I've started the process with my Arthropoda Tarot deck idea, starting with the Major Arcana. I don't know a lot about tarot symbolism, so I spent some time doing research on various decks and their meanings. The fun part was picking out which insect type would pair with which card based on the character and interpretations of the card.
I decided that my first image will be the High Priestess. The card represents spiritual insight, mystery, intuition, and secrets.
It usually depicts an empowered female figure in a blue robe on a throne flanked by two pillars, one black, and one white. Other common symbols are pomegranates, date palm trees, mushrooms, a scroll with the Torah on it, moving water, a crescent moon, a crown, and a white cross.
I chose the Praying Mantis as my high priestess and have been working on sketches to organize how I'm going to incorporate the symbols with the insect subject while staying true to the meaning and intention of the card.
One question I have to answer is if I want the insect subjects to be depicted in a symmetrical diagrammatic way that is typical to science illustration plates, or in a more naturalistic fashion. It may end up differing depending on each card and its imagery and needs.
I haven't settled on a design yet, but I'm having a lot of fun with the sketches and thumbnails. There is a lot of symbolism to the colors used in each card as well, so I need to find a way to keep the cards cohesive while staying true to their meaning. I'm looking forward to adding a lot of detail into the images and making them dynamic not only as usable cards but as stand-alone images.
So this is the start! I'm excited about moving forward with this since I think it will be a really fun project that will incorporate science illustration, design, and fun symbology research.
Let me know if you have any ideas or comments about the project!