Rogue Queen Playing Cards by Galen Nicole – Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!!

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147 Kickstarter backers pledged $9,391 to help bring this project to life.

Galen Nicole

Artist and Designer Galen Nicole

 

“Bold and Timid, Honest and Frank, Kind and Generous, Feisty and Gentle, Giving and Passionate, and above all oh so very Magical, this is what I think of when I think of Galen.”

– Galen Nicole’s Mum, Paula

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Tuck Box

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Tuck Box

This review is going to be slightly different than my others, and I make no apologies for it. Usually, I talk about the actual deck of cards. This time round I’ll be concentrating on the artist herself – Galen Nicole. Sadly, Galen passed away last year after losing her battle with a rare form of cancer. But the legacy that she left behind is truly a credit to not only her pure artistic talents but also her determination, positive outlook, selflessness and fighting spirit. The Rogue Queen ‘Genesis’ Playing Cards occupied much of Galen’s time during her illness and it was her dream to get this deck finished and onto Kickstarter. Now her parents Paula and Lee have made that dream a reality. The Rogue Queen ‘Genesis’ deck has been successfully funded on Kickstarter :) Click here to visit the project page.

Rogue Queen Studios Logo

Rogue Queen Studios Logo

The story behind this deck begins in the Autumn of 2012 with three friends, who would meet in a coffee shop to discuss the various projects that they were each working on. One day the artist of the group, Galen, who had been working on ideas for a deck of playing cards, brought in a sketch that she had done of a ‘Queen’. With the blank, haunting eyes, the sketch impressed the friends and they decided to adopt it as the logo for their group Rogue Queen Studios. This sketch also formed the basis of the style of the rest of the Rogue Queen deck. At this stage, Galen was fit and well and had many of the same hopes and dreams for her future as any other young woman has, eager and excited at the prospects that lay before her in her life. Then came the heartbreaking bombshell……

Gold Fish by Galen Nicole

Gold Fish by Galen Nicole

For those of us who are lucky enough to not be going through it, it’s difficult to know how we would deal with being told that our time is running short. And for a young woman in her mid twenties with so much living to do and so much to give, it must have been a devastating blow. She could have let it swallow her up, she could have given in to it and let it take over and consume her, pander to it and allow it to feed on her fears. But what Galen did was she met it head on and challenged it. She threw herself into her art and even helped other young people at the hospital she attended for her treatment, by actively participating in a program they were running that focuses on Art in Healing. She turned some of her earlier works into a downloadable colouring-in book which the doctors are still giving to their young cancer patients to this day.

Examples of Galen's earlier works

Examples of Galen’s earlier works

The imagery in the Rogue Queen deck is, in contrast to her earlier work, striking to say the least. Stark blacks and reds blend in with court cards that either face you head on or are showing almost aloof but strong, stoic profiles. The pips are simplistic and clean. It’s an edgy deck. It’s a sassy deck. It’s a bold deck. It’s a deck that’s full of attitude. The attitude of someone who’s determined to fight.

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Spades Court Cards

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Spades Court Cards

Galen’s mother Paula very kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me and was happy to talk of her daughter, her work, her outlook, and the Rogue Queen ‘Genisis’ Playing Cards. I think it’s best to let Paula take over from here…. 

Paula – “I’ve referred to the Rogue Queen designs as edgy and darker in comparison to her other work. Her style could also be quite whimsical as seen in her children’s book titled Douglas Bee published in 2009. It’s the story of a Bee searching for his purpose in life. There were many designs that followed the Rogue Queen and her style was always evolving.  I think what was most fascinating was the way the designs just kept flowing, like they had long been waiting to jump onto the page.”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Diamonds Court Cards

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Diamonds Court Cards

Paula – “After teaching English in Thailand she became really interested in developing teaching materials using her designs with the goal to make them available via eBook and app format. Launching the project required more resources than she had available.   The idea of playing cards evolved from her discussions with Ben, as he is the card player of the group.

