Creating Tarot Cards using Design Cuts Clip Art (mostly) Part 1

Do you wish you could create cool art, but have no art skills, can’t draw or paint? You grab free stock photos, stick some text on it, and move on.

What if you could legally use affordable, cool clip art? Your time and money is limited. Plus you want your creations to say something, grab attention and be memorable.

Let’s find out how easily you can do this. Plus have a fab time, find fulfillment and inspire others.

Learn how to Create Tarot or Oracle Cards Using Clip Art, Photos and Apps. I specifically created images on this page with some of the 40 textures you get when you enroll. This offer is for a limited time and can end at any time.

Design Cuts is my favorite source for Clip Art. Most of the images you see in these images (and on my site and social media, if not my photos) are from this fabulous British company. They are very kind, caring and work hard to provide a wide variety of bundles.

Bundles offer the best deal! Plus they have special event sales throughout the year.

You can find any kind of clip art on their site, anytime. The hardest part will be deciding what to get because you’ll have too many choices!

Big thanks to Denise Love, of 2 Lil Owls. I bought fab image brushes and textures years ago when she had online sales. She emailed notice of a new company featuring her work. That began my enduring love affair with Design Cuts and their fine artists.

Many think artists have an a-ha moment, sit down and create an image and move on. One of the most frustrating things I faced when teaching computer graphics at various colleges was this mindset. People, who were studying to become professional visual artists, refused to experiment. To go with the flow and fine-tune images. Sadly, their work needed some tweaking. That’s not just my opinion. It’s the way of many artists.

I initially created the top image based on a tweet from The Tarot Lady. Theresa tweeted the January 2020 Full Moon would be in Leo. I thought, wow, I’ve got a cool piece of clip art with a woman and lion, plus some watercolor moons, I should make art to celebrate.

When I was done, I realized, oh, that’s a Tarot image, 8 Strength. I kept revising the image until it worked as a vertical tarot card.

That is how many artists create. It was fun designing variations. Part of creating is experimenting. Like we did when we were kids.

(I used a variety of vintage clip art. I’ve purchased several packages from Tom Chalky, including the two vintage frames. Maybe some of the flowers. The oval with leaves is a Photoshop brush. I shot the labradorite crystals at a local gem and mineral show. I scanned the woman and lions from a Dover clip art book.)

When you know how to construct a story visually, which means some art and color theory, symbols relating to stories people can relate to, and where to find an affordable source of clip art and typography, you can have great fun, grow, and attract people. Any or all of those goals.

I collect clip art like Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw collected shoes. Not quite $40,000 worth (in 15 years ago dollars). As a small child, I made my own paper dolls from images I cut out from papers and magazines. I started collecting Dover Clip Art books when I was a teen. Now we have access to hundreds of thousands of amazing images online.

I rather pay for clip art because searching for free clip art takes a huge investment of time. Plus often the quality is dubious for my needs. Other than downloading public domain art from some museums. But often it’s a difficult task. Museums brag about free public domain art. Then they make you jump through hoops to finally find and download each image. I detail and walk you through that process in my Tarot card and illustration course.

If you have limited time and patience, paying a few pennies per each piece of clip art can be very time efficient.

The final Tarot card is on the left. I used a template used by all the major Tarot printing companies. If you are going to do something, do it right. Make the image so it prints correctly. That’s also why grabbing any image you find online a bad move. First,  you don’t own it. Secondly, it might not be print quality.

The image on the right is a square designed for Instagram. I had to remake the frame every time, and start from scratch when using flowers. Planning ahead helps! But I didn’t know I was creating a Tarot card. I was merely telling a story about the the Full Moon in Leo.

Which of all these images do you like best?

Looking at art inspires me. Many ideas and compositions appear in my head. Manifesting these visions doesn’t always happen. Real life and time issues. But dreaming is free.

0 The Fool. Telling a story means using images that relate to your story. My classic photo is of Darby Crash at the Masque, LA’s literally underground punk club. Darby was the legendary punk singer/songwriter of the Germs, a punk band beloved by Kurt Cobain, Nirvana. Darby was the ultimate fool. Brilliant, charismatic, but deeply troubled. A babe in the woods. Which describes Little Red Riding Hood. I scanned her and the wolf from a Dover Clip Art book. I had great fun using some of my fave watercolor images.

In early 2020, I decided to make a wide variety of Tarot, Oracle, some based on Yoga Asanas (poses based on Hindu myths) cards using my photos and images from my vast clip art library.

I made this decision because I was so depressed and bored. All I do is wrestle tech and marketing, both which I despise. I wanted to use some of my tech and creative skills, plus use my clip art. I always turn to art for my salvation.

After posting many of the final images, many asked me if I were making a whole deck. Some ask me to teach Tarot or do a reading. I keep posting and saying I’m an Artist and Teacher. I have so many dreams, but reading or teaching Tarot are not my dreams.

2-Sorceress

2 High Priestess or Sorceress. I scanned the Dover clip art book image and greatly modified it.  I flipped the orientation after scanning long ago. I found it in my files. When I started to erase and modify it, I finally realized why it looked familiar.

I love Pre-Raphaelite art. Not as much as Impressionism, but find it fascinating. Summer 2019, I immersed myself in read biographies, and studied the art of the not only the PR Brotherhood, but the women involved. This is Frederick Sandys‘ famous painting of Morgan Le Fay. Which I also previously downloaded in a reference folder.

