Jody Eklund and Black Ink Playing cards have certainly come into their own over the last year or so. Jody's style and attention to detail make his work appreciated by card handlers as well as collectors.
Today, April 12th at 10:00 MST, Black Ink Playing Cards brings Inception to Kickstarter with some truly beautiful art work and design elements. Jody was kind enough to take a few minutes to share some insight into his latest project for our readers.
After 3 very successful campaigns in a row (Golden Spike, Innovations & Devastation), does the process ever become easier?
This is a great question. I find it’s a question that I struggle with in many ways. I always find myself asking, “is it ever going to get easier?” My frustration comes when a process, that is supposed to make it easier… turns out, really is not that much easier. There is always complications and obstacles that make the process challenging. The good news is, many of the things I struggled with before are no longer a problem. So, yes, the things that were once hard have become easier, but overall, it’s just as challenging, if not more difficult than it was when I first started designing playing cards. It’s difficult to come up with a great idea. It’s easier to know where to find people to back my project. It’s still really hard to come up with something I love and have the mass appeal that makes a KS campaign successful.
Your style has become very recognizable; does Inception take your work in a new direction in style or concept?
I think one of my greatest challenges as an artist or as creator is to continue to find new ways to stretch myself. I am never satisfied with what I have done. I’m always striving to make my skills better. For Inception my inspiration came from Leonardo DaVinci’s sketches and his obsession with knots. I wanted to create something that looked like it was created 500 years ago and use the knots as a design element that is woven throughout the project.
Well thought out projects don't happen overnight, how much research and time went into developing Inception?
The idea for Inception came when I started the Inventors series with Innovation. I had always planned to make it a 3 deck project. With the Innovation Deck, I focused on the most popular inventors and innovators. The ones that you think of when you have to come up with some off the top of your head. Innovation was the positive/ good side of change that impacted the world in which we live. The second deck, Devastation, focused on the inventions that changed our world in a way that we may have never intended, for destruction. To complete the whole series is the Inception Deck. The title Inception, is just that, the start of an idea. Of course, it’s really hard to trace the origins of an invention totally, but I chose great thinkers and innovators that were way before their time.
Will Inception have any unique features or design elements?
The two most notable features of this project is a change from the black ink look to Leonardo DaVinci’s sketch style and his obsession with knots. Leonardo seemed to have included Celtic-type knots in many of his works. I wanted to do the same with Inception.
This project will have 3 variation, all 3 very unique each on its own, could you tell us a little about them?
Each deck will come with unique tuck designs, back, Ace of Spades and the King of Spades. There are so many great thinkers and innovators that have helped shape the world that we live in today, that I wanted to make sure they were in this project. During the process of illustrating some unique knots, I think I too became obsessed with knots like Leonardo. I love the intricacy in which Celtic knots are created, and so, I wanted to make the Ace of Spades for each deck unique.
Can backers expect any unique bonus items or add-ons as the campaign moves forward?
One of the many things I have learned doing 3 successful KickStarter campaigns is that I try to offer all that I have to offer from the very beginning. This makes it easier for me to control the project and it makes it less problematic and confusing for my backers. I think I have taken on the philosophy that what a backer originally decided to pledge for from the beginning should be rewarded as the project becomes more successful. So, I look to add value to the reward tiers as the project moves forward and give backers a bigger reward than they originally pledged for. I also want to reward those who decide to pledge the high rewards. I became a big believer in this when I received a reward from a project that I backed that I did not expect. It told me that the creator showed some thought and was thanking me for helping him reach his goal.
What excites you most about this project?
I believe this is a great project! It is filled with many intricate details that I am really proud of. I think what really excites me as always are the characters on the courts. I really enjoy getting a sort of history lesson with all of the decks that I have created in the past until now. I learned about things that I never knew, or reminded of the things I once knew, but seemed to have forgotten.
Kardify would like to thank Jody Eklund for his time and the opportunity to bring a little of Inceptions back story to our readers. If your interested in keeping up to date with everything that's going on at Black Ink Playing Cards, you can follow them on Facebook as well as visiting their main web site.