical funding level is $10K or $12K. If you work with a design partner you may want to use a site such as eLance to find one. I’ve had great success with my folks.

8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
Unfortunately, I don’t. Maybe in the future…

9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
My sincere thanks for the opportunity to talk about the Æsir deck!

10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each.
The inspiration for each image is linked to on the Æsir Kickstarter project site, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1761852825/the-aesir-deck-viking-gods-on-playing-cards.

Odin- The chief god of the Æsir. This is the art for the blue deck’s tuck box. In this guise, he is a traveler in a dusty blue cloak. He gave his eye for a drink from a well whose water grants wisdom. His warrior persona is the King of Spades.

Loki- He’s the Joker, of course. It’s not on the website yet, but the other Joker will have the face and mask reversed! Thanks to my brother Curt for the idea.

Queen of Hearts_Nanna
Nanna- The Queen of Hearts and Red Deck tuck box cover. She had her heart broken and was overcome when she saw her husband Balder had been killed.

Project Video / Link:

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