I use that image on my Tarot card making course description page. I love the original. She is an enchantress, casting a spell. The loom because I had a beautiful oak loom. I photographed a small section of one of my many weavings I created while in college. I wove one weaving at CSUN, another at home. The owl. The magic potions. The secrets in her scrolls. The oils. The symbols on her dress. The animal skin.

All have meaning in the Arthurian and other legends. The Victorians were steeped in symbols. The Pre-Raphaelites painted Grecian and other myths, poems, Shakespeare, early Christianity and more.

I created the pink and green background texture from scratch. All my textures start in Photoshop, with a blank screen, and no clip art or textures. I had so much fun painting using a wide variety of brushes. Sadly, Photoshop only indicates a brush tool used, but never which one. Drove me nuts.

I chose Tarot because there are so many interpretations, visuals and decks. I wanted to learn, play and explore. I literally was transformed while investigating Tarot, myths and more. I want to share this share this great adventure.

I really don’t know how to make it more clear, I don’t read nor teach Tarot. Yet I still get requests.

I literally would go out of my mind with boredom having to create 78 cards in one style. I want to play with a wide variety of images I either photographed, drew or with legally purchased clip art (digital or scanned from clip art books).

Thanks to Design Cuts, I discovered Jessica’s amazing Creators Couture items. She posts tutorials on YouTube. You have to follow them, because this is not intuitive. Next, you need to be comfortable with Photoshop. I’ve been using Pshop since version 1, circa 1990. But there’s always more to learn. I have NO idea how she creates these tools. But I wanted to dive in. So much fun!

I photographed 3 Empress Chinese Kuan Yin and 4 Emperor Buddha at my dear pal, Reena Gauchan’s magical Kathmandu Boutique, Santa Monica. I really wanted to do something with more of my many wonderful metaphysical, spiritual images. I won’t begin to try to describe this … other than you literally use the image and brush over it, adding painterly looks. I created the green background textures. I used a thickly texture paper clip art for the Buddha image.

I also used a very old Wacom tablet, which made it more fun. Sometimes I don’t bother with the tablet and use the mouse. One tip: always brush in the direction of the image. Don’t just random drag the brush any old way. For example, the Buddha holds running water. I drew along the flow of the water. Same with folds on his sleeve or curve on his knees. That’s where it helps to know some art concepts. But you can experiment.

Maybe you want it more abstract! I made the backgrounds more abstract. My photos showed far more details. I used various brushes to give more texture and less details. I wanted the images in the foreground to be the sharper focus.

I decided to create and teach how to discover, dive deeply, get into Tarot by online and print research. That is how I learn. Not just a book or class. I research. I write notes. I make Art. I share all that in my Create Tarot or Oracle Cards using Clip Art using Apps.

Design Cuts always asks its customers to share the art we create. I have a lifelong habit of making art and not showing anyone. I make most for myself. However, I found such happiness creating these cards, I decided to turn my challenging, fulfilling, joyful journey into a course. I merely want others to learn great digital skills, art concepts, and most of all, storytelling. Whether tarot, oracle, affirmation, scrapbook pages, flyers, illustrations based on any story, myth, song lyric, poem, movie, whatever can lead one on a great adventure.

5-Hierophant-Buddha

5 Hierophant Buddha. I don’t know where nor when I purchased this lovely Buddha nor the Yin-Yang watercolor images. I painted the background using watercolor brushes. I used a watercolor texture for the Yin-Yang.

6 The Lovers. I love true vintage art and typefaces. Some use the word “vintage” as a marketing tool. That makes me livid. Why? Because studying art history is cool. When you know how to combine images to convey an earlier era, you create very impactful images. If you want to mix images and type, that’s fine. But you get a totally different result. I carefully combined images, textures, and type to evoke real eras. The top is like totally 1980s, fer sure. I combined authentic 1980s black and white clip art, which I greatly modified, with a cool pattern which reminds us of MTV in their early, really creative era.

Mid-Century image from Piddix (two women) plus a texture I created. Plus a 19th century black and white image (couple dancing), with an oval frame, typical of its era.

Not sure where I found the last image. Public domain from a museum? I’m always researching historical art. You can find public domain art often from Wikipedia. I ALWAYS check public domain status before downloading. I changed the color of the frame. Used the same orange texture I created. Seen larger in 19 Sun below.

7 Chariot. I only had to do minor modifications, such as erasing part of the tree for the top bicycle. I love the styles of these two fine artists. The watercolor bike is by Eva Katerina. The oil pastel by Anna Ivanir, who also works in paint. These were so much fun! I could finally use the lovely pieces of art.

9-Hermit

9 Hermit. I scanned an image from Dover. I modified the image. I had so much fun with this. First, I could use that beautiful watercolor landscape, which I think I bought from Design Cuts bundle. Next, I could paint with a variety of brushes and textures.

This meant so much to me. Lifted me from deep depression. Something utilizing my creative and digital tech skills. But not marketing. Not making social media images. Not updating my sites or classes. All the stuff that exhausts, bored and frustrates me because I rarely have enough time to focus on just art making.

Nothing I love more than exploring myths, playing with colors, textures and storytelling. Even if the story only speaks to me. Even if I never show it to anyone.

This time, everything has meaning and meant to be shared.

Gosh, I’m crying just thinking about this image. And many others. But this Hermit really speaks to me. The part of me who withdraws into art and tech tools to make that art.

Ok, let’s move onto Creating Tarot Cards using Design Cuts Clip Art (mostly) Part 2.