The Mermaid Type Project evolved from random life events. The experience is about sharing a personal journey in self-discovery and personal development.
Type And Mermaids
It is a mermaid or letter. It’s both! The letters are mermaids, they can move and dance, and tell many stories. Symbols point to multiple meanings, unlike signs that have only one interpretation. I used the figurative type on my tarot cards as a comment on living with dyslexia. When it is difficult to read, we embrace the experience and see possibilities.
Tarot and Relationships
Do you communicate better from watching and listening to people? Tarot reading is a tradition of verbal and visual stories. Often the conversation extends to discussing personal relationships in the individual’s life. It is an intimate experience. The cards help us imagine other perspectives. Awareness of angles might expand the consciousness of the person asking questions, awareness of options, motivation and desires.
Creativity and psychology
By loosely applying depth psychology methods to the tarot reading process, my goal is to facilitate readings that are entertaining and creatively engaging. The creative mind is at the center of depth psychology, which is therapeutic theories relating to the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. Concepts I’ve considered include:
Individuation is represented in the tradition of Tarot and the major arcana cards.
Sticking to the image is represented in the visual theme replacing standard tarot images.
Negative/Positive archetype polarities are represented in the guidebook text formatting.
The transcendent function is represented in the video formatting both visually and sequentially.
Are mermaids Real?
Everything started with a conversation about the possible existence of mermaids. I started researching mermaids online. 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.
I had been playing MMORPG games in the summer of 2016 and really getting into the color and design of them. I started to take 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 just knew that I needed to do them all and SO the mermaid alphabet project was born.
And the idea got Bigger
I had the fortune 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, coloring book and glyph font. These items are easy to also sell online so I created a store using the SquareUp storefront option. It’s free to set up and the URL mermaidloveletters.com was available. 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
And the idea got Even bigger
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 a first round of creative work, any positive response is a very good sign. Normally, it takes several attempts for an idea to be understandable to other people (in my experience).
Inspired, I created custom letter coloring books for my nieces who were visiting over the thanksgiving holiday. They were learning the ABC’s and soon announced a request for their first ever adventure journals! (ho 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 stated. These were sentences like, “What know one knows about me is…” and “What I love best about my sister is…”. It was an excellent reward for me to see a new generation in my family discovering journals and the magic of letters!
Then the project continued to expand
How do artist make money? Artists can use social media and the internet to sell art. I outlined plan to turn $10 into $220 with art that fit into a mailbox size container. This goal was for a semester after school program where I mentored about a dozen youth artists between 2013-2018. In this project the students were self guided with a getting started printed instructions booklet and supplies. I worked along side them to produce items and post them online to sell. 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 challenge but wanted to create large and impressive works of art that were more fun. I can’t blame them and the work created was amazing!
Merging Mermaid Type with Tarot
Almost three years after I started the quest to create a mermaid font I finally completed the basic punctuation, lower case, and uppercase letters. When I completed the font, it occured to me 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.
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, we create community, and connect meaningfully with others. Everyone has a role in the system from artist to teacher to vendor and some of us play a little bit of every roll.
I hope to reach a large audience with this project to help inspire people to feel and believe the impossible is possible. Specifically in terms of creating meaningful connections in our relationships to ourselves and each other.