Paint the hand you’re dealt
Creative cards Generate surprising characters for your artwork with Clark Huggins’ Reckless Deck, a pack of cue cards for illustrators needing that extra mental push
Born out of a desire to spend less time thinking and more time painting, Clark Huggins came up with the concept of Reckless Deck.
A couple of cannibalised decks of playing cards formed the basis of the Reckless Deck, which quickly produced crazy results unlike anything Clark would’ve produced on his own. His wife Kelly saw the deck’s potential, and soon they were working on a prototype with New York designer Keith Coney. “It was extremely challenging to design, because we needed a look that was its own thing, and wasn’t weighted too heavily in the direction of any one genre,” Clark explains.
Originally drawing on recurring imagery from Clark’s collection of Spectrum annuals and even back issues of ImagineFX, Reckless Deck has now gained significant attention following a successful promotional tour during 2015. “The Art Order Challenge we did with Jon Schindehette was extremely validating,” Clark says. “His willingness to get behind Reckless Deck gave it legitimacy.”
Emails from young artists and writers inspired by Reckless Deck have motivated Clark to get the cards into conventional retails shops. He even has enough material for at least one sequel. “We’d like to do an environment deck for concept artists that you could use in conjunction with the character deck,” he reveals.
The unpredictable nature of Reckless Deck has fundamentally changed how Clark approaches illustration. “For artists, this can feel very dangerous, but also very thrilling,” he says. “And actually, it has a lot to do with how we came up with the name Reckless Deck in the first place.”
You can order Reckless deck by visiting
Clark is constantly coming up with card ideas, usually when he’s walking his dog
Clark is constantly coming up with card ideas, usually when he’s walking his dog. Clark says that Reckless Deck creates taboo and empowering artistic combinations.