The People’s Choice Award: Cleopatra Redbird Griffin
32: Cleopatra Redbird Griffin
Complete tarot deck illustrations
Cleopatra (she/they) has dedicated their life to the arts and supporting youth through creativity.
Cleopatra Redbird is a queer artist born to the Mountains of Vermont. They grew up in a home with no electricity or running water. This way of living had a huge impact on how they viewed the world, and the connection between humans and nature. They spent many years traveling the country and learning from different communities.
Cleopatra holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of West Florida and California College of the Arts. With a background in printmaking and textiles, their illustrations are inspired by and intuitive of the plants and animals around them as the seasons change.
Certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Culinary Arts, Cleopatra is working towards a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. On a typical day, they can be found working in their gardens or making art in their home studio in Chester VT.
My project is a tarot deck of unique illustrations. The resulting work will be a full tarot deck of 78 cards, including both the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. This is a multi-year project that I have already started, but have gotten stuck due to lack of support in time and funds. Each individual card requires research and planning to gather the correct elements and symbolism.
My artistic practice is one that has been evolving and growing for the past 20 years. I started drawing with the goal of being an artist when I was 13 years old. I work intuitively with the seasons of Vermont, constantly listening, watching, and being inspired by the plants and animals around me.
The medium I am utilizing for the tarot illustrations is a digital program called Procreate. Using an iPad and Apple pencil, I draw and color the illustrations digitally. This process allows for the highest quality print.
I have always been drawn to capturing the essence of people. In recent years, and a contributing factor to the tarot series, is my exploration of my own gender. Having never felt quite “right” in my female body and not having support in that feeling, I didn’t discover I was nonbinary until I was 30 years old. The tarot series is inspired by this conflict and exploration of the body, and how that exploration is guided by and offered healing through my connection with nature.
I invite the viewer to discover the strength, passion, and subtleness of the nonbinary body that I live in. Through this series I hope to encourage others to find their inner beauty by sharing my healing process.
Throughout the process of creating I will document and share through my social media (see below). This will allow viewers to be a part of the process. Each illustration will be available at various print sizes before the full deck is printed.
the star. “The Star is one of the first illustrations for the tarot series. They are a card in the major arcana. This illustration is an example of the art style.”
justice. “Justice is one of the first illustrations for the tarot series. They are a card in the major arcana. This illustration is an example of the art style.”
death rebirth. “Death is one of the first illustrations for the tarot series. They are a card in the major arcana. This illustration is an example of the art style.”