Billy No-Mates

Artwork in progress. A pirate-themed deck of cards

The Suits

I feel that the piratical theme of Billy No-Mates is a great opportunity to play with the traditional presentation of playing cards and the four suits are obviously an integral part of that.

I want each suit to feel thematic in its own right - each of the pirates (or treasures, or parrots) should feel like they 'belong' to their suit and on a basic visual level, each suit should be easily distinguishable from the others.

My original notes for Billy No-Mates have sat in a text document for about a year now and my original choice of suits was Hearts, Cups, Gems & Skulls. However, now I've started working on them, I've decided to drop Gems, in favour of Daggers. I like the fact that Hearts, Cups, Daggers & Skulls are alliteratively tied to Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades. Also, the characters that I imagine when thinking of Gems seem a little too similar to the ones that Hearts conjures up. Daggers feels like a completely distinct suit thematically.

The Suit of Hearts - Clearly the sauciest of the suits. No doubt the 'King' or 'Kaptain' of Hearts will have a fondness for romantic poetry. Strumpets and Dandies each and every one of them.

The Suits of Cups - The most drunken pirates will be found here. I also like the link to the tarot suit. Cups can be very magical - not just something to hold grog.

The Suit of Daggers - This suit bristles with cold steel. Likely the most willingly aggressive of pirates sail under the Dagger Flag

The Suit of Skulls - Dark, Deathly. Are these pirates going to be undead? Oh god. It's likely isn't it. Well - in for a penny in for a pound - If you thought 'Pirates' was a hackneyed theme, it can only get worse with Zombie Pirates.

While nothing yet is set in stone - I think I'm happy to move forward with Hearts, Cups, Daggers & Skulls.

Billy - version 1

Hello World,

So - this is going to be a labour of love: A pirate-themed deck of cards - 4 suits, 13 cards in each - PLUS Billy No-Mates. The fellow you don't want to end the game with. It's my intention to complete the deck and I figure blogging it makes that more likely to happen.

If I one day hold a complete deck of my artwork, then this blog will have been a success!

I welcome any constructive feedback and criticism. The nit-pickier - the better.

I KNOW that pirate-themed stuff is done to death. but I'm creating this artwork because it's FUN! - so I hope you'll enjoy it too