I have spent years experimenting with crowdfunding, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, and selling a packaged deal with unique artwork and educational opportunities. The project started as a graduate school course in 2015 that asked us to imagine how depth psychology concepts could reach mainstream audiences through our creative work. Pursuing the elusive answer to this question continues to fill my free time.
Along the journey, I recently earned two Google certifications besides my MA in Humanities: Fundamentals of Digital Marketing and Project Management. I’ve recently applied for grants to expand the mask and mural community workshops with family audiences locally. My decks are available at Yoga Soup, and I started reading tarot cards in Santa Barbara as a side gig. The Mermaid Type Project community continues to grow and occasionally provides income. The money earned from the efforts is invested in the project by purchasing other decks to grow the collection from creatives or improving the equipment of shared digital materials.
Success, for this project, is defined as having intrinsic rewards for pursuing curiosity about how things work and convincing others to create and share art from their imagination. This looks like receiving positive feedback from individuals who worked with the Mermaid Type Project and more creative, intuitive video content available in the digital space. Today the audience is all genders and ages, adding up to around 2500 followers across Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. They have watched about 650 hours of video content.
Creating and maintaining a video content schedule, like this example, requires some essential equipment. Here are some of the critical items you will need:
- Computer: A computer is essential for creating and editing videos, blog posts, and other content.
- Smart Phone: A smart phone can be used to record videos, take photos, and stay connected to social media.
- Tripod: A tripod is useful for stabilizing your camera or phone when recording videos.
- Light Studio: A light studio can help improve the quality of your videos and photos by providing consistent lighting.
- Social Media Apps: Social media apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are essential for sharing your content and engaging with your audience.
- Printer: A printer can be used to print out worksheets, tarot cards, and other materials.
- Cards: You will need tarot cards to create your content. You can use existing decks or create your own. This site offers two you can download and print to make free =)!
- Display Materials: Display materials like a backdrop, tablecloth, or tarot cloth can help create a professional and visually appealing setup for your videos and photos.
Interactive Learning Experience
The Mermaid Type Project is an interactive learning experience that allows people to engage with the content more meaningfully. With the ability to print the cards, people can take them wherever they go and learn at their own pace. Additionally, social networking allows people to connect with others who share similar interests and learn from each other. This creates a sense of community and support that can be invaluable for those just starting to learn about tarot and zodiac signs.
The Mermaid Type Project has made learning about tarot, and zodiac signs more accessible. With the ability to access content from anywhere, people can learn at their own pace and schedule. Additionally, it often comes at a lower cost than traditional classes or courses, making it more affordable for those who may not have the resources to attend in-person classes.
My Publishing Journey
I created my very own tarot and oracle decks as part of my learning journey, which I call the Mermaid Type Project. Currently, the deck is for sale at Yoga Soup in Santa Barbara. I have 2 versions of the deck, a type and party style. My tarot decks feature mermaids. The imagery is an alphabet related to two personal experiences.
One aspect of the cards is about dyslexia and facing limitations in reading and writing. The alphabet and numbers featured on the design are custom fonts that are difficult to read accurately.
The second metaphor in the Mermaid Type Project is about the water element as a metaphor for diving deep into the unconscious mind. Each card features a couple of mermaids who are there to help guide your experience. I hope to inspire others to continually discover new aspects of themselves and live joyful lives.
My journey to creating a tarot deck was mysterious. It did not start out with a clear intention. Instead, it was a series of events that led to many healing moments and deeper self-knowledge. In addition to the deck, I’ve also created a workshop and creative materials, such as a coloring book and mermaid font, to spark others on their journey of authorship and publishing.
Are Mermaids Real?
Everything started with a conversation about the possible existence of mermaids with a mysterious man I was talking to online. He said military pilots saw things from the air that seemed supernatural. Real or not, he had an imagination, and we enjoyed playing fantasy war games online together. I started researching mermaids too. I found a Google image of a mermaid couple arguing that you can see here. The image captured my attention, and I decided to work with it creatively.
I became more interested in the idea of the couple. The dynamics of their relationship and the strange hand gestures fascinated me. I researched other mythic images of couples and worked with them creatively too. I looked at the myth of India and Egypt.
Why this Creative Commitment?
In the summer of 2016, I wanted to draw with colors from video games as I tried to complete a game based loosely on Star Wars. I took screenshots of my favorite places in the game and used color themes from them in the next iteration of the mermaid couple image. When I was done, it reminded me of the letter W. The guild I played in was called SWU (short for Star Wars Uprising), and my next thought was that I wanted to make all the letters SWU. After I had three letters, I knew I needed the whole mermaid alphabet.
How many people got involved?
