Love playing cards? Love parrots? Webcomic artist Renee LeCompte’s beautiful Parrots of the World playing cards
will be funded on March 27, 2014, but it’s not too late to claim a deck for yourself.
For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it’s a site that allows creators to propose their projects to the public. Those interested in making the project a reality can pledge money to the cause. Different pledge amounts correspond to different reward tiers that the creator gives to the "backers” should the project be fully funded. In the case of Parrots of the World, a pledge of $12 is needed to be rewarded a deck of cards. There are also bigger rewards for bigger pledges. These extra rewards range from an uncut sheet of cards up to a full-size portrait of your bird.
To represent the four suits, LeCompte used different scientific families. "I knew from the start that I wanted some semblance of order to the deck, so I did some research (mostly via Wikipedia) on the largest families in the psittacine order. After picking which families I wanted to use, I chose the species, trying to keep from using any parrots that looked too much like each other,” Lecompte said. Lories and lorikeets were chosen for the diamonds, macaws for the spades, cockatoos for the hearts, and conures for the clubs.
For the jokers, LeCompte used a budgie and white-bellied caique. "Originally I was going to use the black-headed caique and the white-bellied caique, because even in the parrot world they're known to be little jokers. At the last minute, I decided to change one of the caiques to a budgie, mostly because budgies are the most widely kept parrot in the world and I didn't want anyone to think I'd left them out,” she said.
Courtesy Renee LeCompte/KickStarter
When asked what spurred the project, LeCompte said, "I was inspired mostly by my love of parrots! Even before illustrating this deck, parrots were and still are the thing I draw and paint the most. The specific catalyst for the creation of the deck was a commission I worked on mid-2013. A client requested I draw about a dozen parrot portraits, and after completing them, I realized I only had to do 44 more to make a complete deck!” LeCompte has lived with a variety of birds since she was 12 and currently has a green-cheeked conure named Pippin, and three cockatiels.
Not only has LaCompte taken part in other playing card projects, she is also planning future projects. In particular, an owl deck is underway. After that, she says she will consider more bird decks. "For the future, I'm toying with the idea of a duck deck, and also another parrot deck! It'll be a companion of sorts to the first deck, and I'll attempt to fit in most of the parrots that I didn't put in this deck.” LeCompte listed African Greys and other African parrots along with New Zealand parrots like the kakapo and kea as birds she would potentially like to include in another deck.
LeCompte has already well surpassed her $5,000 goal and is grateful for the opportunity to make her project a reality. "I'd also like to thank everyone who's pledged to the project so far. It is an honor, and quite thrilling to see so many people who have so much enthusiasm not just for parrots, but my art as well,” she said.
To learn more about LeCompte’s Kickstarter project, go here.