I was delighted to follow and help fund the Spirits Cat Deck by Nicole Piar. This is still open for a pre-order special, if you’re interested. In the meantime, here’s an interview where Nicole shares something of her inspiration and experience:
1) Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? For example, what is your work schedule? How do you create your images (medium etc)?
I tend to work best when the sun is out especially in the morning although sometimes I turn into a night owl as well. I like to create a sacred space when drawing and painting. I do a short meditation, maybe few half sun salutations, and light a candle. I try to open my mind and be as receptive as possible.
Sometimes I paint directly onto my arches watercolor paper without planning or drawing. I just let the paint and my intuition guide me. Other times, I will do a loose sketch and choose a color palette before beginning. I work with White Nights Watercolors which are these amazing paints from Russia that have incredibly vibrant pigments. I also use masking medium, salt for texture, and white ink occasionally for highlights.
2) What was your inspiration for the Spirit Cats Deck?
In October 2014, I did a project called Month of Cats where I painted a cat every day and shared it on my Instagram. This was a natural extension of my daily intuitive painting ritual that I would do after I finished my client work for the day. Magical cats kept appearing in these free-form painting sessions that I decided to do Month of Cats.
The deeper I delved into painting these cats, the more they started to come to me with names, stories, and healing messages. It started to feel like an oracle deck was naturally emerging. In fall of 2015, I decided to put my other projects on the back burner and really focus on bringing the Spirit Cats Deck to life. I am happy to say the deck is now a reality and I will be shipping them out in August!
3) What is your favourite image (I know this is a toughie)?
Right now, my favorite is Stargazer. She has her head in the clouds and galaxies in her eyes. She represents “Vision.” I think metaphorically she was watching over this entire project and really helping me to bring it into this world. She is like a bridge between the energetic realm and the physical, earthly reality. Plus, I love the sky, clouds, light, and outer space. It gives me a feeling of grandeur and perspective.
4) Were any of the images tricky for you in some way?
Sapphire, my kitty for the “Generosity” card confused me at first. It was one of the last few cards I painted. I knew I wanted to have a card for generosity in my deck but I painted intuitively without any plan. I just opened up and observe what flowed through my brush.
I was surprised to see a dark, almost night time image with a white cat with rainbow details. I didn’t see how this image related to generosity. I slept on it and the next morning when I walked into my studio, it was so clear. The darkness represented the feeling of being in need or in a challenging situation. The white, gentle-eyed cat was someone offering a hand to help, heart filled with compassion. She was the light that helps guide you through the tunnel. We all take turns helping and being helped. It is the spirit of generosity that inspires us.
5) What are you working on next? I believe it might be fairies… 😉
I am still in the organic exploration time. I have been painting some dancing girls and some fairies. I also have been playing with some concepts for children’s books and just beginning on a manuscript that does involve cats.
6) What has your experience of gaining crowd funding for your deck been like?
It has been nerve-wracking, exciting, challenging, amazing, and totally worth it. There was so much work that went into this project behind the scenes and beyond the painting, writing, editing, and designing of the deck.
I really invested a lot of energy into building community, getting the word out, making connections with influencers to share the project, and offering lots of free valuable things to my fans like Vision Seeker, my free tarot/oracle card e-course and live Spirit Cat card readings for people on facebook, Instagram and periscope.
I was also so nervous the day I launched my Kickstarter campaign that it wouldn’t be funded and I would experience a very public failure. With some magic on my side, I managed to reach my goal in only 24 hours and went on to sell over 1000 decks via pre-orders through Kickstarter alone. It exceeded my wildest expectations. Surprisingly of the 803 backers, only about 70 were people who I knew in person or even online. I think the fairies must have helped me out somehow. Hee hee.
7) Is there anything else you’d care to share with us?
Everyone who pre-orders a Spirit Cats Deck by June 13 will receive a magical gift — a Spirit Cats wooden coin to be used as a talisman, as a divination tool, or even in a craft or jewelry project. You can order your deck here.
I also welcome you to join us for the current session of Vision Seeker, a free tarot/oracle card e-course. You can sign up here.
Otherwise, I would say that I feel truly blessed to have the honor to bring the spirit cats into our world to help spark our intuition and bring healing. They have become like my friends and family or even better yet, like little fuzzy spirit guardians and guides. I try ever day to listen within and follow the whisperings of my heart and I am so happy that they have lead me here.