I've decided that I will be posting one card every Monday on my blog and talking a little bit more about the process of creating the artwork for it, the meaning to me and the inspiration behind it. If you have a card you would like me to tackle next week or you wish to have a discussion on it, I'm more than game! I hope everyone finds this informative and interesting.
Knight of Wands
Card inspiration and History
When I was considering what I wanted the knights to be in my deck I had decided that I wanted men that were tough and resourceful but not exactly SOLDIERS or the HERO. I wanted seedy underbelly American men that had both good sides and bad. This piece was one of the first ones that I did for the deck and my immediate visual that came to me after learning more about the card and looking at the rider waite deck image was a gang with wooden bats or referred to as billy clubs. The next question was, what era resonates with the decks look and feel and something I personally find fascinating. The stories in "The Gangs of New York" a book written in the 1930's filled with 2nd hand accounts of the violence of 19th century New York City captivate my imagination and paint a realistic picture of what immigrants would be met with when they arrived here. I also have a fair amount of family history in New York City on my father's side so I find it particularly interesting with that in addition.
I began by drawing a boarding house that existed in the 5 points where only the extremely poor lived one on top of the other, that I had read about. I then drew 5 gentlemen, some from pictures I had found of men I thought went well with the theme and the 2 men in the front I felt compelled for some reason to draw from a couple of family photos I have. The man on the right was drawn from a photo of my great uncle in 1920's New York. I simply increased the size of his hat to look more era appropriate and the young man on the left is drawn from a photo of my grandfather with an increased snarl on his face and an era appropriate hat.
The texture photos I took for the factory smoke and bricks are from an industrial city called Tacoma to the south of Seattle. The skin textures are from my boyfriend, Joel and my friend Cameron. The texture on the wooden bat is from my friend Cameron's, Grandfather's club. When it comes to my texture contributions I'm superstitious and the more history and authenticity to the items I take the texture from, the more I feel it contributes to the piece and the card's power.
This is taken directly from my booklet that comes with the cards
" New York City has always been a hard place to live but most especially during the Civil War era. Irish fleeing their homeland because of famine and runaway slaves escaping to the North were not treated much better in the harsh, streets of the Five Points neighborhood than they were back home. Gangs and criminals ran rampant in the streets and poverty was so pervasive it was enough to shock English writer, Charles Dickens. Survival was dependant on being resourceful and tough.
This card deals with being energetic, courageous and tough but the Knight of Wands can also be unpredictable and fly by the seat of his pants. This card reversed means you should exercise caution before action and be careful not to be aggressive and ungenerous. Resourcefulness and bravery are very admirable qualities in a person, but being violent and boastful can get you into trouble"
This card doesn't come up for me in readings too often and I think it really depends on the placement it has in the deck but it usually indicates a youthful exuberance to be that is somewhat careless and naive. I think if this card comes up for a person a lot that it's a wonderful indication that their personality will go far in life but that they need to keep themselves in check and have realistic goals. Besides, a lot of those things come with age, when someone graduates to the King! of Wands :) and who am I to suggest anyone cut their youth short. That's no fun!
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