My advanced class created an assignment to fill some bonus time: a collaborative Tarot deck in the style of Playing Arts. Everyone chose one of the major arcana and I asked my students to assign me one. Knowing me as well as they did, they chose Death, and they challenged me to make it personal.
I got divorced in 2016, and dating at thirty eight is very different than it was at twenty two. I know who I am now in a way that I didn't then, and finding someone who fits with me is much harder because I'm less eager to bend into a shape that I'm not. So I drew a pair of hands with wedding ring tan lines to show the passing of their old lives, and they're extending toward each other to represent a chance at new love.
When Death is drawn upright, it represents change, rebirth, and new beginnings - a new chapter of life that is only possible by turning the final page of the old. When reversed, this card means the refusal of new opportunities because one is clinging to the past.
Each pair of hands is surrounded by circles. I've always imagined that when two people share a connection, they harmonize - the sounds that they give off fit together in just the right pitch and rhythm and make a song, of sorts.
People who fit especially well sound better together than people who don't. They overlap, connect, and complement each other. They harmonize.
When connected, both songs are more beautiful together than they are apart. Stronger. Still, the tan lines haven't faded, showing that the past hasn't been overwritten. The old built the pathway to the new, and it's an important point of connection.
The process was tough. Hands are no fun, and it was tricky to get proper references because it was important to me to use my own hand. I put the ring tan on the wrong finger in the early stages.
As usual, everything is drawn. No tracing, no filtered photos - just my eyes and my Apple pencil, iPad, and Adobe Draw for the early stages, then my Wacom tablet and Adobe Illustrator to polish it all up.