I’ve pulled this excerpt from her unpublished blog…

Galen – ‘I met my friend Ben about 10 years ago. We would loose touch from time to time, but then cross each other’s paths again. Without planning, we ended up in similar college courses, finally deciding to work on our business capstones together. Later, he was in Malaysia on business while I was teaching in Thailand, so he stopped in for a weekend to say hello and check out the area. When I got back to the States we met for coffee and had a lovely conversation about the experience of reverse culture shock and what we both wanted to be doing in the near future. We shared the same habit of constantly needing to be involved with a project. We decided to meet weekly for coffee and discuss the projects we were working on as a means to stay motivated. Quickly we scrapped ideas that we had individually and started collaborating. Also quickly, we realized that we both had a knack for starting things, but not finishing them. It was time to find a third party, and luckily Ben’s girlfriend Holly had expressed interest.'”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Aces

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Aces – “Diamonds Are Forever” & “Live Now”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Aces

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Aces – “Luck Never Lingers” & “True Love Will Never Stray”

iCollectPlayingCards –  The mottos on the 4 Aces are very telling of someone who knows time is short. It’s almost as if looking at this artwork is like reading her diary filled with her deepest thoughts and fears. Do you think Galen saw the creating of this deck as some kind of personal release?

Novel writing software without the learning curve.
Rogue Queen Playing Cards Back

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Back – click for a clearer image.

Paula – Yes it does seem like she was sharing some of her deeper thoughts.  The original card back was two-way. However I was concerned that when printed the quote {“If there’s delight in love, ’tis when I see that heart, which others bleed for, bleed for me.”} would not be legible, so we modified it to a one-way to enlarge the letters.  She frequently added subtle words in her designs such as in the case of the Joker where the glow around the globe reads “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.   

Pablo Picasso said that, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life”.  Personally I think during this period of time her work was a metaphoric cleansing for her, a focus towards future possibilities, and an escape from considering the unimaginable. All of it intertwined.

We can definitely see her in each of the cards.”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Jokers

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Jokers

iCPC – Galen’s original drawing, which became the Rogue Queen and then the RQS’s logo, had the ‘intense empty eyes’ that have carried on through to the Court cards of the deck. At that point she didn’t know she was ill. Is there some significance to this feature?  

Paula – “I can’t speak to her reason behind the hollow eyes. However I think it’s interesting how they draw you in. What is significant to me is that it’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and they can tell a lot about a person. For me it raises the question how often do we really take the time to go beyond what we see and understand who someone is, to notice his or her joy, their pain, or uniqueness. Beyond that how often do we allow people to see into who we truly are? There’s a vulnerability in sharing that goes both ways.”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Hearts Court Cards

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Hearts Court Cards

iCPC – The Rogue Queen ‘Genesis’ Deck would suggest that this is just the first of many decks being released by Rogue Queen Studios. Do you have any other projects in the sidelines to release after this project ends?

Paula – “Galen had a few other projects that she had designed and hoped to release if the Rogue Queen was successful on Kickstarter. These include designs similar to the style of the Rogue Queen, and a couple more oriented to children such as a deck of cards similar to “Go Fish”.   We will assess the direction and projects we wish to continue with after the funding period ends.”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Clubs Court Cards

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Clubs Court Cards

iCPC – You’re going with USPCC to print this deck, with a minimum print run of 2500 decks. You have decided to donate some of the remaining decks (after the Kickstarter campaign) to organisations with programs that provide support to young adults facing a life-altering diagnosis as happened to Galen. Have you any specific organizations in mind? Are you able to name them?

Paula – “Because Galen’s diagnosis was a rare form of cancer she traveled from her home in Oregon to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas every 3 months to be treated by specialists. While there she participated in a program that focuses on Art in Healing.   There is a wonderful documentary film called “A Beautiful Remedy” that speaks to the importance and the power of art in Medicine today. They have a program called Cancer180 that focuses on the social needs of young adults. There are other organizations with programs and support groups that exist and we are always open to program recommendations.

Galen would often say she had her art but what do other (cancer patients) have to help them get through?  In her sharing spirit she created a downloadable coloring book from her Go Fish card project for some of the Doctors at MD Anderson who’ve shared with us how they continue to provide copies to their young patients who are undergoing treatment.

What’s unique about young adults is that often they are misdiagnosed and don’t receive the proper care or treatment early enough.  Most young people already have so much on their plate in terms of figuring out Life, becoming their own person, relationships, hopes and dreams.  Imagine all of that being swept upon you like a Tsunami.  At a time when many your age are exploring their independence you are suddenly dependent on others and your ideas of a future are cast into uncertainty.”

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Pips

Rogue Queen Playing Cards Pips

Paula – “Allow me to leave you with her words…………………..”

