This month we chat with Danielle Noel, founder and creator of Starchild Tarot, an intuitive tool that connects with your innermost realms and higher self.
What inspired you to start you journey in the akashic records?
I think my journey into the Akashic Records stems from my own childhood, as I was always secretly searching for gateways to other worlds. I would look for traces of these in books (having read Alice in Wonderland, along with the Narnia and L.O.T.R series early on) which left me with a big sense of love and appreciation for the world of magic.
My fascination with Ancient civilizations has also really informed my journey along the way, as I found through researching and reading, there is a lot of discussion on the Akashic Records in the ancient texts (under various titles and concepts). And once I started meditating and working with the Tarot more seriously, it sort of re-opened a new doorway that I'd been searching for all those years. I read everything I could on the subject.
We love the dreamscapes and colorful composition of your Starchild Tarot deck. Can you tell us what inspired the deck?
The Starchild Tarot is really a visual tribute to all of the topics and stories that I have always quietly obsessed over. It all started with my fascination with ancient Egypt, and then the connections to other ancient worlds like Golden Atlantis, Lemuria, Avalon etc... and the ancient biblical, Gnostic, mystery school, and Vedic texts (the list goes on) that were also somehow interrelated.
I also became interested in the concept of Starseeds and the Akashic Records after finding connections to these topics woven throughout what I was reading, and suddenly all of these pieces to a much larger puzzle started to come to life, and I found myself wanting to express this somehow.
The Tarot was a perfect model for this story because of how interactive and magical it can be. It was a world of doorways. SO I started to create one card at a time, and eventually found that I'd made an entire deck. I think my love for outer space also really had something to do with it. Lol!
There are a lot of tarot decks on the market... What has been the most successful marketing strategy to attracting customers to buy your cards?
When I finally decided to share my Tarot deck online, I was sort of a newbie to social media. It wasn't something that I was really comfortable using, and it was all a bit intimidating. Once I started sharing all of the work I'd made prior to this, everything sort of fell into place. There was a lot of positive feedback, and I discovered that social media can be a great way of communicating with the world.
I think connecting with the online tarot community has also been a blessing, as I was able to make some incredible friendships. So, being visible and authentic is what I would suggest to anyone who is trying to share their work. Taking the time to connect with others, and being open about what you are doing – what your heartfelt intentions are for your creation or vision. For me, it's not about simply wanting to make images that are pleasing to the eye. It's so much more than that. Everything I do has a deeper story, which I think is really important. It's what drives me to create more each day.
Do you feature your art on other mediums besides tarot?
I love illustrating by hand, and have plans to get back into painting, this summer. I have also started designing pendants and enamel pins from some of my illustrations, and I now have a new Tarot mat that works with all types of decks. I currently have a number of other items that I am also selling through my online shop (like tapestries, cushions, prints etc...).
I also work with my best friend, Sylvia, through our sister brand, Zaleska, which features healing crystal jewelry and more! She is currently the mastermind behind the gemstone adornments, but over the years, we have worked closely and collaborated on lots of art projects, shows, and editorials under that creative platform. She is a big inspiration to me (and is also the Empress in The Starchild Tarot).
When creating new art, what's your creative process?
I spend a lot of time in my studio in front of my drawing tablet and computer. I usually have a list I am working through, which includes notes and sketches that I add throughout the day. My pieces generally include a combination of my own photographs and hand illustrations.
I would have to say that a lot of my imagery is also built on dreams I've had, or worlds I imagine to exist. Sometimes I will see the images ahead of time, or I will build them as I am working – almost like I'm trying to remember how the scene looks from memory. It's super fun to see a completely new world come to life, through the layering of images and working with different mediums.
What has been one of the biggest challenges in growing your online business? If you could go back and do it differently, would you?
I think if I could go back, I would have asked for help sooner. My greatest challenge was trying to find the time to do everything in a day, as I'd end up feeling burnt out, trying to juggle everything at once. I now have a small team of people who help me with running my own business, which gives me time to work on other projects. I think it's okay to reach out for help. Sometimes this opens up new connections and opportunities for collaborations.
What has been the greatest tool or asset in your business?
My greatest asset is most definitely my darling partner, Sterling, who has supported me over the years, in actually following my dreams when I was previously in the midst of a full-time teaching career. He stood by me when others were confused by my career choices, and when I had my own fears. It was a scary transition from working as an educator, and then deciding to be an artist with no prospective job security ahead of me. I had to listen to my own intuition – and Sterling was always there cheering me on. Now I know what I am meant to do, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I have never been healthier.
I think following your heart is really important, and surrounding yourself with people who also believe in what you are doing. It's interesting how when you really do what you love, certain people will stick with you. They are your tribe. Find your support circle, and work with those who believe in your vision. Everyone has their own unique story to tell.
We are dying to know, what's your next venture? Can we expect another deck?
Right now I am finishing up the Moonchild Tarot (my baby), along with another few published works that will be coming out sometime next year, and I am also illustrating an oracle deck for an incredible writer who I absolutely adore.
I've also been working on a small side project over these past few years, which is now just finally coming to life. It's sort of an Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-Starseed-meets-ancient-worlds, large-format storybook adventure (possibly a children's book). I spent one summer sitting out under the stars with my darling mom going over this one, so it's super close to my heart. It's the story I have been wanting to tell since I was a little girl.
If you had one piece of advice for our readers as it pertains to starting, growing, or scaling a creative endeavor, what would it be?
I think having love for what you are doing, is key. What excites you and brings you bliss?!
If there is something that you really want to do, if you have a dream or hypothetical vision for your future, don't wait to explore it. Life is too short. Think about how you are feeling, and if it's not optimal, look at where you want to be and work towards it, one small step at a time. It might not happen overnight. You might repeatedly trip (I sure as hell did) in order to pick yourself up again. And that's okay. That's the magic of it all. Until you try, you might never know how things will unfold.
Starting small is like planting a seed for something greater. I still feel like I have years of learning and exploring to do, and that makes it all the more exciting.