Friday, October 1, 2010

Interview with Ciro Marchetti

Ciro Marchetti is an award winning Graphic Designer and the creator of three tarot decks; the Gilded Tarot, Tarot of Dreams, and the Legacy of the Divine. To my delight, Ciro agreed to do a short interview.

Do you read tarot and if so what was the first deck you used?

No I don't read tarot. I understand the meanings of the cards certainly, and can go through the motions of interpreting them in response to a personal or querent’s question. But I don't feel confident enough in my abilities to say that I am a tarot reader. Furthermore my familiarity with the cards comes from the perspective of creating them in the first place. It’s now very difficult for me to detach myself from that process. For example what for anyone else is a Three of Swords of a Eight of Pentacles, or any other card, with its corresponding significance, is for me an image that I primarily relate to via the process that went into producing it. Somewhat like a chef who frets over the ingredients and cooking process and can't get past was involved in the preparation of the meal as opposed to simply being able to sit down and enjoy the resulting taste.

How did you get involved with tarot?

By sending sample images of my work to Llewellyn the publisher, for consideration as book jackets or calendars. They didn’t use any at the time, but did pass on the work to Barbara Moore, who was in charge of their acquisitions department at that time. She contacted me and suggested that my style and work had potential as a Tarot deck. Would I be interested? My first deck, the Gilded Tarot was a result of this suggestion.

What or who influenced you to create this deck?

Well as indicated, Barbara Moore's suggestion certainly put the idea in my head, but beyond that there was no specific influence.

Which card is your favorite and why?

My personal favorites are “Faith" from the Tarot of Dreams as it was the first modification I made from the traditional imagery of a tarot deck, in this case replacing or substituting the Hierophant. Any significant change to tarot tradition is a risky move, which might not sit well with the tarot community. But this seems to have paid off and was generally well received.

The others are the Ace of Swords also from the Tarot of Dreams, and the nine of Coins from the Legacy as the female figure painted there is my daughter.

How long did it take for you to create the Legacy of the Divine Tarot, from conceptualization to actualization?

The project took almost two years, which may not seem that long compared to other artists who apparently have taken several years. But in my case it was an almost daily full time enterprise not merely a part time project. So in terms of actual hours it was an intense dedication of time and effort. Furthermore it entailed various aspects beyond the just the deck. I wrote the back story "Legacy Gateway" that was part of the companion book, The Legacy of the Divine promotional video that is shown on YouTube, and animated video sequences for every one of the 78 cards, this is included on my legacy web site and iPhone apps.

Which card took most of your time to create and why?

Probably, the Queen of Swords from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot. First it did include a lot of detail, but also because I did several versions that I then discarded before settling on the final one.

What is it you hope to achieve with your next deck, Oracle of Visions?

I hope to create a set of images that breaks new ground by being unrestricted and free of the traditional form and structure of other oracle and tarot decks. A set of images that despite their diversity will have one basic common denominator. That they will be intriguing almost surrealistic images that can be interpreted in various ways depending on the circumstances and questions being asked.

Thank you, Ciro, for a wonderful interview. We look forward to your new deck.

For more information on Ciro Marchetti, visit , and

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