The Sunday Times Rich List Tarot Cards | Sam Dunn

Published by Alison Cross on

So, the Sunday Times Rich List campaign featured some cleverly updated Tarot cards, depicting some famous faces.

I got in touch with the artist behind the campaign, Sam Dunn,  and she agreed to answer some of my questions about the artwork ๐Ÿ™‚

Me:   How did you get involved in the campaign?

Sam: Through my agents at Blink Art, they had been contacted by CHI about the project who thought my work would be a good fit.

Me: Was the idea of Tarot cards presented to you, or did you come up with that for the campaign? 

Sam: The idea was presented to me, the creative concept was created by Angus Vine and Colin Smith. Creative Directors – Micky Tudor and Robin Garton and Chief Creative Officer – Jonathan Burley

Me: The cards are based on the much-loved Rider Waite Smith deck – what made you select that one over the hundreds of others that are in print at the moment?

Sam: Angus or Colin would be good to contact for this question as I didnโ€™t choose the reference personally.

Me: How many images have you created for the Rich List? (I am praying that there are 78!)

Sam: Thereโ€™s 16 in total, a smaller version of the original deck! It would have been great to produce a full deck, it put into perspective how long Pamela Colman Smith must have spent on the illustrations.

Me: Are they actual printed cards (if so, how can I procure a set of them?!) ๐Ÿ˜€ 

Sam: Not at the moment, but if they do get printed Iโ€™ll announce it!

Me: Tell me how you created the cards – pen and ink? 

Sam: Yep, theyโ€™re all created with an ink pen and Winsor & Newton ink at quite a small scale to replicate the style of the original deck. They were then scanned in and coloured digitally in photoshop.

Me: Did you pick people to feature and then find cards that applied to them …. or pick the cards that you wanted to use first and see which people fitted them?  Or was it a mixture of both?

Sam: Angus or Colin would be good to contact for this question, they selected the cards / celebrities.

Me: Do you have some Tarot knowledge?

Sam: Iโ€™ve always been interested in the imagery and themes, although I donโ€™t practice anything or know the meanings of the cards. Iโ€™ve previously researched and referenced Tarot card themes in older work.

Me: When you are working with a deck as recognisable as the Rider Waite Smith, is it necessary to get the copyright holders on board? 

Sam: One of the Project managers at CHI should be able to help with this.

Me: Do you have any other Tarot art? 
Sam: Iโ€™ve always wanted to do Tarot cards, but havenโ€™t done anything previously so this project was the perfect chance. Iโ€™ve referenced similar themes and Iโ€™ve been interested in the style of the artwork for a long time. I already had a folder of research consisting of some of the Rider Waite Smith deck alongside wood cuts and etchings of mythical beasts, alchemy art and religious symbolism. 

Me: Where can people see other examples of your work?

Sam: People can find me at: 

Instagram – @xsamdunnx 
Tumblr – www.samdunn.tumblr.comBlog –

Note:  I did contact CH&I for their input, but have not received any replies.

Alison Cross

The Tarot's Court Cards are my specialist area.ย  They talk to me. Not LITERALLY though ....


Ania · 24th May 2016 at 4:04 pm

Nice idea, but I'm rubbish at knowing who 'slebs are, so I probably wouldn't recognise them anyway ๐Ÿ˜€

    Alison Cross · 28th May 2016 at 10:53 am

    I put up all the images in an earlier post, I think. I should probably link to it lol!

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