You Cannot Stop the Water by Galen Nicole

You Cannot Stop the Water by Galen Nicole

Galen – “I overhear a lot of people talk about how they are distraught about which directions their lives should go. Before this I was one of them. I don’t have advice; all I can say is that I was in a situation where I really just needed my life to go A direction… any probably would have been fine. So I picked one, and chose to love it so much that I could not stand the thought of not being able to follow that path. And so I did. I stepped away from being ill and took one step at a time towards creating art and that project. It’s a large part of why I never gave up, and if you bared witness, you might have wondered why I fought so damn hard on the days I was barely hanging on. I had given myself something to live for.”


I honestly can’t thank Paula enough for agreeing to talk with me about her daughter. She opened her heart to a complete stranger, and at a time when the pain from losing Galen surely must still be extremely raw, she spoke eloquently and candidly about the hopes and aspirations of a truly gifted artist and very obviously a beautiful human being, who didn’t just sit and wallow in her own fate, but chose to actively help those who were going through the same awful experience.

Thank you to everyone who pledged for this deck after reading my review. I know that Galen’s family and friends appreciate all the support that has been shown.

And thanks to everyone who shared on their social media sites. I can’t wait to get my decks :)

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66 thoughts on “Rogue Queen Playing Cards by Galen Nicole – Successfully Funded on Kickstarter!!

  1. Hannah

    All of these playing cards are like works of art. Absolutely beautiful! Some of them are kind of gothic looking, which is awesome! They kind of remind me of comic book style artwork too. Stunning!

    I love your site and always look forward to seeing the next deck of cards you share with us!
    Hannah.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      As always thank you Hannah. Sorry for the delay in replying. This is honestly one of my favourite ever decks. I’ve received mine from the Kickstarter campaign and they are even better in the flesh than the imagery would have you believe. Love them!!

      Reply
  2. sharon

    an unusual and very interesting hobby/collection.
    very clean and clearly laid out article with good use of pictures and nice short paragraphs.
    your article is very well thought out and informative with good use of quotations.
    it is a sad yet inspiring article giving hope and encouragement to others.
    I hope you continue to inspire people through your posts.
    good luck
    from sharon

    Reply
  3. Connie

    I am so privileged to have been given the chance to write a review on this truly beautiful and very inspiring page. I almost feel that it is wrong to critique such a beautiful piece but here goes nothing,

    The content is so beautifully written that it captures the reader from the onset. The images are so beautiful that they don’t distract from the content they only enhance it. The page loads well and by the time you have read the piece you really feel you have known Galen. This is a truly wonderful page and I am so glad that I have had the chance to read it.

    Reply
  4. lori

    i dont think i have ever been at such a loss for words. i actually stared at this screen for quite some time before i was composed enough to type. the story is overpowering, and your review does it justice like i have seldom seen in any media. eloquent and beautiful. your topic and method of offering it is in my opinion a valid enough reason for the internet to exist. to share material like this with such grace is magic. This is pure magic and i love it. i am awed in the best sense of the word. thank you for writing this, thank you for sharing it. Its gorgeous, thought provoking and real beyond expectation

    Reply
  5. Martin

    Very cool review of not only the cards, but the artist herself. I am saddened to hear of Galen Nicole’s passing. As a a semi pro magician, I know that a beautiful deck of cards can and a sense of elegance and style to you performance! I happen to buy lots of decks because I go through them so quickly. So in short, I know my card decks! The work on this deck is beautiful! Nicole was truly talented! I hope that I’ll be able to acquire a deck, but the designs are so beautiful that I doubt I’ll be using this deck in regular performance!

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic article,

    Martin

    Reply
  6. Jester

    WHOA! Galen’s style is absolutely striking and stellar in the red, black & white. And on top of it all It’s original, I honestly don’t feel as if I’ve seen this before, or something similar. I hope her legacy goes very very far. I absolutely LOVE the healing with art, what a great idea, as well as being able to provide for it herself while helping others. It would be fantastic to see this program worldwide.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Jester. This is one of my favourite decks, I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to get mine. I know that the use of art in healing, whether it’s simply to take someone’s mind off ‘other’ things, or to get them active and participating in something, definitely works. So long may it continue :)

      Reply
  7. Terry

    Hi Jyl,

    You have an interesting niche for your website. I read your article on the Rogue Queen playing cards by Galen Nicole. It’s interesting to see how developing playing cards are put into action. I had no idea that it took so long, you said Galen started to develop her deck in 2012, and it’s just being completed. She must have put a lot of hard work into it. You had an interesting article. Good luck to you.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Terry, yes, when someone is passionate about something that they are designing they tend to put a lot of time and effort into it. This deck means a lot to a lot of people. It’s an inspirational story.

