Weekly Update 3/26/18 – Arteza Brush Pens, The Wheel of Fortune, and a Speedpaint!

Hey everyone!

I’ve been puzzling over the ongoing issue of what watercolor to use for my in-progress Tarot deck project, and I’ve settled on yet another option.

I’m not using watercolors.

Yep, found an alternative. But it’s still what a lot of people call “watermedia” – like watercolor pencils or diluted inks, this option requires a brush and water, but comes in…pens!

Meet the Arteza Real Brush Pens.

They’re essentially brush-tipped watercolor markers, and I love them. If you want to see how they work, check out the video below!

(If the thumbnail is a darn My Little Pony toy, don’t mind it, YouTube is wonkier than usual today. It’s a speed-paint of me coloring The Wheel from my Tarot deck, in Arteza brush pens!)

I did a sort of review of the pens in the video, so you can get an idea of how I use them and what they’re like while you watch. I actually really love them. Arteza is no joke, guys – at least with these items, they are surprisingly good quality for a newer company. And that makes me super happy! I love supporting newer art companies WHEN the art supplies are worth it, and Arteza’s (at least what I’ve used) certainly are.

I’m hoping to get that 96-color set for my birthday in June, so I may try some other items too when I make that order! I’ve heard good things about their waterbrushes and watercolors so maybe I can try those. 🙂

It’s been a very productive week, and I’m looking forward to more of the same. I had a medication change about a week ago, and I’m feeling much more clear-headed and creative. I’m excited to show you what’s coming up! Until then, please enjoy this mini gallery of what I did this week:


Ten of Swords
The Wheel of Fortune
Six of Pentacles
The World
Two of Cups
The Hierophant

Thank you so much to everyone who has been commenting, liking, and even ordering from my shop. This is the most active month I’ve had since I started the whole Julian Jaymes thing, and it feels awesome. But none of it would have been possible without you, the readers, the watchers, the clients, the shoppers. From the bottom of my artsy little heart, thank you.


Weekly Update 3-19-18 | Tarot Art, Watercolor Supplies, and Starting-Over Syndrome

[Pictured: My workspace, a small-ish blue desk with piles of sketchbooks, a cup of tea, various jars for ink and water, piles of watercolor paints, and the original of my Ace of Cups illustration for The Julian Tarot.]

Hey guys! It’s been a while. Sorry for radio silence…I’ve been painting. 🙂

Yes, painting. A LOT of painting. I never thought I’d be a painter, but nowadays, watercolor is my medium of choice when it comes to color media. I’m just nuts about it. I feel like I could study watercolor forever and never finish learning, and I LOVE that. I don’t actually like the idea of mastering a skill, because that would imply that there’s nothing left to learn. I don’t want to ever get to a point – with art, with Tarot, with whatever – where there’s nothing left to learn.

My love of watercolor, though, is part of what’s kept me stalling and in starting-over mode with my Tarot deck project. I’ve been insisting that I don’t have “the right watercolor supplies” to do it, so at first I attempted to do it in colored pencil. Just didn’t vibe for me, even though I tried two different brands. I briefly considered marker – after all, I own about 300 art markers – but decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to go all the way. I needed to do watercolor.

But sadly my collection of watercolor supplies is…well, sad. A few low-end brushes, a couple of pads of Canson XL watercolor paper, and the paints are…$15-for-24-tubes craft level stuff. Not quite “cake watercolors” (the chalky, circles-in-a-tray ones we remember for grade school), but still certainly not “real watercolors.”

I insisted, for weeks, that I HAD to have Holbein or Shinhan or even Winsor & Newton Professional paints in order to do this project AT ALL. I put my artsy little foot down and said “no, I am going to refuse to do any of my Tarot illustrations, until I have in my hands a shiny new set of Real Watercolors.”

But while I maintain that it might turn out differently with one of those brands, I’m realizing that maybe, just maybe, Artist’s Loft watercolors ain’t so bad. Or maybe they are – but it’s okay. I’m getting some fabulous results just by working creatively and working with what I have rather than fussing about what I don’t.

