KW: Thank you for your time Monroe Rodriguez Singh, tell us a bit about your project.
MS: Hello, and thank you for taking the time to interview me about my Kickstarter campaign. My name is Monroe Rodriguez Singh. I am an exhibited artist, freelance designer, and Salesforce developer. I have also been interested in comparative religion, and have studied various mythologies of different cultures across the world since I was 8 years old. Through my studies, I became fascinated with the ideas expressed in new age beliefs and religion, specifically the concept of tarot cards and tarot card reading, and was given my first tarot deck at the age of 11. Over the years I developed quite a collection of tarot card decks, amassing over 50 different tarot decks of varying styles, sizes, and themes. Not to be outdone, I sought out training in the field of tarot card reading, and become a Professional Tarot Reader 6 years ago, including a registered membership with the American Tarot Association, the Tarosophy Tarot Association, some of the foremost organizations in the field. After being initiated into Afro-Caribbean traditions 5 years ago, I discovered I related most strongly to these beliefs, yet there were very few tarot decks that reflected this aesthetic, or these belief systems. It came to me that, based on the demographics that are usually targeted for tarot card decks, it was up to me to get something done and start promoting our traditions through a different kind of tarot deck design.
KW: Fascinating, tell us how you came about your idea of an "African" tarot cards.
MS: I have worked a very long time on the creation of this tarot deck, and it’s a project that is very close to my heart. As a member of this community, I am saddened but emboldened by the lack of African inspired tarot card decks and representation of our traditions in new age society. When I have, rarely, come across a proposed “African” tarot deck, it includes images and cultural references determined by overseas tarot card companies that know very little about our traditions, and many turn up inaccurate or completely false. This gives our traditions a difficult public face to maintain, and is harmful to our traditions.
KW: Tell us how this is unique from other cards
MS: My tarot deck is unique, because it is not only one of the few truly racially and gender diverse decks, but also includes elements of fantasy and new age beliefs that are appealing to everyone. Despite its firm basis in the Afro-Caribbean tradition, this is definitely a tarot deck that can be used successfully by a wide range of diviners, and can be appreciated by lovers of beautiful artwork no matter what their beliefs or traditions.
KW: How far are you in this project? what do you need in order to make this work?
I have already completed the prototype design of the deck, and have talked to vendors and negotiated prices for printing, packaging and shipping. However, because I am going to put the deck fully into printing and mass production, I am in need of more funding than I could possibly contribute. I am asking for your help to fundraise a minimum of $11,759 to get the first printing production line going and ready for shipment to my customers.
KW: a big goal but i can see the energy you bring about and am confident you can attain that. Wishing you the best of luck Monroe! If you want want support Monroe's campaign, you can check out http://voodookickstarter.com