Thursday Salute to Originals: The Last Draw

A hand-drawn deck of playing cards captures themes of hope and affirmation.

British sketch artist Shantell Martin is drawing aces in a custom card deck called “LINE.” Featuring the artist’s signature minimal style, each card is imbued with an uplifting message and quirky illustration of classic playing cards.

Commissioned as part of a collaboration between Whitney Museum and Theory 11 (a luxury playing card company), the custom set is part of a series of artist-designed products available for purchase.

More than simple, monochromatic interpretations of timeless Queens and Jokers, the cards explore complex cultural themes of intersectionality and identity, drawing on connections between what is fine art and what is commercial.

In addition to their captivating design, each deck is produced with sustainability in mind. The cards are printed with vegetable inks on FSC-certified paper, embossed in starch laminates.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Shantell Martin’s playful take on classic playing cards and the wider collaboration between Whitney Museum and Theory 11. You can see more of Theory 11’s artist series in their online store.

Sources: Shantell Martin, This is Colossal