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

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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.

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