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A sampling of James's white-on-black tarot deck design. (Zac Watts) Photo credit: Zac Watts

Weber State University senior Addison James began a Kickstarter project for a tarot card deck on July 8. At the end of its funding period one month later, the project was 162 percent funded.

James has established a deadline with her manufacturers to have all the ordered decks ready by Oct. 26.

James said the idea for the project came about a year ago when she drew the first card on her iPad for a digital illustration class.

“The first card I did was a screen print of The Empress, which is one of the tarot cards in the Major Arcana,” James said. “My original idea was to do two or three, but I decided to just keep going with it.”

James received positive feedback on her designs from classmates, friends and family, which led her to a decision to manufacture an entire deck rather than simply design a handful of them digitally. James said part of that decision came from hating the way the first ten looked digitally.

The original funding goal of James’s tarot deck was $4,500. It finished its one-month funding period at $7,272.

“That goal was ambitious,” James said. “I was so scared. I would check twice or three times a day, and so would my friend. I just wanted people to like it so much.”

James said the project took close to 200 hours of work before it was ready for funding, so the stakes were high.

James said she hardly did any social media marketing of her own and that 89% of her project’s revenue came from people who’d seen the project while on Kickstarter.

“They were people who had already backed other projects,” James said. “They saw something they liked and decided they wanted to support it.”

The project funding period stretched from July 8 to Aug. 7. It was 40% funded in two days.

Despite the significant funding surplus, James said she is barely able to compensate herself for the hours spent on the project.

“I’m barely making minimum wage,” James said. “I didn’t do this to make a lot of money. I really just wanted to make the cards.”

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