Arts·Inktober

By the end of the month, this artist will be able to read the future

Draw a card, any card...Vancouver's Marchien Veen is designing a tarot deck for Inktober.

Draw a card, any card...Vancouver's Marchien Veen is designing a tarot deck for Inktober

We're not psychic, but we're pretty sure that Marchien Veen will keep drawing tarot cards all through October. (Instagram/@marchienveen)

Vancouver's Marchien Veen is an interdisciplinary artist and the founder of Wurst World, a newly launched line of "dark and playful" goods — things like canvas totes with witchy designs. And her current creative obsession is definitely on brand.

All October, CBC Arts is featuring artists who are doing the Inktober challenge, and Veen's theme is tarot. She's drawing new cards all month, with the plan to finish a deck.

But the project, it turns out, is less about fate and more about seizing your own destiny. Veen knew she wanted to create a tarot deck — but Inktober gave her the motivation to finally make it happen.

Meet the artist.

Name: Marchien Veen

Homebase: Mount Pleasant, Vancouver

Style: Dark, playful, magical

Go-to materials? Ink, gouache, mechanical pencil

How many years have you done Inktober? "This is my first year doing it and also my first year hearing about it."

Why do you do Inktober? "I'm a freelance artist and I can find it hard to be productive for personal projects/projects that don't have deadlines. I've been wanting to design a tarot deck, ideally with ink drawings, and I hope I can make some progress on it this month."

Why tarot? "I use tarot reading as a way to look at my worries and dilemmas from different angles — to hear an opinion that I would otherwise shut out. I find it really helpful, and I love the symbolism and imagery of the decks."

"As an illustrator with an interest in tarot, it's always made perfect sense to design one (primarily) for myself. I don't like to do readings for other people, so it's very personal to me and I'd love to translate the card meanings into images that I can relate to."

What keeps you motivated? "It's motivating for me to see people responding positively to the work I do. Challenges like Inktober sound silly to me most of the time, but I do feel that there are a lot of people who are genuinely excited to see what drawings I'm going to do because of it and I love that."

Which artists are you following this month? "Honestly I'm not really looking at other people's Inktober drawings. Three artists that I've been following that I'm really enjoying are Lizzi Morris (@lizzi.morris), Jon-Michael Frank (@jonmichaelfrank) and Lucy Kirk (@lucykirk)."

I'm a freelance artist and I can find it hard to be productive for personal projects/projects that don't have deadlines.- Marchien Veen, artist

What's your favourite drawing so far? "I think the first drawing I did has been my favourite — the star/water bearer. It's playful and magical and very simple, which I like."

How does Inktober help you as an artist? "It's good for me to challenge myself. I hope it will help me cut back the time I spend finicking over little details and let the drawings just be whatever it is they need to be."

Beyond Inktober, where can people find your art? "Right now, I'm primarily posting my art on Instagram (@marchienveen and @wurst.world) and I'm working on redoing my websites to be more up to date with my current projects and interests (www.marchienveen.com and wurst.world)."

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.

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