NATI—House of Child's Play, Leo



For an artist, I tend to be hyper organized when it comes to making work. I need my studio cleaned, the mail sorted, and to be dressed for the day before I work each day. I also use A LOT of spreadsheets. Whether it’s a checklist of possible ideas for new drawings, a deadline calendar, or a “tarot tracker”—I use spreadsheets to keep on top of the “themes and schemes”.

What does this have to do with this image? Well when I made my little Tarot Tracker doc (yes, that’s what it is called) I broke each suit down into corresponding colors (red, green, yellow, blue) that matched emotions (rage, jealousy, anxiety, sorrow) and then aligned them to each house of the zodiac via each house’s associated astrological sign. (See, I NEED a spreadsheet to keep track!) The fifth house was about drama, joy, love affairs, and children. It felt a little strange so I kinda ignored the “love affairs” part and focused on those other key words. This was the first drawing that came to me after doing this exercise. It set the tone for the rest of the deck—not just visually but how I would hash out the rest of the images.


The lion mask

The lion mask


This is a blatant reference to the astrological sign of Leo but there’s more going on. I chose a mask that hurts because that’s what masks can do. They look good on the outside but hide the fear and pain (or any emotion at all) behind them. A mask that weeps blood from a smiling face seemed like the best illustration of “sticks and stone may break my bone but words will slice right through me”.

The bat & warp

The bat & warp


I chose this instrument for several significant reasons. The first being its attachment to childhood sport—pretty basic. The second being a bat as a weapon. When I was in the second grade, my friend came to school with a bloodshot eye. “My sister hit me in the skull with a metal bat” she said. I was horrified (it’s horrific) and the image has never left me. Childhood and child’s play has an element of violence.


The warp was a late edition to this. I was worried about how graphic some people might find this and wanted to add a surreal element to break up the tension. It gives a bit of haze to the overall vibe.