Inspiration Deck

Inspiration deck.

Jessica Brogan is holding an inspiration deck swap, the details are over here.  I did some cards for her last swap (which can be seen here) and she asked if some of us would do a quick tutorial of making some cards, so here is my contribution.

Last time I used a deck of cards, this time I just cut up some cereal boxes. You could use watercolour paper, or ATC backs or anything really.

Inspiration Deck #1

I then chopped the cardboard to size. The size is the standard ATC size of 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. While it doesn’t overly matter if your card is a couple of millimeters out, for the most part, if the size is too much bigger there is an increased risk that your card will get ruined and bent if the card gets folded round the other same sized cards in the deck. While I can be a bit rough and ready with some aspects of my art, the front stages of this project, the measuring and what have you, really make the job much easier at the back end.

Inspiration Deck #2

I then glued the backs of the card to some scrapbooking paper that I had from another project. You can see in the photo the shapes that have already been cut out of it. I used gel medium to glue and burnished it quite well.

Inspiration Deck #3

Inspiration Deck #4

I then gessoed the other side of the cards.

Inspiration Deck #5

And when the paper and the gesso was completely dry I trimmed them to size. This was just to save time at the end when I will then just have to measure the cards and cut to the correct sizes. Last time I did all the trimming at the end and it was a HUGE pain, though I did have lots of leftovers that I used for this card.

Inspiration Deck #6

The first layer I used acrylic gouache.

Inspiration Deck #7

Once that was dry I scribbled over them with my Neocolor I’s.

Inspiration Deck #8

Then I scribbled a word on each card with my graphite crayons.

017Inspiration Deck #9

I then brushed some white paint over with a credit card.

Inspiration Deck #10

When that was dry I squeezed on some air brush acrylics and sprayed some water on each card and then I smooshed it against another card.

Inspiration Deck #11

I then dropped some ink on the cards and stamped some butterflies on the cards.

Inspiration Deck #12

I then sprayed on some gold webbing spray.

Inspiration Deck #13

Inspiration Deck #14

Inspiration Deck #15

I then splattered with some white acrylic ink, because splatter is my version of glitter, and I think splatter makes everything good. :)

Inspiration Deck #16

I then grabbed a white-out pen and doodled over the cards.

Inspiration Deck #17

I then used my graphite pencil, and did some mark making on the cards.

Inspiration Deck #18

I then cut the cards down to the correct size.

Inspiration Deck #19

I then used my round corner punch, because I prefer the look of the finished cards with those corners.

Inspiration Deck #20

This is a completely gratuitous shot of all the cards stacked up, because I like the photo! :)

Inspiration Deck #21

I then rubbed my ink pad around the edge of the cards, because I like the slightly grungy look and I prefer finished edges.

Inspiration Deck #22

I then did some research and found some inspirational quotes that spoke to me. I then compiled them into a word document, and applied my favourite font to them.

Inspiration Deck #23

I also made some detail boxes for the back of the cards, which I glued down with glue stick and burnished them.

Inspiration Deck #25

I then cut out the quotes and glued them down with matte medium. And outlined them roughly with a pigment pen.

Inspiration Deck #26

Inspiration Deck #27

And I am linking up to Paint Party Friday as well, which is so supportive and everyone should check out!!  :)


66 thoughts on “Inspiration Deck

  1. Where to begin, where to begin!

    First – gold webbing spray?? Never heard of it but think I may NEED it in my life!

    Second – true fact. Dripping and splatting make EVERYTHING perfect. Glitter WISHES it was a splat. Unless of course it’s glitter glue then sometimes it achieves glitter splat Heaven and thus can die a happy empty bottle.

    I love and adore these cards – loved seeing all the layers. Just love, love, love.

  2. p.s – I say that all the time! The Eleanor Roosevelt quote! I’m always saying it! Maybe I’m channelling her!

    p.p.s I swear when I first looked at that picture I thought the Vince Lombardi quote said ” It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get knocked UP!” Whoops! :D

  3. wow, what a lot of work you went through to get these cards done but how worth it as they look amazing! All those little details like inking the beautifully rounded corners and edges and outlining the words makes all the difference to the overall finish – beautiful!

