~Passion Project Dev Log~

2D Art 2021 Project 9/1-12/10

Brain Storming

Narrowing down what exactly I wanted to do for this project was a bit of a task. I focused on the things I've always wanted to do but have just never had the time or drive for. I really though on it before narrowing down wanting to make a standard deck of playing cards.

But why playing cards? I've always appreciated some of the amazing, limited edition playing cards by artists you see floating about. It' such a unique medium. I followed the creation of 'The Pride Deck' by @kyri45 on Instagram.

 

But, besides that, I've always sort of had a soft spot for card games. Spoons was a game my cousins and I would play for hours and some nights the whole family would join in. BS is another that lingers with fond memories. I played it with my art class a while back! Lastly, during the Texas snow storms, my mom and I were left with little too do in the dark, so we played the "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" on my computer. She taught me how to play and too this day it's a guilty pleasure. 

So, I have some good memories attached to playing cards! And creating my own 52 deck will definitely be an endeavor. I hope by the end of this I can sit down with my family with my custom cards and play the 3 games I mentioned prior.

Research Begins!

I did quite a lot of research after narrowing down what I wanted my project to be. Mainly into the history of playing cards. This was just so I could better grasp what I would be doing- as well as how to do it. 

Playing cards were most likely created in China, spreading around to places like Europe over the years via methods like trade. Playing cards would be adapted to fit the countries that had them. The suits, number of cards, games, etc. would all change across the regions. Which is extremely interesting. The modern playing card we Americans know is the ones from France. The 54~72 deck with the hearts, cloves, diamonds, and spades originated there, the suit names being drawn from the French language. 

That's it condensed down as I don't want to get wrapped up in the history. There's no real technique to playing cards that I could find. No real reasoning for the art style chosen either. Which isn't necessarily a negative! Just means I get to be more creative. I'm going to be sticking to the French suits- even if the other countries have cool ones like swords, coins, acorns, etc. I want to keep these recognizable. 

I had to narrow down exactly HOW I wanted to make these. I could buy a pack of cards and then print and glue my designs onto them... but that sounds wasteful and tedious. So, I did some research into companies that could print cards for me as it seemed like the best method. I choose this website called www.customcardsandgames.com because of its easy layout. The only drawback to getting cards printed is the fact that I have to pay for it and wait for shipping. But I feel the positives outweigh the negatives. This website allows for me to customize both the face and the back, so I can make the cards however I please. It also gives me the exact dimensions I need, which helps in the art process. 

The Process!
playingcard1jackclubOFFICAL_edited.jpg

10/16/21) And the process begins! This was my sort of trial piece that was used to find the right brush size, layout, background color, website, font choice, and oh so much more. There's like... 5 different files for just this one drawing, haha. 

playingcard3aceclub_edited.jpg
playuingcard2jackspade_edited.jpg

10/26/21) This week I had set myself the goal to get two more pieces done. So, I finished 2/4 aces! By this point I had quite a large number of sketches done. These two were a PAIN to work on! The sketches looked so much better than how my line art was looking.

playingcard4aceheart_edited.jpg
playingcard6acediamond_edited.jpg
playingcard7jackheart_edited.jpg
playingcard5jackace_edited.jpg

11/11/21) I really need to put my foot on the peddle and start pumping these out. I have all the aces done 2/4 of the jacks done and have almost every face card sketched out. These 3 were also a goal I set for myself to finish this week. I think I have a flow down and I can get these done in about 45-90 minutes aka about 2 episodes of Lucifer. 

11/23/21) Finished the last two jacks I needed to do. I actually really like these two cards; the art is very cute! Sorry, typing this later on.

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11/30/21) November has gone by so fast. There's only about 2 weeks left until this is due. Today I rushed to get all of the number cards done. Now I'm left with just the kings, queens, and MAYBE the jokers. I think I'll be redesigning the original sketches I had for the kings/queens because they were really unappealing looking. 

I don't know if I'm going to be able to get these printed and mailed to me in time. That personally worries me- I don't know if it's going to affect my grade or not. I'm going to try and finish them ASAP and pay A LOT in shipping to get these here before the 10th.

12/6/21) Today I completed the last queen card as well as the back design. FINALLY!!!! DONE! I also ordered $46 worth of 2.5x3.5 prints from Walmart as it was too late to order them from the website I was originally going to use. It was helpful though- the website. It kept me organized! Having this done feels so good! This took so long.

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playingcard15queenspade_edited.jpg
Nope :)
1/53
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1/3 Card Games: Spoons

Spoons has been a big part of my family! So, getting to play it with my mom and dad was quite fun! I didn't get to record it, but here's a photo of my mom and dad playing the final round! *

Faces censored for me and my parent's privacy! *

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2/3 Card Games: Solitaire 

Here's a live I did of my playing Solitaire! It was hard because I messed up and made all the cards black- but if you use muscle memory it works? Still, fun none the less... think I need a bigger table though. 

3/3 Card Games: BS

I sadly didn't get to finish this game, but some kids in my geometry class played BS with me! Definitely needed more people, but still had fun none the less! Also didn't call for anything color related.

4/3 Card Games: Speed

Bonus! My friend and I played Speed whilst we waited for class to end. I won 1/3 games, not that bad for someone who's never played Speed before! fun game, if a bit confusing.

Reflection!

I have to be frank with the fact that this project was hard. It called for a lot of time. I would have to say a rough estimate has to be like... 18 hours spread over 3 months. But, despite the challenge this put me through, I can't lie in the fact it was fun and that I'm in love with the final product. I learned a lot about not only the history or playing cards, but also how I work as an artist. and maybe someday in the future I can expand upon these playing cards and make the whole deck characters of my characters. I know where to go to get it done. 

I like all of the pieces I made for this, it finally let me draw a bunch of my characters who really don't get a lot of art from me! I think they're some of the best parts of this project. But I'll give myself this: I need to work on graphic design. The back is something I threw together in no less than 15 minutes. And the big issue- that all the suits and number cars are black. Which can make the cards extremely confusing. 

But none the less, I had fun with this project. And to me, that was the big part. I didn't experiment with a new medium, but I did experiment with graphic design and the art of simplifying things to create a product in time. Which, is sometimes, what the art world calls for. 

The Process Continued...

12/5/21) Today I put my foot down. 5 days till this is due. I rushed to finish the kings and queens- I ended up not sticking to a pose like I did for the aces and jacks and rather just drew whatever came to mind. I sort of wish I did this for all of the cards, but oh well. I worked on these all day that I ended up not finishing the last queen. Though I wasn't too worried as I would have plenty of time tomorrow. 

playuingcard15kingspade_edited.jpg
playingcard10kinglub_edited.jpg
playingcard14queenspade_edited.jpg
playingcard13kingearts_edited.jpg
playingcard11queenheart_edited.jpg
playingcard12kingdiamons_edited.jpg
playingcard9queeniamonds_edited.jpg
The Results!

Honestly, this project was quite fun. It definitely was time consuming and stressful- no doubt in that. But it turned out better than expected! I loved being able to draw my ocs and create something I've wanted to create for a while. Maybe someday I can turn these into a real deck of cards, but for now they'll remain my hand-crafted magnum opus. 

To the left is a slideshow of EVERY card in the deck. Feel free to look through! There are 53 cards, 52 if you don't count the back. I constructed these cards with 2.5x3.5 prints from Walmart and some rollie sticky glue and a glue stick. The only downfall is that they kind of stick together- AND THE FACT I MADE THEM ALL BLACK?! yeah, I totally forgot that there's RED and BLACK cards in a normal deck... Just use your muscle memory and assign diamond and heart to red...