Courtney Alexander is an artist, publisher, and the creator of the Dust II Onyx tarot deck. When I first saw images from her deck, I was left breathless with the depth and power that they hold. Courtney mentions in this episode that most of the tarot decks featuring people of color are not in fact made by people of color, and Courtney’s work cuts through that noise to offer a distinct and much-needed point of view for tarot.
In this episode, Courtney explores her journey from studying advertising to committing to being an artist, with stops along the way to explore her identity, body image, and spiritual life in the context of race. We talk about moving through this world in larger bodies, and Courtney shares how her early work examined size in our culture.
Courtney then traces the creation of Dust II Onyx: A Melanted Tarot from her first designs to the foundation point of featuring black people and images on a black background. She shares about learning to trust herself through the process of writing the guidebook, and the challenges of using Kickstarter to launch Dust II Onyx and managing expectations.
Want to preorder the second edition of Dust II Onyx? You can do so here.
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Courtney talks about the story of Roman Charity and how she painted herself into it.
V Magazine is the source of much of Courtney’s collage clippings for Dust II Onyx.
Amanda Michelle Jones of Brown Girl Tarot edited the Dust II Onyx book.
Intro and outro music from bensound.com