Helping women unleash their magic since 2011, Claire Goodchild uses her extensive knowledge of Astrology, Tarot, and Magic, to create highly spiritual tools with Black and the Moon.
Claire Goodchild is an award-winning independent digital artist located in Toronto, Ontario. Her most notable work features eye-catching, stylised constellations in both art prints and tarot decks. She was the Etsy Award Winner of 2016 for the category of Illustration and Paper.
Her line of prints called Moon and Stars was carried exclusively by Urban Outfitters in their eclectic, bohemian inspired line of apartment décor in 2016/2017. She has also been featured in Flare Magazine, Breakfast Television Toronto and Refinery 29.
Hey Claire, can you introduce yourself to us?
I am Claire Goodchild, and I am the sole creator and owner of the magical design studio Black and the Moon. I live in Toronto, Canada with my dog Zooey and my cat Shadow (who is possibly part demon).
What was the start-up process for you like and how did you successfully launch Black And The Moon?
Doing what I do definitely wasn’t planned and I often feel like I was nudged into my role by the universe. I basically had to feel my way through everything with trial and error. I come from a ‘working class’ family of film and television technicians and so I didn’t have the opportunities other young entrepreneurs have in terms of financial help or start-up capital.
After I posted a few of my designs on Facebook, I received positive feedback from friends and family and I decided to see if I could make any extra cash by selling them on Etsy. I took my tax return, purchased a pack of Epson paper and a photo printer and opened up shop.
I really didn’t know anything about e-commerce, marketing or SEO, but having a background in photography, I knew I could at least display my prints nicely for potential customers.
About 10 days later, my first item sold, and a few days after that the next one found it’s home, and that’s when I decided to devote a little bit of time each day to learn all about the Etsy marketplace. I took my couple dollars profit from each sale and reinvested back into creating Black and the Moon.
It was during this time that I rekindled my relationship with reading Tarot cards, and I wasn’t loving the style of the ones already on the market, so I started researching how to make my own. From there, my Victorian style Antique Anatomy Tarot deck was born – (which is now being published as a deck and book combo by the Quarto Group in conjunction with Abrams Noterie US, and Ilex UK).
The success of that first Tarot project is what really launched me into the centre of the Tarot community of Instagram and granted me so many wonderful opportunities; like my designs being in an AMEX 2017 campaign, to props for TV shows and meeting my current publishers!
People ask me if I could go back and do anything differently (in terms of preparedness), would I? And I always tell them no. It was my naivety that allowed me to experiment and take risks with the process that got me to where I am today.
Can you tell us about the brand behind Black And The Moon?
I am the brand. I always approach my work as if I am creating products for myself. I never think “will a certain demographic like this” or “this works for so-and-so, maybe it’ll work for me”. Being completely authentic is important to me and I think it is the reason why I am still relevant in such a fast-growing market. I hope that when someone uses one of my decks or hangs up one of my prints, that energy is present.
I am also the only person working at Black and the Moon. Everything from the designs to website maintenance, to emails and shipping, is done by me.
What are the common misconceptions about Astrology, Tarot, and Magic, just to clarify for our readers?
I think a big one is that these things can’t work for them, or that you have to be born with a gift for the craft. Astrology and Tarot work with the psychological archetypes we all embody or experience throughout our lives. Using them as tools to uncover parts of ourselves for personal growth can be done by anybody!
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years and what plans do you have in place to expand and further develop the growth of Black And The Moon?
I hope that in the next five years I am able to write more books about Tarot, Astrology, and Magic. I feel like I have a lot to say in these areas and I want to help others improve their lives using these amazing tools.
I would also like to be more involved with the paranormal community – whether it be through a podcast or a TV show. I have a passion for all things haunted!
I think I established earlier that I am not much of a planner, which works for me right now. I have to trust that I was placed on this path for a reason and when an opportunity comes up, that I will work as hard as I need to.
What outlets do use to promote Black And The Moon?
Instagram! I think it is a fantastic platform because there is a real sense of community there, especially when it comes to Tarot & Astrology. I know when I open the app, I am going to see valuable content with meaningful messages attached. I feel lucky to be able to contribute to that in some way.
I have also been trying to utilise my newsletter more and I would love to start blogging again (I think it is making a comeback).
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Getting to be me. I never want to feel like I am pressured into creating something that doesn’t feel right just for a paycheque or a bit of recognition.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of Black And The Moon?
Copy-cats mostly. I think that is the most frustrating part of being an artist. My work is an extension of myself and when it gets ripped off, I take it very personally. Dealing with that, whether it’s legally or just emotionally, takes resources and time that I would rather put into creating new products.
How do you define your own success?
Success to me is when I can sell to ten people who truly connect with my designs, over 100 who only sort of like them.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, it means making sure that if your life was a movie, you are the star. So many of us dim ourselves down into the supporting role, (or god forbid) a background actor in our own story!
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
Laying low! 2018 was a very turbulent and beautiful year for me, but I definitely need some time to recuperate and recenter myself. I am looking forward to working more slowly and experimenting with new ideas.