      Reply
  8. Devin

    I’ve never really given much thought to the art on playing cards. After reading this article it’s kind of changed the way I look at these kinds of things. You often forget that everyday items like playing cards do have artists behind them, often times artists who are passionate. I loved the art I saw here.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Devin. It’s because of the talent and passion of the artist that these cards have been successfully funded on Kickstarter. :

      Reply
  9. Christene D

    This is an amazing tribute page to Galen. She was a truly amazing and inspirational young woman. Her artwork was gorgeous. After this review I feel that I almost know this young woman I have never been acquainted with – you should be proud of what you have created here it is special.

    Thank you
    Christene

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Christene, that truly means a lot :) Sometimes I come across a deck of cards with a beautiful, amazing, fascinating, or as in this case, heartbreaking story behind them. This deck was successfully funded on Kickstarter, and this means that there will be 2500 of this deck to help remember the art and spirit of Galen Nicole. A fitting tribute to outstanding talent :)

      Reply
  10. Loretta

    I can honestly say I enjoyed the article. The story of this young woman and her creativity inspires me. It’s a reminder that life is short and to do what you can for anyone you can. Messages on the cards are clever also. The pictures are exquisite. Very unique. I never really paid attention to the designs on the cards but I will now.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you for your comments Loretta. It is an inspirational story, and the deck is truly a remarkable work of art. I’m so happy that it got funded :

      Reply
  11. Buckethead Baptist

    Happy for all involved that the project was successfully funded.

    Congrats to Rogue Queen Studios and blessings to the family and all involved that pushed the project over the finish line.

    Reply
  12. Blessed

    I knew people collected cards and decks but I guess I always assumed it was just for building value to resale. I really loved that your site focused so much on the art. The Rogue Queen deck are some beautiful cards. There is obviously a lot of work and passion in them. I like your site too. The stories, especially the ones of you growing up, made me recall projects or “shared passions” I had with my grandfather.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate the fact that you get this deck and the artwork involved. Thank you :)

      Reply
  13. Michael Hills

    Great page, great cards, great artist! Sorry to hear of her passing. These cards have so much character and artistry, it’s amazing! I’m sold. So sad that such amazing talent is lost. I love the bold, black, white and red of this card deck. The diamonds court cards are sweet. Does she have other card decks?

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Michael, yes she does have other decks, but I think that her parents want to see how the Rogue Queen goes before releasing them. Galen’s art is inspirational. Let’s hope we can get to see those other decks :):)

      Reply
  14. Gary

    It’s always tragic when a young person is taken so soon. In this case, however, she had a legacy to leave that most of us will not have for decades, if ever. There is something tangible about her that persists. It continues in physical form and expresses the creative spirit that visited this tiny blue planet for too few years.

    I’ve always considered collecting and collectables rather boring, just not my cup of tea. In this case, though, I’m impressed.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Gary. I appreciate you taking the time to read the review when it wasn’t your thing, and thank you for feeling moved to comment with your kind words :)

      Reply
  15. Dave Fletcher

    Well now, hello there Jyl.

    This project really touches my heart, in a very tender place. My dearest and lifelong friend has been the most beautiful and accomplished artist until suffering a major devastating stroke at Easter 2014. She is still alive by a miracle, but severely crippled now, and can no longer paint. She was also an accomplished Bridge player.

    Because of her, I have artistic interests, in fine and graphic art. Having watched her paint over the years I have an appreciation and insight other people may have been so privileged to have.

    From the tributes on your site Galen seems to have been very beautiful and talented, and her card designs, unique and beautiful to behold, show great character, creativity and strength. So as to content, I think you have done a great job that shows her talent and personality.

    I find the site very spiritual, quite honestly. Art, and all creativity, come from the soul. I think you may have done more than you are aware of to show that in the way Galen’s work is presented, and the notes about her.

    Cancer is a terrible disease, is it not? This young lady has left a legacy of beauty behind her, over which death will not triumph because of what you and your friends involved in the project with you have done.