I was fortunate to be part of a group of like-minded artists planning a local art show. Together we decided to work with the theme of water, and so their work inspired me to explore other applications and possibilities with the image of mermaid letters. I ended up with prints, stickers, jewelry, sculpture, a coloring book, and glyph font. These items are easy to sell online, so I created a store using the SquareUp storefront option. So, I published a store using the Square application.
What does water mean to you? Explore artist’s interpretations of water in paintings and prints that reflect diverse points of view. The venue for this art show, Sandbox Coffeehouse, adds a performance and collaborative layer to the traditional art viewing experience. As people quench their thirst and talk with friends, they embody the spirit of Aqua
Selling, Teaching, and Mentoring
I got 2 custom name requests and sold a coloring book after creating the online store. Despite the small number of initial sales, I was encouraged and excited about the possibilities of the mermaid alphabet. For the first round of creative work, any positive response is an excellent sign. Usually, it takes several attempts for an idea to be understandable to others (in my experience).
Inspired, I created custom letter coloring books for my nieces who visited over Thanksgiving. They were learning the ABCs and soon announced a request for their first-ever adventure journals! (how cool is that!) Their parents purchased ocean theme journals and pens from the local sea center, and we got to work.
At their request, I helped the twins start by giving them some prompts to get their creative writing started. These were sentences like, “What no one knows about me is…” and “What I love best about my sister is…”. It was an excellent reward to see a new generation in my family discovering journals and the magic of letters!
I was invited to be an artist mentor for a youth vocational training program and do a workshop at an art symposium for adults. Artists use social media and the internet to find inspiration, build a fan base, and sell art. All the social media materials and supplies fit into a traveling suitcase! Social media is a natural fit for events, meaning portability is essential. Social media also requires a mini production studio with equipment like a laptop, iPad, iPhone, microphone, cameras, and lights. Also, when you have a limited budget, the challenge is to turn lead into gold, so to speak. Art materials can be costly, and it’s a skill to use resources effectively. How many artists also want to be digital content creators? How do artists make money?
This goal in a semester after-school program, where I mentored about a dozen youth artists, was to let them be self-guided with a getting started printed instructions booklet and supplies. I created a program to turn $10 into $220 with art that fits into a mailbox-size container. It was a match for my theme of the Mermaid Love Letters. I worked alongside them to produce items and post them online. Items for sale included stickers, greeting cards, small original drawings, prints, jewelry, digital ads, and other promotional work in social media. Overall the kids were not so excited about the small challenge but wanted to create large and impressive works of art that were more fun. I can’t blame them, and they did have a gallery, so the future planning ideas about budgets and space were very abstract. If you sell art online or do pop-up events, you must consider shipping and setup costs. So small, light, and expensive is a good goal for the starting phase of a product that needs to reach a more extensive customer base. Also, the kids wanted to be painters, authors, or filmmakers. Few teens considered finding work in more common production team roles like product development, marketing, or education.
Merging Mermaid Type With Tarot
Almost three years after I started the quest to create a mermaid font, I finally completed the basic punctuation, lowercase, and uppercase letters. When I completed the font, I realized that this artwork needed to become a tarot deck. I had played with creating an oracle deck for the mermaids that was based on love story topes from TVtropes.com, and I felt like the tarot deck would be a natural fit.
I decided to create a Kickstarter campaign to fund the deck as I had done crowdfunding on my Original Odyssey oracle cards in 2015. The funding was a success, and creating my own cards introduced me to the world of Indy Deck Artists, and I fell in love. My deck collection has grown, and so is my tarot reading. This site, Tarots Today, is about my passion for talking about cards, art, and people.
This story is about unique life paths and trusting the journey and not the destination. Making art and sharing it with others is rewarding as a process and memory of our past experiences or desires to spark more storytelling. When we listen and speak, we learn about ourselves, create community and connect.
I hope to reach a large audience with this project to help inspire people to feel and believe dreams can become reality, specifically in creating meaningful connections in our relationships with ourselves and each other.
The Mermaid Type Project evolved from random life events. The experience is about sharing a personal journey in self-discovery and personal development. Is it a mermaid or a letter? It’s both! The letters are mermaids that swim and dance in the mind to tell many stories. Symbols point to multiple meanings, unlike signs that have only one interpretation. I used the figurative type on my tarot cards to comment on living with dyslexia.
Intuition does not say what things mean but sniffs out their possibilities. Meaning is given by thinking.— Carl Jung, Jung-Kirsch Letters, Page 21
Many research practices use narrative to communicate the truth of social life in stories. Leavy (2008) said narratives “maybe our own stories, those of others, or those that blur ‘the real’ and ‘the imaginary’ but are no less truthful in communicating human experience” (p. 39). The artist’s authentic voice is needed, because if we allow the market value of art to “define and control our gifts, the less gifted we will become, as individuals and as a society” (Hyde, 2007, p. 205).