FAQs, The Bohemian Cats' Theatre Tarot
Bohemian Cats,  Bohemian Cats theater tarot,  Bohemian Cats' Theatre Tarot,  Designing a cat tarot,  tarot

Authentic answers to the best questions about this purr-vocative project! FAQs.

We hope that gathering all of the most frequently asked questions that we get about The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot into one blog post will be helpful. But if you have other queries, do please feel free to get in touch

No, it really isn’t.

We know that some people initially found this confusing but as the images emerge you can now see clearly that this is an entirely new deck, though it is set in the familiar world of The Bohemian Cats.

If we think of it like a book series, then, as an example, Alice Through the Looking Glass is an entirely new book – it isn’t a new version of Alice in Wonderland. But both are set in the world of Wonderland.

In much the same way, The Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Tarot is an entirely new tarot deck with its own “story” – it follows the theatrical performances of a troupe of travelling actor cats.

It is, however, set in the familiar world of The Bohemian Cats.

We don’t have any plans at all to do another version of The Baroque Bohemian Cat’s Tarot. If you are wondering why,  please take a look at this video.  But we hope you will love the new Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Tarot just as much – if not more!

Currently (May 2024) we are hoping to open pre-orders by the end of 2024. However, the work is very time-consuming (absolutely NO AI short-cuts here!) and so we don’t see the deck shipping until June/July 2025.

We will decide the print run based on the pre-orders. It is really difficult for us to assess the print run before we see the numbers of pre-orders and this is one reason that pre-orders are so helpful to us.

We do think this print run will be fairly large, though please bear in mind that we are a small, independent design/art studio, not a large corporate, so our print numbers are not on a mass-market scale.

Yes, there will be.

We are very aware that there can be a lot of demand for these limited editions and so this time, we are considering doing TWO editions, each of 1000 (in other words, 2000 large-format limited edition decks in all). Right now, we are still working on the feasibility of this.

We aren’t sure yet. Expenses – for everything from salaries for our employees, to cardstock to printing – has gone up so it’s becoming hard to maintain our “usual” prices. We will do our best – and we will offer pre-order discounts as pre-orders help us plan our print run numbers and the discount is a nice way of thanking people for this.

Yes, there will be a full companion book. We expect this to have coloured illustrations and, as ever, there will be explanations of the cards, spreads and other useful information.

We get asked this a lot and we would love to contact people individually. However, if we did that, then sending lots of identical “decks are available” emails would only get us blocked as spam by servers. Not great!

The good news, though, is that we have a newsletter and you can sign up for updates and news.  We always send out first notifications of deck availability via the newsletter, so please be sure to subscribe through the pop-up window on our online shop.

We can’t take bookings via email/messaging/social media etc – we would get literally hundreds if not thousands and we have no way of doing the necessary organisation and admin. 

Please be sure to place your pre-order when they go live.  With more recent launches we have been releasing pre-orders at two times in the day to allow for different time zones so we are doing our very best to make the process as fair as possible.

We were asked this in a slightly testy exchange on our Facebook pages recently, so we thought we would show our answers (enlarged and also slightly edited for clarity) here to explain why, for us, a new version of a deck is far from a “press a button” process.

There are several reasons why we don’t keep reprinting:

  • TIME! 

That’s the most important limitation for us. Every time we do a new edition or a reprint, it takes months of our time. We need to get The Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Tarot done and it will never happen if we keep having to spend time on reprints of other decks.

Please understand we are NOT just sending files out for mass production. We print and produce in Europe, with small companies and our design and production methods are much more hands-on and take a lot of time, focus and effort. We are not a mass production business.

To expand on this a little:

  • Who has to redesign each new edition? Alex and me.Who has to then make those changes? Alex and me.
  • Who has to set everything up for cold stamping (changes nearly every time as we try new techniques)? Alex.
  • Who decides on changes for the companion books and then does the new writing? Me.
  • Who writes all the new listings etc and organises the pre-orders etc? Me and Cathy.

These things take huge amounts of time – typically 2-3 months of work for each new edition. We are a small studio, not a big publishing house.

  • Finances

We were asked years ago why we don’t just print a lot and make loads of money. But business, particularly when it’s a small, creative studio business, doesn’t really work like that. Most businesses (more than 80% it’s thought) fail not because of profit, but because of cash-flow. Printing a larger number of decks would mean having them sitting on the shelves for years. That ties up cash and let’s face it, you can’t pay salaries with decks. For us, it’s far too risky.

Right now, we try to print enough “standard” decks to last at least two years. That is a good balance between meeting demand and not tying up all the studio’s finances in decks sitting on shelves.

  • Creativity

We honestly, in any case, wouldn’t want to have decks from 10 or 15 years back sitting on our shelves even if we could afford to (which we can’t – see above). We are a STUDIO, a creative business.  Every time we finish a deck and look at it a few months later, we see things that we might want to do differently. That’s the nature of creativity. We like being able to revise decks – and in our experience, our customers also often like to see a new version of an old favourite.

