I'm super excited to have one of my favorite illustrators on the blog today! Marisa de la Peña is the artist and creator behind one of my favorite decks, the Circo Tarot, as well as several others and also the illustrator of a new book! A little bird told me she has some new decks in the works, too!
Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?
I am a Los Angeles based illustrator and reader. I am the creator of Circo Tarot, Strange Lands Oracle, Persephone Tarot and the illustrator of "How to Deal:Tarot for Everyday Life". Tarot found me in a library when I was 13 and after that it followed me into my practice as an adult.
If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?
I guess the 4 or 5 of Pentacles. I think being a Taurus makes me sensitive towards anything financial/grounding related. I don't like my habits being called out by pentacles, haha!
What's in your tarot toolbox?
I always have one go to Rider-Waite deck, Strange Lands oracle, a clearing spray, palo santo, fresh flowers and I always like to have a clean table top to work on. I did recently get Many Moons Vol. 2, which I am super stoked to use this summer.
What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?
I don't know if words are needed but I almost feel like it would be that silent hand that goes up and implies, "I got this"
What or who inspires you the most?
My grandfather Leo. He worked everyday he could, started his own business and was the best listener in the world. He was a barber for 60 years. I have never had a connection to anyone as I did with him, like we have and had always been friends. I think him being Scorpio and myself a Taurus we had just enough polarity and balance to where it worked so well.
If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?
I would probably be the Queen of Pentacles. Its a reassuring feeling that I am doing the right things in order to get where I want to be. I like being a renaissance woman and knowing that my feet are securely on the ground.
Which deck could you absolutely not live without?
Iris Oracle by Spirit Speak, seriously my go to in any personal reading. And also Angel Answers, Doreen Virtue because I am really getting into Angel work and it just feels like it connects well with my current practice.
If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?
I would say when I painted my first card in 2014. I didn't have the confidence to invest in my work then and it was also a really strange period in my life where I didn't see my career going anywhere. I would have shaken my self then and said "You're baller, your work is baller, this is right, quit making excuses, paint.".
What tarot habits or quirks do you have?
I like to just let my mind ramble as I shuffle, almost like an inner white noise. But as for quirks, not so sure.
If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?
Hell. Like "to hell with it".
Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?
I imagine like one of those super intense cold brews in a can for a quick perk on the go.
Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?
"How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life" is now available on Amazon and the deck on my website! Strange Lands Oracle is also returning in June and Persephone to follow. I am also hard at work on 2 new decks that have a different vibe than my previous decks. Very exciting!!!