Arcana deck. Hand-illustrated playing cards inspired by Tarot divination cards


Chris Ovdiyenko is one of those artists that always surprises us in his creations without losing a very personal style fruit of a deep passion for his work. He just released his latest creation: Arcana.

After playing with ghosts and dead in Oracle and Calaveras, Chris does not abandon entirely the esoteric in this new deck inspired by tarot cards. The Tarot Rider-Waite-Smith deck has been taken by Chris as his main source of inspiration. The Tarot Rider was created in 1910 and was forgotten until U.S. Games bought the rights in 1971 and the deck became a competitor of the Tarot of Marseilles, considered the basis of the symbolism and design of Tarot divination.



The Tarot is a deck of cards whose use as a game was gradually relegated for its use in divination. There is a direct relationship between the origin of the Tarot deck and Latin suits (cups, golds, swords and wands) and Arcana combines these suits with the traditional French ones (diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs) establishing an interesting link between both decks.



But Chris doesn’t intend to create a Tarot deck, but a playing cards deck with tarot elements. To do it, he has kept three of the four figures of the Minor Arcana (the fourth is the page) and has created 4 cards as a summary of the 22 Major Arcana (the Tarot has 78 cards and a standard deck has 56). These four designs are some of the most relevant: the tower, the Lovers, the Fool and Death.



Regarding the design, all the cards have been illustrated by hand, with the detail and delicacy that only the style of Chris is able to provide. The cards show both suits in the indices and the engraving style of the drawings is absolutely stunning.



There will be two editions of the deck, the Dark and the Light Editions with the combinations in white, black and red that were so successful in previous designs. Both will be printed by the USPCC.

Just have a look to the images so you’ll decide to be part of this creation. Visit the project website and raise your pledge.

Good luck!