    I was not aware of Kickstarter until following the link and I will be taking a closer look at it.

    I am truly privileged to review your site. My warmest congratulations and best wishes for the future with your project.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Dave, you’re a beautiful human being. Thank you for taking the time to write such a moving comment. I am very sorry to hear about your friend. A stroke is surely one of the most painful things to watch someone go through, especially when they were so active and artistically gifted once. Never mind how frustrating and devastating it must be for them. It’s so sad that this has happened, I’m so sorry. Galen was lucky enough (for want of a better phrase) that her art wasn’t taken from her during her illness, and that she was able to throw herself into it to somehow help with coping with what was happening to her. Thank you for your comment Dave, and I wish you and your friend all the very best :)

      Reply
  16. Frank

    wow, these are beautiful playing cards. and so sad that she passed away at such a young age. believe it or not i think my favorite cards are those without any picture/face artwork. her number cards are incredible clean and crisp. i like the simplistic look of how she organized the symbols towards the center square. very nice touch

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Frank. I know, the pips are just fuss-free and simplistic in contrast to the court cards that have so much passion and strength. It’s a great deck and I hope you’ve been sharing to get it funded…? 4 days to go! :)

      Reply
  17. Daniella

    Hi Jyl,

    Wonderful article, I really enjoyed reading it!

    I did not know about Galen before I read your blog and I can say it’s very interesting and the cards are so beautiful! What really matters is what you leave on this beautiful world and she left something very special . Her parents resuscitate her through these incredible cards.

    Well done ! I love it:)

    Thank you for this artistic blog

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Daniella, thanks for your comments. We’ve 4 days left to get this funded….. hope you’ve been sharing…?? :)

      Reply
  18. Travis Smithers

    That is truly one of the best posts that I have read. You usually always make sure you research about your post topics to make each one unique.

    The way you put this post together should make Paula proud of how, I believe you brought her daughter Galen’s passion for life through here artistic ability of the cards she created.

    You and your site are one of the perfect ways to carry on Galen’s legacy.

    Great detail to a well written post.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Travis for your kind words :) Every now and then we are touched by someone’s life story. Someone we’ve never even met. Some stories need to be told, and Galen’s is one of them. :)

      Reply
  19. JellyB

    What a beautiful but sad article. I was very moved reading this. I’m a big fan of cards and I do play loads of card games so learning to design them is another thing I enjoy. Totally loved especially the Joker design! That looks awesome. The artist was super talented and I’m bookmarking this page as I would love to see more designs! Well done!

    Cheers!

    Jelly.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Jelly. Having the talent to produce a deck of cards is something I don’t possess, so I was happy to write this article and highlight the work of such a brilliant artist. The Jokers are great aren’t they? I’m a Joker collector and I particularly like the blue one – very striking imagery :)

      Reply
  20. Stephen Mcgouran

    Wow that was some story and very sad that she unfortunately passed away in the end!

    Fair play Jyl for writing this story and the artwork for those card decks is very beautiful. When I play cards I don’t really think about the design of the cards like most people when they’re in the thick of it but those designs Galen made were beautiful!

    Unfortunately she passed away but it says a lot about her when something as serious as cancer hits someone that they can forget about their situation and have a goal in front of them that they focus on finishing and that she would be there for the kids in hospital who were also going through tough times as well says it all!

    Cheers and look forward to your next post, Stephen

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Stephen. This is something that struck me about this story – that someone who was going through something like that was concerned about how OTHERS were coping, and what she could do to help. Playing cards have generally been just something that you ‘have lying around’. But with this deck you have a whole story. It’s not over yet though, so let’s help get these funded!! I hope you’ve shared….. :)

      Reply
  21. Brandon

    Wow those are some fancy looking playing cards by Galen. That is neat you where able to talk to her mom, and it was unfortunate that she wasn’t able to talk of this deck herself. These are the future of playing card art I wonder if they will start to assume a new look after people start liking this rouge look better. Are these cards for collecting or just playing or art? Neat designs.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks Brandon. Playing card art is evolving all the time. Recent years have seen many MANY new designs being brought out with amazing artistry. I’d have to say that the answer to your question is: all three :) You can buy a deck and put it in a box as part of your collection. You can bring them out at a poker night and enjoy playing with a beautiful, quality deck which will be a talking point at the table. Or you can get an uncut sheet and frame it for your wall. I’m always saying that everyone collects in their own way. Me? I like to have at least a couple of hands with a good deck, so keeping it sealed in cellophane is not for me. I also have lots of uncut sheets waiting to be hung on the walls – it’s just getting round to it..!! I’m glad you like the deck. Have you shared this post on your social media…? :)

