So there I was, mindlessly browsing a podcast fan group on Facebook, when I noticed somebody looking for design help. I posted a link to my website, and a cool young dude, Korbin, reached out to me.
"I'm a professional spiritual advisor," he said, linking me to a Facebook page for Queer Tarot Visions.
Oh, hell yes.
There is so much cool iconography associated with tarot cards and psychic readings, so I was pretty pumped.
But here's the thing: Korbin isn't the kind of picture you get in your mind when you hear, "psychic." You probably think of a kooky old lady in a beaded shawl waving her long, bony fingers around a crystal sphere. No, this is a cool millennial psychic, a digital native's psychic. Someone who incorporates their personal identity in their work and specializes in social media.
So I went into this process with three words in mind:
I started out by thinking of ways to incorporate the rainbow when my eyes drifted down to the chunk of quartz resting on my desk. A ha!
So then I turned on some 80s new wave and made a second option that looks like Siouxsie and the Banshees met up with the gay illuminati at ULTA.
Korbin was into the second logo, but, understandably, wanted a more gender-neutral eye. While I might feel spiritually connected to a fierce cat eye, that doesn't mean that everybody else has to. He also wanted the eye filled in with white.
Voila! Modern, mystical, and queer!
Check out Queer Tarot Vision on Facebook: www.facebook.com/queertarotvisions/
There are a couple of reasons why lists that involve families or parents are challenging.
One, Minnesota has been on a lot of them: best state for kids, best state for moms, best state for dads, best state to have a baby, best state to raise a family. That's great for our state, but it can be tough to keep it fresh as a graphic designer.
There are also a lot of ways to be really, really obvious. If you google "family," you'll see what I mean. You'll probably find a stock photo of a straight, white smiling nuclear family. You'll definitely find those "man" and "woman" icons you see on bathroom doors with tiny versions on either side to represent the 2.5 kids. Oh, and just to mix it up, here's a thin, attractive mom and dad forming a chain of intertwined hands with their khaki-clad spawn, facing the sunset.
I'm gay and grew up with a single mom. The Minnesota family that I grew up with didn't look like that and the Minnesota family I'll have some day won't look like that. Minnesota families are gay families, immigrant families, single-parent families, blended families, rural families, and poor families. So how do you create something that celebrates Minnesota families in a way that allows for diverse bodies to see themselves reflected? One way to do it is to make those bodies into negative space.
I'm asking you, the viewer, to fill in the blanks here. You could look at this and see a young, conventionally attractive white mom and dad and two white babies. If you want to. You could also see a Hmong family or a Latinx family. You could see two dads or a single parent with a teenager in the midst of a growth spurt. You could see your five-year-old son who wears hearing aids or your daughter who likes blue more than pink. The only thing we know about the implied family in this image (besides the fact that they wear shirts) is that they're Minnesotans.
And there's no wrong way to be that.