Renee, 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 back, creating art decks was a huge, huge fad in one of the art communities I belong to. I ended up designing the card back for the Bestiary (http://bestiarycards.com/), illustrating 2 cards for Wild Cats of the World (http://wildcatcards.livejournal.com/), and illustrating 3 cards for the Pathfinders Animal Totem deck (http://pathfindersdeck.com/). While the community burned out on such decks, I was always interested in producing one myself, but I just never got around to it until a few months ago, when I was commissioned for nearly a dozen parrot portraits. I decided (as my kickstarter for the deck says) that those portraits would be an excellent launching point for an entire deck, so I got to work.
It was only after launching my kickstarter did I realize the massive community around collecting playing cards. It’s truly astounding, and has gotten me far more interested in designing another deck, one that’s more functional than the parrot deck.
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
My inspiration for the deck is my love of parrots. I’ve always been fascinated by birds, and parrots are on the very top of my list of favorite animals. As I type this, and most likely as you read this, I have a parrot on my shoulder.
3. Why Kickstarter?
I don’t have the capital to produce the deck on my own, so I needed to go with crowdfunding, and the two largest venues for that are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Kickstarter was the obvious choice of those two, as I was creating a project with tangible rewards and a definite end goal. To add to that, I saw the success of other decks on the site – that showed me that there was already a large group of people using Kickstarter as a platform to purchase the very thing I was hoping to make. It was a no-brainer to me.
4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
Unfortunately my hobbies are also my occupation, so I’m quite boring in that regard! I spend the majority of my days drawing, painting, or writing (mostly the former two these days.) As for an interesting story about my deck, well, I do remember one day I had spent a good while sketching about a dozen parrots for the thing, and I laid them out on my drafting table to see them side by side. I was called away for a few moments, and when I came back, I found my Greencheek Conure standing on top of the drawings, proudly showing off her own addition to one of them – a poop. Of course, I tossed and redrew that particular sketch, and no, I didn’t strangle her.
5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
Despite the previous story, I couldn’t do without my conure. She’s with me nearly every waking moment of both my and her day.
6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
I actually carried over a bit of advice from a fellow writer and implemented it into my art, and that is: don’t worry about the first draft. As long as you’re writing (or drawing), you’re getting somewhere! I can’t stress the importance of working on projects enough. If a person can achieve that forward momentum, they are unstoppable.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
See above, and also, don’t be afraid of critique. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today if I plugged my ears and ignored what everyone had to say about my stuff. Compliments are all well and good, but suggestions on how to make things better are the best thing in the world.
8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
My most frequently updated website is my tumblr: parrotea.tumblr.com I’m also gearing up my official artist facebook: facebook.com/parrotea and twitter: twitter.com/maggock
9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks for having me! It’s always fun to be able to say a few things on stuff I’m passionate about.
10. And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share three to five images and tell us a little about each.
Here’s a sneak peek at the newest deck I’m currently working on:
And for fun, one of my fine art pieces:
Project Video / Link:
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