Bill’s Train Deck

Bill’s Train Deck
Glen Rock <——> Hoboken

This project grew out of a couple of rough sketches that I did for a collaborative tarot deck project. Once it was finished, I bumped the concept out into a full set of trumps.

The entire deck was drawn in a tiny sketchpad while I rode the train between Glen Rock, and Hoboken, NJ. Rather than a lot of careful academic planning, I simply tossed out ideas as they came to me on that train. Some are informed by particular things, some are more or less random. While some are a little more defined than others, all are pretty much the first thing that came to me.

At one point I nearly lost the notebook on the train, and the pencil was smearing pretty badly from carrying it around in my pocket, so I shot some quick photos to preserve it as a sort of backup. Then I thought, I quite like the uneven lighting effect of the photos, and it’s a full set, and I’m not likely to ever do a more finished version, so why not work it up as a deck, just as it is? The all-pencil approach just happened naturally as I was putting the package together.

I don’t see this as a finished work, but I made a few up, just to see what some of my friends may think, and to help avoid the very real possibility of misplacing it or losing it all together.

If I had an “artist’s statement” for this, it would say something about creating a self-contained alternate world, with its own space and time and atmosphere and inhabitants. Though not fully realized in these rough sketches, at least it offers a quick glimpse into that world.