Meet the Midnight City Tarot creator

The vibrant 'city that never sleeps' or NYC, is the theme for the Midnight City Tarot deck, created by Jackie Franco. Here she reveals why she made the 'Death' card less intense and what happened when her design app crashed taking all her work with it! Total 'Tower' moment...
What can you see out of the window where you work?
"The ocean. I’ve moved around a lot and have had a lot of different views over the past few years. This one feels the most surreal. Even though I appreciate it every day, I do miss looking out my window and seeing the tree lined streets of Brooklyn."
Where and when do you feel most creative?
"My creativity flows so easily in the morning when its still quiet. I wake up early and use that time to draw, meditate, receive messages, journal and write. I also notice a spike in creativity around the new moon. I build my schedule around these peak creative times in order to make the most of them."
What does tarot mean to you and why did you want to create your deck? What is the story behind (or within) it?
"Tarot tells the story of human experience. When I moved to NYC in my twenties, it was a ride and a serious adventure. Reflecting back, I realised how it all paralleled the story of The Fool. I created Midnight City Tarot to present the tarot through the eyes of a modern city witch, in a sweet and relatable way. I wanted to create a space in the world of tarot that is inviting, welcoming, and opens this tool up for younger people to learn and explore.
"Midnight City Tarot is seen through The Fool's eyes. The entire deck is set at the potent moment of midnight, where past, present and future converge and everything feels possible. The ombre night sky is a consistent atmosphere, with sparkling stars and black galaxy amethyst figures that represent the void where all things are created, letting us know so much is possible here. This is exactly how it felt arriving in NYC on a new adventure, and I wanted that feeling to carry through the deck.
"Each card is infused with a lot of love and with the intention to help guide people to find their way. In order to do this, I softened up the art by using bright colours, a playful style, and new symbols. That’s especially true for the traditionally tougher cards. The autumn tree with falling leaves representing Death is a good example of this. I wanted to make sure each archetype could really be seen and processed, without being too intense, so that the messages could fully come through.
"I also wanted to welcome the reader inside of the art, so that they could experience the card's meaning. You'll see everyday situations, like lighting a candle, or finding an acorn in the park. Some cards that traditionally depict a person, like The Magician for instance, doesn't have a figure in my deck because I want the reader to feel have become this archetype. The art breaks through the borders on some of the cards, popping out from Midnight City Tarot into our world, inviting the reader to dive right into the cards.

Were there any challenges?
"So many, haha!  After illustrating the cards in my sketchbook, I re-drew them digitally in full colour. When I was finished with that part of the process, the app I was using crashed and I lost almost all of that work. It was a total Tower moment.
"But as such, when I re-created everything and pieced it all back together again, the end result turned out better than the first round of drawings. Though it was heartbreaking at the time, I’m glad that there was a positive outcome and that it sharpened the drawings. I’m grateful to have pushed through and kept going!
Which tarot card do you identify most with and why?
"It changes all the time. In my readings you’ll almost always say, ‘I love this card’ regardless of what I flip over because I connect to so many on a deep level. There’s a lot of history there.

"I do feel most at home with The Moon and The Wheel of Fortune. The Moon is so mystical and wild. I’m a Pisces sun, so this card has been a north star. And the Wheel of Fortune, which is my life card. It’s guided me during many times I’ve been at the crossroads."
Which card do you find the most difficult and why?
"I think the 5 of Swords. That card always feels like defeat and loss in such a sharp way. I’ve pulled it during the most difficult times. I also find that The Devil is quite a sticky card. I’ve noticed it can be hard to get out of that energy."

What tips can you give someone who wants to create their own deck?
"Keep going! Stay consistent. Push yourself creatively to find your unique style in order to tell your story in a way that only you can. Being able to express your viewpoint through art and the lens of the tarot is such a gift. Seeing an artist's unique vision and interpretation of the tarot is what makes each deck so special."
If you could add an additional card to the major arcana what would it be called and represent?
"I went back and forth about adding an additional major arcana card in my deck called The City. It would come right before The World card and represent that special feeling only felt in NYC. In the end decided to hold off, and potentially go there for the second edition."

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