Because really, I’d be hitting bumps in the road no matter what supplies I theoretically had. I could be painting with Schmincke watercolors on Arches and I’d still end up adding the wrong kind of purple to the wrong kind of pink, and getting a really ugly maroon instead of a lovely ruby red…

My point is that in the end, to an extent, it doesn’t matter what tools I have. What I have is good enough to at least get started, and that’s all I need to do right now. I still plan to get some nicer watercolor paints at some point, but for right now and the foreseeable future, I’m actually content with my current setup and array of tools. So for now I’ll be saving my money and will spend my art budget on something good when it comes along. 🙂

Anyway, now that I’m getting myself to actually work on them, I’ll be posting at least 3 or 4 Tarot cards a week, for the next four months or so. I still plan to do weekly updates, and they’ll feature the images, but I’ll be posting the images themselves as I finish them, over on the section for The Julian Tarot. As I’ve stated before, this deck will likely not be available until next year (2019), but you can certainly follow its progress here and at its special little Instagram page, http://www.instagram.com/thejuliantarot. Information on ordering will come in the winter.

I’m looking forward to this project. It’s a big one, and it’s going to take a lot more commitment than my previous ones (drawing a 30-page black and white comic is a bit different from doing 78 full-on watercolor paintings!), but it’s going to teach me a lot. And hey, these days if you’re in the Tarot world, you have to make a Tarot deck. It’s the rule! (Kidding, though sometimes it does seem like there IS such a rule…)

One card down, 78 to go.

Yep, you heard me. 79 cards.

It’s a surprise. 😉


Weekly Update 3/6/18 – Anxiety, Distraction, and Missing Deadlines – but YES the comic is FINALLY available!

Hey guys! Julian here.

It has been an exhausting month. Couple of months. Year? I don’t know. I’m pretty much too exhausted from anxiety to really calculate it! My (clinical) anxiety has been overwhelming lately and I’ve struggled to even go to work. BUT. Many good things are happening too.

I had gotten badly distracted working on Tarot projects, which is fine except that I’d set myself a deadline and didn’t meet it. Which frustrates me. But I did finally finish it…and here it is!!

main photo

My Life On The Sidelines: The Not-So-Magical World of Magical Girls, As Explained By Joel Rowan – Prologue: This Is Not My Story.

But you can call it the MLOTS Prologue. (I do.)

It’s a 24page stapled comic booklet and is available here at my Etsy shop. You can get it for under $5 USD because it’s on sale this month, and the shipping is very affordable! I’m really proud to have this under my belt, and I promise, the next chapter is coming soon. 🙂


It’s time for the next project though. My second big project this year, the biggest project, is to create my first 79-card Tarot deck. (Yes, it’s going to have a bonus card, as many indie decks do. I’m actually keeping that 79th card a secret until it’s available for purchase.)

*Please note that I’m not talking about the Starcatcher Oracle here – that is a more personal project; this is something that is going to be available for sale next year (mid 2019).

The theme of the deck has shifted a lot and is more about my experience of spirituality, and my memories of the Other Side. (It’s even currently called the Otherside Tarot!) [Note: This Tarot deck was later renamed the Julian Tarot.] It’s all about the struggles and beauty of being a spiritual being having a physical experience, as they say.

It’s going to be in more or less my usual art style, but will be colored in colored pencil, which I love using. The themes include the power of spirituality, acceptance, personal development, and shadow work; the look and feel of the Other Side; and lots and lots of pastels, angels, and high-vibe energy. A lot of it is influenced by my own recovery process from addiction, mental illness, and trauma, and I want to not only depict those processes (in a gentle way), but create a tool to be used in such processes.

It will take the better part of a year to do all this art, and it may very well take the rest of this year, but I am determined to create this deck and have it released on my 30th birthday (in mid 2019). I truly want to create something worthwhile, and whether it sells well or not, I intend to really put my energy and my soul into this deck, this tool, this creation.

With that being said, here’s a teaser…


This is my 10 of Swords. It’s an image of one being forgiving another for harm done, and cutting the energetic cords that bind them together in that cycle of shame, guilt, anger, and resentment. Forgiveness, combined with true compassion, does not absolve the abuser of their actions, but it does free BOTH abuser and victim from the bondage and fallout of that trauma.

I know this isn’t exactly a traditional 10 of Swords, but it’s what the 10 of Swords means to me, and I think it’s a slightly more helpful image, perhaps, at least in some situations, than the traditional image of a man lying dead with swords piercing him through.

Anyway, yeah, that’s what I’m working on right now. Please subscribe in order to stay updated whenever I post about this and other projects. Thanks for all your support, and have a really excellent day!