Imagine pictures used to tell a story. You supply the words and improvise your story, making it up as you go along, using these images to stimulate your imagination. You can change the order as you see fit. The images presented here on this online page are a slide show so they move along faster than any story would likely be told. Originally these images were printed on cards, small squares. With physical paper cards you can take the top card from a stack, or you can spread them all around and pick from the whole collection.

These images were drawn exclusively for this project by Lorraine M. Tong in 1980.


After the story deck I experimented with other ideas. We developed a set of decks intending to sell them, there were six decks in a set: Story Deck, Poetry Deck, People Deck, Mosaic Puzzle Deck, and Leaves of the Pacific Northwest, plus a blank deck for you to make your own picture decks.

Here is the whole Imagination Decks concept, represented in electronic form.

More recently I have been working on some new ideas for picture cards. The fundamental concept is exploring the images on the cards as units of meaning, and using the synergy of the collection in new ways. Images of facial expressions are the most powerful of all pictorial symbols.

It’s easy to come up with new ideas. Anyone can do it. What if there were a newsletter with these new deck ideas? We could spark off of each others new picture cards.

I started this in 1980 and tried compiling ideas for how to use the cards, but somehow the whole thing became increasingly complicated and confusing. Plus the cards themselves were flimsy and appeared disposable. One huge problem was using the word “games” with the cards. They are artwork, if someone wants to use them for a game that is just fine but my interests with this project are purely about visual art and creative thinking. You just look at them, no need for further explanation or justification.

This idea still visits my thoughts, I still see much potential and excitement in them!