      Reply
  22. Charles Reynolds

    Galen was truly a unique person. She was a very creative artist. Despite the fact that her life was shortened she found something to live for with her art. She made the best of a bad situation. Galen’s spirt lives on with the art that she created and is still being used by other hospital patients. I think what we can learn from Galen is that life is short so find something in your life that you truely enjoy and can make a difference in other peoples lives with it.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Exactly Charles. When life gives you lemons, grab a bottle of gin :) But seriously, I doubt very much whether I would ever have the strength that Galen had. I can’t help but admire her and her fighting spirit. She went to hospital to get treatment for her own illness and she was more worried about how other people in her situation didn’t have anything to occupy their time and energy. I think we can all learn from Galen’s story. Thank you for your comments :)

      Reply
  23. Evie

    What a beautiful story, When I looked at her playing cards, I could see her style in them. Some people are just naturally talented and it’s nice to know Galen continued till her time on earth was up doing what she loved. You described her Rogue Queen playing cards to the tee, Edgy, Sassy, bold, full of attitude, a fighters deck. It’s a reminder that we shouldn’t give up even when we have obstacles to face. I didn’t know who she was until I read your article but, her story will stick with me. My daughter is an artist and I know she will love her art. Thanks for sharing your beautifully written article about Galen Nicole. I just made my pledge and I’m going to give the deck of cards to my daughter who will love and cherish her art work. :)

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Evie, thank you so much for pledging!! That’s fantastic :) Your daughter will have a very unique, artistically brilliant deck of cards that she will treasure always. And thank you for your kind words about Galen. Her family will very much appreciate what you’ve said :)

      Reply
      1. Evie

        I just wanted to let you know, my daughter got her cards today and she loves them. She really loved the artwork on the cards. I must say that I was impressed too. Thanks again for doing this article. I would have never known about such a fantastic artist named Galen, may she rest in peace and her work lives on. :)

        Reply
        1. Jyl Post author

          Thank you so much Evie for letting me know :) I haven’t received mine yet because I’m in the UK, but I’ve been told they’re on their way – and I can’t wait!!! I’m so glad your daughter decided to get a deck after reading this review. It makes what I do extremely worthwhile. I hope your daughter enjoys her deck, and I’m sure she’ll be telling Galen’s story when she shows the cards to her friends, helping her live on through her art. Thank you again :) x

          Reply
  24. David

    Hi Jyl,

    What a great tribute to your friend.

    Some of the examples of her earlier work are quite impressive.

    The artwork on the cards themselves also look quite impressive, especially the use of the colours red and black.

    Some of the text included on some of the cards themselves are interesting.

    Kindest Regards,
    David

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks David. I’m glad when people appreciate the background story behind this deck. And the art work just speaks for itself doesn’t it? I appreciate your comment, thank you :)

      Reply
  25. Nancy

    What a poignant and beautiful story! Galen certainly had a rare talent and left us way too soon. I have never seen a deck of regular playing cards that looked so beautiful.

    Are you planning to feature other decks as well? Since this was an eye-opener for me, I think others may like to see more of this type of thing as well.

    Nancy

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Nancy. Yes, I’m putting decks on my site all the time. The subject matters change drastically, but I’m sure there’s plenty to keep you interested :) Thank you for your comment :)

      Reply
  26. Tony

    Truly amazing and touching story about Galen! The artwork is exceptional. It really stands out! My wife teaches art to elementary students and I know she will really appreciate Galen’s work. Maybe that is a new project she could teach the kids – to design and create their own playing card.

    Will Galen’s cards be available as wall art like you have featured with many of the other decks? The wall art idea using playing cards is new to me. Very unique and I like it.

    Jyl, thank you for sharing Galen’s story. It is a gift you have given her and to her family. I will share it as well.

