07 Sep Interview with Thom Pham – Creator of Heart of Stars Tarot
Earlier in the Summer I was blessed with a First Edition Copy of the Heart of Stars Tarot deck which I connected with straight away. I love Pop Culture and am a mad movie buff so this Tarot deck spoke to me straight away. It You can see my review of the deck here.
Can you share a little about yourself. Where you are from, what you are passionate about and what is your profession?
I was born in France, and lived in the USA for 12 years. I now live between Paris and Budapest. I’m passionate about a lot of things : modern art, painting, movies, poetry, dancing. I love anything esoteric and paranormal : witchcraft, mediumship, magic, psychic, shamans, aliens, you name it..anything weird and strange and unexplained I love. I work as a freelance graphic designer and partime as a caretaker for mentally handicaps.
How did this journey of creating the deck unfold?
I mainly created this deck for me and for my tarot friends. I wanted to create a deck that I could easily relate to, that contains visual cues that would trigger my intuition with symbols I am familiar with, symbols from the pop/TV culture I grew up with and surrounds me. The first card I did is The Fool, and thought Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp would make a perfect Fool. I was really please with it, and it became my “Fool’s journey ” to create a deck that implements famous actors, personalities and characters.
What were the unexpected challenges creating this deck?
I never had in mind to commercialize this deck when I first started designing it; I only wanted to have fun and create a deck for my own purposes. The challenge came when more people liked the idea of a deck with “actors” and had to think about making it more available for others. The challenge was both creative and practical as well. The main issue was about the rights of using famous people in my cards. I had to contact a lawyer about it to get more info. So what started as just an innocent, fun and “just for my pleasure ” type project became more problematic when I wanted to reach a larger audience. I almost gave up midway, but that lawyer told me it was one of those project that “were borderline ” with rights, and can be interpreted as parody. So I went for it.
What is your favourite Tarot Card? (of your deck or in general)
I like the Fool and the Star. The Star is the only card I don’t use a known “Star “but just someone that wants to be a “Star “.
I use the Tarot mainly as a tool to bring more flow into my life. When I feel things are not right or aligned in my life, but can’t quite put my finger on what it is, I use the Tarot. It pinpoints very accurately the things I need to be more aware of in every area. I use it also as a meditation tool, by connecting with the energy of certain cards that acts like guides. For example I picked the Empress card to guide me on my next project and I set her in front of my desk to meditate on.
Any advice for the artists and creators reading this?
Ha! Get feedback from people that share the same excitement in your project and stay away from those not offering constructive criticism. Sometimes a project can stall with lack of inspiration or not knowing how to solve a certain challenge and it’s where sharing your process with a good friend can get the juice going again. After I stopped in the middle of a project I was able to pick up pace again with projects many times just by sharing where I was at.
Any exciting projects in the creative pipeline?
Yes ! I’m creating a Oracle of Poets. It is a 44 cards deck that is based on the 22 Major Arcana. Two poets will represents different aspects of one Major Arcana. There are no “negative” cards and all poet cards comes with a quote that offers insight or advice.
Starsign? – Cancer
Favourite flavour of ice-cream? – Butter pecan
Do you have any pets? – 1 cat
What book are you currently reading? – Died too young : psychic twins, Post office : Charles Bukowski
Name a film you have seen more than 5 times? – Gattaca
Who is your biggest inspiration? – my lazy cat
What is your go-to crystal? – phantom quartz
How can we follow you and your projects?
Facebook: Heart of Stars Tarot