The client came to us with a request that seemed pretty peculiar –– to create a calendar in the style of Tarot, but about geophysics! We had to reimagine 13 Major Arcanas.

For this project we’d chosen illustrators with defined styles, because the client required stylistic diversity. Based on the time limitations and the brief, we’d invited Tim Yarzhombek, Manuna Grabarnick, Ilya Kutoboy, Nina Terteryan, Vova Syuzev, Katya Murysina, Ariadna Sysoeva and Margarita Tugarina. 

The project was supposed to be made in a really short period of time. We started working on November 26th, and were supposed to finish by December 6th, so basically, we had to make 13 illustrations in 10 days, including the weekends. Sketches were made quite fast, shown to the client and edited on the same day and then we started to color, so we could finish in time. 

The second problem was to tie geophysics and Tarot. We’ve tried to make every card not only recognizable but also metaphorically connected to geophysics.

Katya Murysina about working on the Hanged Man card: «I was asked to make seismic the main character, and his attributes are detonating cords. The story was made up pretty easily, even the sun that is often portrayed behind the Hanged Man’s head, connected to an underground explosion. In the first sketch I drew a bearded man, the image that pops up in my head when I hear the word «geologist».

But in the process I realized that the character is too grounded and precise, it felt like there was a lack of romance and mystery that I see in the graphics of 20th century Tarot decks. That is why in order to make the cruel reality more like Tarot, I drew a handsome young man instead.
I’ve studied seismograms, maps and presentations, and watched some videos about seismic’s job. Most of all I was impressed and inspired by the graphic side of their job –– seismograms themselves looked like magic energy fields. When I drew them under the ground, they became a great connection between geodesia and something mysterious and esoteric».

While we were working on this project, we’ve studied a lot of graphics and seismograms, and now we know what the drilling machine looks like, who are seismics and how to tell a geological hammer from a regular one. And also, how to combine Tarot and geophysics and make it beautiful! If you need a project, where something incompatible is supposed to be combined, send us your briefs!