In the summer of 2010, I started a Tarot Book Club at a local second hand bookstore that was also a coffee shop. One of the women always brought her beloved Hezicos Tarot deck with her. She was madly in love with the colour palette and illustrations created by Mary Griffin, a British Artist. Last year, on Facebook, I saw a posting by Mary of her deck and I knew that I was in a place where I needed to work with the medicine of the Hezicos Tarot. The deck has a whimsical theme that cracks my Heart Chakra wide open. In the interview, Mary delves into her childhood & life as an artist and the story of how the Hezicos Tarot came to be!
As I was flipping through the guidebook, you mentioned that you grew up in an artistic family. What was that like? And, how did that shape your journey as an artist?
I was very fortunate as my family were artistic and from a young age we were encouraged to paint, draw and generally create pieces of art.
When I was a child there was no internet or gaming consuls, so we made our own fun and art was very much a part of that.
Every Christmas, our father would take me, my brother and sister to an amazing art and book shop local to us and we were allowed to choose three things that we wanted. Mine was usually two books and lots of paints. I was shown how to use good quality watercolours from an early age and also to respect and take care of my paints and brushes. My father was artistic and became, in his later life, a very well known and respected horologist, he specialised in grand father clocks. My brother has his own antique furniture repair business and my sister became an expert in Dutch marquetry.
The name of your deck is unique. I haven't been able to find a definition for Hezicos in a standard dictionary. How did you choose the name? What does Hezicos mean to you?
Yes, the name of Hezicos is unique so much so that I have registered the name. When I was a child, we were fortunate enough to live in a house which had a huge garden. I invented the country of Hezicos, which was actually an imaginary magical place at the bottom of our garden, my brother, sister and I would play for hours in Hezicos. As the years flew by, I always kept this name and decided to use it when creating my tarot deck. It’s a very special name and means a lot to me and my family.
Your deck features mystical creatures, almost fairy like. How did they appear to you at first? As you engaged with their energy, did any of their personalities evolve?
It took me quite some time to create the figures for the Minor Arcana cards, I love painting fairies and decided to incorporate that theme in my Hezicos deck. The Major Arcana took a long time to complete; I painted my Court Cards in a completely different way than other tarot decks. When painting the fairies, I do really engage with their energy, just love creating them.
You mention that your favourite cards are Strength, Nine of Coins and Judgement in the guidebook. Has this changed? Why do these cards hold a significance?
My favourite cards in my Hezicos Tarot deck are still Strength, Nine of Coins and Judgement. The reason they are my favourite is quite simply because I enjoyed creating them so much. My Strength card took the longest to complete out of any of the illustrations in my deck, a true labour of love!
How has The Hezicos Tarot evolved since you first published the deck?
I have only published one run of the Hezicos Deck, that is now coming to an end. When the Hezicos is finally Out of Print, I have decided that I will not be reprinting. How has it evolved since first publishing? Well I am so thrilled as my deck is loved and used by a lot of amazing people from all over the world, it has just grown and grown. I love hearing from people who have worked with my deck. I have sold my Hezicos from Iceland to Australia and a lot of countries in between, I never take this for granted and every time I sell a deck it’s exciting getting it ready to post.
What has surprised you as an Indie Tarot creator?
You ask what has surprised me as an Indie Tarot creator, to be honest with you that is a difficult question to answer. My journey along this road has been supported by so many wonderful people. It has not always been easy, and you have to take the knocks with the compliments. It is difficult as an Indie Tarot creator as you do not have a publishing company to pay you or to support your endeavour. Creating my Hezicos deck was a challenge as there were so many illustrations to create and complete, all being A4 in size. Then there was designing the back of the card, the box which was really difficult and took forever and finally the little green book. I was very lucky to have the help from my son in law, a graphic designer, when deciding on the weight of the paper which I knew nothing about. Also, a tremendous amount of support and ongoing help from the amazing guy who created my Hezicos website. I have not had any surprises about being an Indie Tarot creator just learned so much from so many lovely people. The only upset I had was to see my art work being sold from a Russian tarot site. Unfortunately, even with friends help I could not stop them. So yes, I suppose this is a surprise that someone would be prepared to copy and sell my work without any care.
As an artist, what struggle has been the toughest and taught you the most?
I have not had any real struggle with my art work. I think that’s because it is so much part of me and my way of life, I have been painting for so long!
What artists inspire you? And, if you could spend a day with only one artist (living or on the other side), who would that be and how would you spend your time with them?
I have two favourite artists. The first being Arthur Rackham, I have adored his work for years. His pen and ink drawings are just amazing. My second favourite artist is Modigliani, I was always fascinated and still am at the way he painted beautiful women with such long necks, his name is fascinating too. It would be Arthur Rackham that I would love to spend a day with, maybe him showing me how he created his paintings and then I would take him out for dinner somewhere really nice.
What new projects are you working on?
I also write children’s stories, goes with the vivid imagination I’m afraid. I have written and illustrated a children’s book called The Amberstone Dragon it is currently on amazon.co.uk as a Kindle version, but I am extremely excited as I now have my book printed in paperback format. This again is a self publishing venture. The book is an adventure story with a dragon and illustrated throughout by myself. I will be launching my book from my The Amberstone Dragon Facebook page within the next couple of weeks.
I have also recently completed a large fairy water colour painting which I am hoping to turn into prints, and I also love to sculpture models and place them under glass.
Is there anything you would like to share?
Yes, everyone can paint, everyone is good at drawing and creating, we are all so different in styles. Never say you cannot draw or paint, because you can.