Good question! It seems such a logical step, doesn’t it?

We actually did try to do exactly this when The Alice Tarot pre-order was launched years ago and sadly, it didn’t work and probably made things worse. This is what we discovered:

  • Mostly, it isn’t an issue. Most people buy two at most – one as a back-up – and we think this is fair enough. We also don’t mind people selling or trading on their back-up deck, It’s their deck after all, to do as they like with.
  • If you impose a limit on numbers of decks that can be purchased via the shops, then we found that people just create a second name and address to buy more. We can’t really challenge that, even if we suspect it (see also below).
  • We can’t prevent people buying to resell as we are not a detective agency and have no way of knowing for sure. In the past, we found that when we challenged people who bought, say, six decks, they tended to just say that they were buying for a tarot group or for their friends and family. We neither have the resources, nor the desire (it can feel very uncomfortable to doubt someone’s explanation), to then try to find out if this is true or not. So we had to take them at their word – and of course, people DO in fact buy for friends so often it’s entirely bona fide.
  • We very occasionally might query a pre-order if someone was buying a ridiculous number (we once had someone try to buy an ENTIRE pre-order!) but this would be a rare event.
  • We do allow some wholesalers to buy larger quantities of decks, but this is at our discretion and tends to be in countries where we might have issues reaching those users and prefer to work via a wholesaler. We wholesale to very few retailers so in any case this is not a big issue.

9 Comments

  • Krys Grudniewicz

    A really informative and helpful Q and A. The Bohemian Cats’ Theatr is going to be magnificent, the pinnacle of an illustrious career. I can’t wait!

    • KarenMahony

      Thanks Krys!

      We will add to the FAQs if any other issues come up, but hopefully this covers most of what people need to know. The deck will be quite something (I suppose I am not the one who should be saying that, but I will anyway) – we are quite proud of it.

  • Kat Nicholson

    I have been waiting so long for this deck! I cannot wait to pre-order! I’ve been sitting on pins and needles for several years now. Many thanks for the Q & A; it really helps! Thank you to you and your staff for the tireless dedication in all that you do! Wonderful work!

    • KarenMahony

      Thanks so much Kat. It has just taken forever – and honestly, it’s not for lack of putting in the hours. We are progressing pretty well now so hopefully we will be able to show more cards very soon.

      • Lisa Livant

        I’m thrilled that this amazing deck is in the works!! I’ve been enjoying tarot created by Karen & Alex since 2012!! I wish you could keep printing more decks & sets until 3050!! LoL
        Ty for the FACs!! They’re very informative and helpful!
        I only pray I’ll be able to pre order a deck, book & matching bag when the time comes. My health is very poor but my vast collection has always been meant for use by my daughter. Someday, maybe she’ll realize the significance of this creative talent! No one does tarot like Karen Mahoney & Alex Ukolov!!! And no one else ever will…
        Here’s hoping you’re both healthy & prospering!! How’s the ducks Karen?

        • KarenMahony

          Thanks so much Lisa. We are going along well right now, so hopefully can get the deck published in 2025.

          We have chickens, not ducks. We did plan to get ducks but then realised the garden would not survive! But the chickens are great, thank you for asking.

  • Trina

    I love tarot and oracle cards, but I consider your decks as works of art first and foremost. Love your work!! Looking forward to the Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot when it’s ready!! Ps – love that you show your process- people should be aware of how much effort and detail goes into making these visual creations. Thanks for finding and sharing your passion with the world❤️

    • KarenMahony

      Thank you, that’s really appreciated. Well, although we don’t intend to design another new tarot deck, we will still of course be doing our artwork so you will see it in other forms. We want to do smaller projects – the years it takes us to do a tarot is feeling like too much these days.

      We didn’t used to show our process much (we still laugh about the guy who came into our studio in Prague and said something along the lines of “So you photograph a cat, then press a button and there is the image!” (hah, he may have been a time-traveller from these days of AI, who knows?) But more recently we have realised how much people enjoy seeing the process and understanding some of the thinking behind the images – hopefully it enriches the experience of using the deck.

      • Lisa Livant

        I’m thrilled that this amazing deck is in the works!! I’ve been enjoying tarot created by Karen & Alex since 2012!! I wish you could keep printing more decks & sets until 3050!! LoL
        Ty for the FAQs!! They’re very informative and helpful!
        I only pray I’ll be able to pre order a deck, book & matching bag when the time comes. My health is very poor but my vast collection has always been meant for use by my daughter. Someday, maybe she’ll realize the significance of this creative talent! No one does tarot like Karen Mahoney & Alex Ukolov!!! And no one else ever will…
        Here’s hoping you’re both healthy & prospering!! How’s the ducks Karen?

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