  4. Natasha, this is one of the most industrious projects I’ve seen on PPF this week. I love the end results. The cards are really beautiful. Thanks for the step by step photos.

  5. So amazing! The amount of work, the artistic design, the attention to detail! Amazing. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I wish I could copy it for future reference. I am just starting ATCs and don’t have a clue..I think I told you that already!

  6. Wow! This is quite a labor intensive project. I’m really impressed. Thank you so much for sharing your process. I love the end results. The quotes are really special.

  7. Oh my gosh!
    I want a deck of these for my own!
    So inspiring and beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing your tutorial!
    Happy PPF!!

  8. These are fantastic, but man, what a project. I totally admire you for finishing. I’d probably get about three steps in and… oh! Look over there! Something shiny!…and then a year later I would toss out my unfinished pile of cards.

      • On the last swap Jessica got some cards that were sealed with Mod Podge and they all stuck together and she had to throw out whole decks. I am pretty sure gluing is okay, it is only putting a final layer of mod podge that she discourages.

        You could use a spray varnish, or workable fixative, or any other finishing technique you want to use. For the last deck I did I used a matte varnish spray because I used a water soluble pencil in the final layer, and I didn’t want it to become activated in someone elses deck. On these cards the layers are all permanent, so I am not going to use that same spray.

        I know I am not Jessica, but I hope it helps. :)

  9. Ow My Gerd!!! Never made any of these cos I thought I’d get bored before finishing the last one….NEVER thought of doing on big bits and cutting down *slaps head*. Fantastic tute, thank you :D XXX

  10. First of all….love the header foto…then I scrolled down…omg girl!!! WOW!!! What fun your blog is…and this card project…a blow-by-blow account of how they came into being,,,gotta give this another WOW:)…I LOVE THE CARDS!!! I want one:):) Very inspirational to say the least. I am so glad you came by my blog as now I found your blog….have a great week!!….oh yeah,,,I just pressed the follow thingy in the lower right hand corner too:) how could I NOT!!!!

  11. Natasha, your cards are wonderful. I would love to have a set to use each day. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I had no idea how to start but thanks to you, now I do. Your work is amazing.

  12. I’m just going to be repeating what everyone else has been saying, but with bells on. I only recently found out what a deck swap was, there seemed to be so many interpretations, but never thought of cards simply because we call then a ‘pack’. I really want some gold webbing spray, I am simply lusting for it!
    It is so fantastic to see every step of the way in your creative process, so generous of you, and as always it really inspires me. These decks really are a labour of love.

  13. Just wanted to say separately ‘thank you’ for the comment on my blog. I really recommend Rolina’s Abstracts book. Carmen also alerted me to another possible contender. I looked it up on Amazon and straight away thought it would suit me, so I ordered it. When I have had a chance to look through it I’ll let you know what I think of it. it’s “Abstract Painting Techniques and Strategies: Concepts and Techniques”
    Perry, Vicky; Paperback; £15.29
    In stock” (was lazy and just copied that bit straight from Amazon). Jez

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  15. Hi Natasha, Gosh I hesitated to leave a comment and mess up the count. Before this one you had 52 thoughts! Just perfect for your deck but now here I go and mess it up. Please forgive me. Thank you for the tutorial. I love your card art and quotes. I’m interested the that god webbing spray too. I love the idea of swapping these cards and I want to give it a try in 2013. I found you through Marcia’s blog (The Shop Around The Corner) post about the swap. I’m going to look at more of your posts and click on your follow link. Joyous Wishes, Linda

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  18. Gorgeous! What a great idea. I’ve done something similar for myself (you can see them at my about page, under my photo:

    This has stirred my imagination for gifts. I have SO old decks of cards that are missing some of the cards so can’t be used to play. Now I am going to play with them in a different, creative way.

  19. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Appreciate it!

  20. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like studying your articles. Keep up the great work! You realize, a lot of persons are looking around for this information, you could help them greatly.

  21. These cards are amazing! I love how you made them look. At first, they were a mess and not looking good, but when you finished, wow! I wish I have those! Makes me wanna go create something! ;)
    Thanks for sharing with us,

  22. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly what I’m
    looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome blog!

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