When I founded Malpertuis Designs in 2013 I decided to follow three key principles:
My founding principle is simple: to create beautiful objects which I'd myself wish to own. I don't design decks with an eye to the market, or base my designs around what I think might be most popular or most lucrative.
It's important to me that I'm able to produce decks as I'd like them to be without needing to make any compromises to satisfy third parties. That's why I design, publish and sell my decks independently.
While I respect and love the history of cards, I'm more interested in expanding and extending the possibilities than in sticking religiously to traditional images. In some respects my designs may nod (for example) to Rider-Waite or Dondorf, but in others they may divert considerably from the traditional images associated with these decks. I'm a designer - not a scholar or archivist - and imagination is much more important to me than 'authenticity'. I'm therefore happy to leave the pursuit of provenance or purity to others while I hopefully create something original and different.
There exist many examples of what can be called clone decks - modified versions of other artists' original work. This is especially true of Tarot decks, where 'authentic' or 'traditional' are frequently employed euphemisms for 'copied'. I don't intend to follow this route - I hope to create decks which are as attractive and original as possible, without stealing other designers' material or ideas.
I work primarily as a collagist. This involves gathering of images from many sources. I don't believe, however, that I have the right to incorporate other artists' original images and photographs into my work by using the '10% rule'. As far as possible, therefore, any images I use are my own original photographs or drawings, paid for images from stock libraries, or material which is already certified as existing in the public domain. In those rare instances where I identify material which isn't available for purchase, I either (a) recreate a new image as an original quantity by drawing or tracing or (b) modify the image to such an extent that it could no longer reasonably be identified against the original image.