    Tony

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hi Tony, thank you :) Yes, the deck is available as an uncut sheet for $35 if you’re in the US, and there’s also a poster available of the back of the deck for $20. I flippin’ LOVE the idea that your wife should get her students to design a deck of playing cards – even if each came up with a few cards each. They could put them on Kickstarter and see if they can raise funds to get them printed and help raise money for the school, or after school clubs etc. Do let me know if that happens. And I’m sure Galen’s Mum would be thrilled too :)

      Reply
  27. Kristy

    Galen sounds like an incredible woman that had a bright future. It’s sad that it ended so soon, but a part of her lives on in her work and those that are enjoying it.
    Thanks for sharing her story and her beautiful artwork with all of us. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article and am going to check out her Kickstarter page.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      That would be great Kristy :) Even if you’re not a ‘playing card collector’, having a unique, stylish, brilliant deck of cards that is a limited edition would definitely be a talking point at any card game. This deck deserves to be funded, so any help is much appreciated :)

      Reply
  28. Debra

    This is a truly wonderful deck with great artwork and presentation on each suit. The story behind the deck makes it even more special.

    I never imagined that there were so many decks of cards and such a passion for the artistry in creating them. Keep your reviews coming because I love reading and seeing them.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Hello again Debra :) I always love it when an artist or a designer puts their heart and soul into a deck – it really shows. That’s why I get so peeved when people throw together a deck and call it ‘art’. I love this deck because of the heart, soul and passion of this particular designer. And I can’t wait to get my decks :)

      Reply
  29. lb

    Absolutely Amazing!

    I love art, especially art that tells a story with no words needed. That is exactly what I see here. It is heartbreaking that such talent has left us way too early. My hope is that her legacy will live on through the cards she cared so much for.

    Thank you so much for sharing her work and in a sense sharing the essence of her through her work.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you for your comment – it’s very much appreciated. I’m no artist myself, so when someone as gifted and talented as this comes along their work needs to be showcased :) What a great way to do it in a deck of cards :)

      Reply
  30. bbradd

    Hi Jyl – I must say I was rather touched by this informative and emotionally gripping post. I play poker once a month with ‘the guys’ and had never really given much of a thought to the origin of the artwork on the back of the cards. Actually, I had never really paid any attention to it as my focus was always on the cards in my hand in on the table. This post has opened my eyes though and I will be sure to have a browse for a deck that I like. Can you recommend any cards that have surfing or ocean related artwork or photos on them?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thanks very much for your comment. When you’re used to taking out a deck of cards and playing hands of poker, one deck pretty much blends into the next one. But there are so many new and unusual decks out there. I’ve found a surfing deck that highlights 54 different waves with full colour photos. You can have a look at it and see if it’s the sort of thing you’re after: Stormrider Surf Playing Cards: The World – Pack One

      Reply
  31. Liz

    These are fantastic! Galen was a true artist. Even though i never knew her, I can see her in the cards she made and her art. I couldn’t take my eyes off the picture ” You can’t stop the water”. My favorites are the jokers in the deck! Really stunning.

    I am inspired by her! The way she moved forward after hearing the diagnosis touched me.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Liz. I think that in the world we live in today, when so many people give in and accept whatever hand they’re dealt, it’s great to know that there are people like Galen who stand up and say “You know what? I’m not ready yet. I’ve some stuff to do. YOU will wait for ME”. I’m so happy that her parents have ‘motored on’ with her wish to have this deck in print. I’m told that there’s more to come from her, so watch this space :)

      Reply
  32. Jan

    Wow, what a moving article! I was captivated by the artwork of this young lady. The artwork has a very mystical feel to it. I appreciate the comments by her mother. I too am the mother of an artist. That may be why I felt such a bond with her.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Thank you Jan. You used the perfect word “captivated”. That’s how I was when I decided I needed to write this review. I’m so glad that you appreciate her artwork. Mystical. I like that :) Thank you :)

      Reply
  33. Sarah

    My husband is an artist and so I have a bit of a trained eye when it comes to someone’s artistic skill. And these cards are quite fantastic! Even her more childlike and simplistic earlier work is excellent, very creative and original. There’s something about a good piece of work that just keeps you drawn in. I wanted to just keep scrolling to see more and more of what she’d done until I was disappointed when I got the bottom of your post and had no more to see.

    Reply
    1. Jyl Post author

      Well then Sarah, you’ll just have to get over to the Kickstarter page and buy yourself a deck :):):)

      Thank you for your comment. There’s something transfixing about great artwork, especially when it comes from deep within. I love this deck :)

      Reply

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