Randy, 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?
A few years ago I was helping my cousin on his Board Game project. We rented a booth at GenCon, here in Indianapolis, and had the prototype of the game to pitch to the production companies. We learned right away that even the large companies were using this new crowd-funding site called Kickstarter. The first project I saw when we checked out the site was the Revision 1 Deck. I loved the idea of a custom Deck of Playing Cards! After I was finished with my cousin’s project, I jumped right into planning and designing the original ORNATES.
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
While brainstorming ideas for a Deck design I happened to be watching an episode of The Tudors. I kept seeing all of these elaborately detailed set pieces, jewelry and costumes of baroque design. That got me excited at the idea of designing a Deck that was just over-the-top in it’s level of detail and intricacy.
3. Why Kickstarter?
Kickstarter was my plan for the original ORNATES. After I started posting the designs to the Playing Card forums, Kevin Reylek sent me an e-mail to tell me about a new company they were planning to launch soon – the House of Playing Cards (HOPC). After the Sapphire and Scarlet Decks sold out in 24 hours, we made a plan for the rest of the series – finish the “Black” Set with the Amethyst and Emerald, and then release a White Edition of the 2 pairs. We thought about the idea of producing all 4 White Decks at the same time but it involved a lot of risk. So, we decided to release the White ORNATES on Kickstarter and have a lot of cool Stretch Goals, cool Coins and a Limited Bicycle Set (since my original design for the ORNATES was Bicycle branded).
4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
My other hobbies are definitely things that get me away from the computer. My brother and I have played on the same fall Softball team for the last six years, I play Poker every month with a large group of friends and I enjoy reading Fantasy and Zombie novels. There’s nothing like the feeling of finishing a Game of Thrones book and switching to a book like World War Z!
5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
That’s an easy one. In my personal life – my wife and kids. In my professional life – Photoshop!
6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
I guess it would have to be “find a job doing what you love”. I’ve had plenty of manual labor jobs during college. They really helped me appreciate the joy of finding a career that doesn’t feel like a “job” but more like a chance to create something new on a daily basis.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
Just go over every detail of your design, down to the smallest item. A good way to do that is to post your designs to the Playing Card forums – United Cardists and The Discourse. They are great at helping you spot any inconsistencies or anything that’s “off” in the design.
8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
The best place to keep up with my work in Playing Cards is my Midnight Cards Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/midnightcards). During the day, I’m the Senior Designer for Motive Marketing (http://www.motivemktg.com). I created the designs for most of the projects featured on our site and all of the 3d Renders.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for letting me take part in your website!
10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each. (click on the photo to enlarge)
A – I’ve never been a fan of Seal Stickers. I hate how they leave a mess and only look good with the Deck unopened. Although, I understand the importance of Seal Stickers for the collectors. That’s why the Limited Bicycle Set has the Seal Stickers and the Unbranded Decks do not. The Unbranded Decks are still limited, just not AS limited as the Bicycle Set.
B – Photoshop users can probably tell I’m a big fan of Layer Styles and blending Layer Modes. The Ornates have so many layers upon layers of complexity that when I got back into the files I had to take a night to explore the files just to remember what exactly I did. I also have a reference list of CMYK color builds for each Deck, just so I can keep everything consistent.
C – A little sneak peek of the Obsidian!
D – The idea of the White ORNATES Brick Box design is what drove the entire look for the Decks. As soon as we decided to try and produce all four Decks at once, I had a design in my head that just wouldn’t go away. The connective designs on the Tuck Boxes all originated from the idea of the Brick Box Header.
Project Video / Link: