Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Yassine Boudraa of 5 of Spades (Dark Edition) Playing Cards

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Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Yassine Boudraa of 5 of Spades (Dark Edition) Playing Cards

Conceptualized by Yassine Boudraa, the 5 of Spades Playing Cards is an intriguing deck featuring the artwork of UK designer Sam Hayles. The centerpiece of the artwork focuses on Yassine's brand, 5 of Spades. The iconic logo has been prominently featured on the tuck, card backs and the custom 5 of Spades card (instead of the Ace of Spades).

The meticulously crafted deck features 56 cards with Cartamundi standard faces updated with faded pips, indices and scratched out court cards giving it an intriguing visual that captures the imagination. Also for the curious, secrets, reveals, and codes are woven throughout the deck to be discovered.

Before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, we had a quick chat with Yassine about the collaboration with Sam Hayles, inspiration and design process behind the 5 of Spades deck.
Can you tell us about yourself and how did you end up collaborating with Sam Hayles?
My name is Yassine Boudraa. I was born and raised in France and currently living in Brussels, Belgium. I am a big fan of card magic and also love cardistry even though I don't really practice it. I love collecting cards and I discovered the Karnival series by Big Blind Media, designed by Sam Hayles (aka DOSEprod). I bought my first DOSEprod deck and quickly discovered all his decks. I became a fan of his artworks and got in contact with Sam as I wanted to get a signed copy of his deck. I felt happy and pretty honored when he replied me as he is an extremely busy man. He sent me few signed decks and the collectible DOSE goodies. The logo DOSE has always been part of my life.

Months later, I became very active on Social Media and started posting on Facebook and Instagram. I posted several times, DOSEprod's decks and artworks and I was tagging him. He liked most of my posts, he began to follow me. One day, I sent him a message to thank him for reacting to my posts, he thanked me too, he felt glad and proud! He confessed he didn't have much time for advertising, broadcasting and posting on social networks. I told him that I could do it for him. He took the time to think and finally he accepted. We discussed goals, objectives, and how it was going to work. We understood each other quickly as we have the same way of thinking and working. The DOSEprod dealer was born. I currently do advertising for Sam, I promote his artworks, find new collaborations, and I sell his private goodies (teeshirts, stickers, decks, etc).

This is your first crowdfunded deck. When did you first start thinking about using Kickstarter? What made you decide to take the plunge?
I noticed that crowdfunding is an incredible way to fulfill dreams and bring a product to live! As I am currently unemployed and without funds or savings, it is the obvious way to launch my project. The Cards community is a very industry with magicians, cardists, collectors, artists, and businessmen. So Hopefully we can raise funds enough funds. I have worked on my project for 3-4 years. The design evolved due to fashion trends and even XCM became Cardistry! Many cardists designed and launched their own decks. Few succeeded, while many are still trying. I feel that I am ready to launch my deck.

Can you describe the 5 of Spades Playing Cards? and why are you passionate about it?
I imagined many different concepts and imagined a deck which will attract magicians, cardists and collectors. So after a while, I realized that I couldn't create only one design. After several deck designs, I collaborated with Sam Hayles aka DOSEprod, to create a third design for me. That was unexpected. Sam had at this moment a lot of projects but he accepted. I wanted a dark and creepy deck but not excessively. So I ended with one concept but 3 different designs. I wanted to launch them all in the same Kickstarter campaign, but I realize that it will be complicated and difficult.

I also can tell you that the 5 of Spades Deck Dark Edition are full of secrets, reveals, and codes. I will launch a contest. Backers will be able to participate and discover and decrypt the secrets. There will be several selected winners and they will win incredible gifts (decks, t-shirts, and stickers). I am very proud of my concept. With it, I managed to meet very nice people and some of them became bro's, I have many great opportunities and developed my network. Thanks to God, I am living a wonderful adventure which gives me strength, hope and positive vibes every day.

What role did you play in the art direction and how much time did you spend working on the deck?
I thought about the concept for many years. When I have an idea, I developed them and built on my concept. For months, I explained my concept and project to DOSEprod. DOSEprod is very talented and professional. He designed more than 40 different decks (36 colors, 28 different designs). After several brainstorming session, DOSEprod started work on the deck. He's a machine! He started with the back design, then the tuck-case and the 5 of Spades card, the court-cards and the faces. Finally the Jokers and THE secret Card. We tweaked some of the details, but he spent around 3 months because he was working on several projects and holidays.

Could you walk us through your “Creative” process, do you DOSEprod have a routine when designing the deck or individual card?
As I answered you for the previous questions, I wanted to imagine a different concept. I wanted to create an original deck. I gave DOSEprod details, my ideas with examples and clues I didn't want to manage him with a draw and just ask him to work it on photoshop. He's an artist. I obviously let him work freely on my concept. DOSEprod's universe is very wide and he has many ideas and reactions. To be honest, even if I am the DOSEprod dealer, I don't really know how he works, he has his own secrets. I just know that he loves to walk in parks to contemplate nature, to visit museums and historical monuments. He also finds ideas and has inspiration listening to music, watching movies etc etc..

We initially noticed the 5 of Spades deck on Instagram (@5.of.spades). What do you think of the playing card community on Social Media particularly Instagram?
At first, I was more active on Facebook. I didn't know that the Playing Card community was, in fact, more active on Instagram and Snapchat. I don't really use Snapchat and I had to create an Instagram account. Finally, it was there that my network expanded. The playing card community is a huge community! Very passionate, talented and helpful.

Finally, what are your favorite playing card decks?
Ohoho!!!! That's a difficult question! My favorite decks are mainly DOSEprod decks, obviously, but I also love most of Daniel Madison's decks (I am also fan), Dan and Dave Bucks's decks, David Blaine's decks with the awesome Mark Stutzman's artwork, The Blue Crown/House of Playing card Decks, Jimmy K's Decks (Mechanic Industries), the Bicycle Dreamcatcher by Handy Altan who also is a bro and the old vintage decks (Arrco, Steamboat, Tahoe, Stud, Aviator, etc).

Thank you for your time, Yassine! At the time of writing, the project is only 27% funded with 38 days to go. If want to support 5 of Spades Playing Cards, you can find it on Kickstarter here!

The deck will be printed by our friends at Cartamundi on the super smooth B09 true linen finish. Pledge starts at €10 and there are multiple add-ons available such as Uncut Sheet, stickers, and t-shirts.
Kickstarter: 7 Questions with Yassine Boudraa of 5 of Spades (Dark Edition) Playing Cards Reviewed by Ivan on 1/29/2018 Rating: 5

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