RJ, 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 always enjoyed designing and creating new things. I came to the concept of designing playing cards last summer when my family took two weekend trips. The first trip was to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts where we learned that during the American Revolutionary War we started producing cards with the images of George and Martha Washington opposed to the traditional Kings and Queens. A second trip to Gettysburg Pennsylvania made me wonder why there wasn’t any good quality Civil War cards available within sovereign shops. After this I started researching cards and came across Kickstarter where I saw tons of amazing decks (Federal 52, The Black Book, Badass, etc.) This was the start of not only my designing of cards but collecting of them too.
2. What was your inspiration for this deck?
Civil Unrest was inspired by those weekend trips we took last summer and Global Unrest was inspired by Civil Unrest. In fact, in all the Unrest Series is planned to be three sets of cards (Colonial Unrest featuring the American Revolutionary War, Civil Unrest featuring the Civil War and Global Unrest featuring WWI). In addition, I was inspired to do Global Unrest because I had two grandfathers and a great aunt that served during WWII. I wanted to do something to honor them… as well as honoring all who served during WWII because time is coming close to where those veterans will no longer be with us.
3. Why Kickstarter?
Because it’s an amazing platform that allows products to be produced without risking everything. In the past, I would never think about investing so much money into something I didn’t know whether or not it would be successful. Plus you can gauge what people like and don’t like about your cards. If you can’t get funded then you know you need to go back to the drawing board.
4. Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your deck?
As an interesting side note… I live in a rural area where FedEx doesn’t make freight shipments. So, when my cards arrived at the nearest freight location I had to borrow an old 1982 Chevy truck (with bald tires) and drive more than an hour out of my way to get the cards (on snowy roads). It was a scary trip on bad roads but I was too excited to care too much.
5. What is one thing you wouldn’t do without?
In the case of playing cards, I wouldn’t be able to do it without a computer with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. For any job, you need the right tools.
6. What’s the best tidbit of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never give up and never give in. You only fail… if you fail to try. Just because you don’t hit your goal the first time around, doesn’t mean you should give up. For example, it took Civil Unrest two campaigns before it was a success. I see so many great decks that fail funding and go away without trying again.
7. What advice would you give to other aspiring deck creators/artists?
Keep trying until you get it right. But at the same time don’t get over your head. From my experience I can see why so many decks fail at fulfillment… like the Founders Deck. Unexpected costs rise quickly when producing a deck of cards. So, without proper planning things can get bad fast.
8. Do you have an online presence where we can view your work?
Not really. I do have a website but it’s unrelated to playing cards.
9. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I can’t think of anything else.
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 couldn’t think of five photos I had something to share about but here’s a few. The first one is what inspired me to put world leaders in military uniforms opposed to what they would have normally been wearing. It shows Winston Churchill wearing a helmet in a bomb shelter. I decided to dress them in military clothing because I wanted to honor the “Average Joe” but at the same time honor those that we would recognize. The second image gives an example of some of the court cards (including Winston Churchill in the helmet). The other image shows how the tuck cases and how the design complements each other. I plan on designing all the unrest series to go side by side.
Project Video / Link: