About the Artist

Annette Abolins artist and designerHello :)

Welcome to my little corner of the web. I hope your visit is enjoyable and that the imaginary house-elves are busy entertaining you with a delicious selection of (equally imaginary) virtual snacks and drinks. Before I get side-tracked and forget the meaning of this page entirely, I will delve into a little introduction of sorts, despite that my attempts at penning ‘what I do’ and ‘who I am’ has an uncanny way of becoming ‘Overly Procrastinated Gibberish’. The old saying A picture is worth a thousand words”, is my recurring roadblock to describing the creative process and my artworks, which are so visually obvious, yet so ‘right words’ elusive. That aside, if you are now comfortably tended to by house-elves and perhaps more lenient towards the ramblings of an artist, I shall do my best to not bore you to tears …

The Beginning…

display of individual cards from Nine Lives Tarot
The website originally began as a launch-pad for my tarot deck Nine Lives Tarot, which I self-published back in 2013.  Over time, the site has grown to include more of my illustration/artwork, all created to be used and enjoyed (playing card decks, art prints and handmade art pendants). Migrating the site to Nine Lives Art in 2020, has provided an opportunity to bring all current and future projects together under one happy umbrella.

Tarot and Playing Cards

A deck of cards is like a portable treasure box, filled with stories … 
I grew up in a colourful jumble of cultures and places, extended by visitors from all walks of life; people bringing stories to share, card games to play (we played a lot of cards). I fell in love with the beautiful pictures, wanting to learn more about the stories, symbolic meanings and characters. Years later, this journey of discovery and research, inspired Nine Lives TarotNine Lives Playing Cards and VIZAĜO Playing Cards. My desire is to create decks that bring joy, wherever they find a place to call home :)
Tarot and playing cards by artist Annette Abolins

Art Pendants

An amulet with symbolic meaning … a miniature artwork … or both!
Transforming my artwork into individual wearable pendants is a fascinating process …  Colour, symbols, mythology, imagination and stories all come together, inspiring these small-size canvas creations. Making the pendants involves a multitude of techniques, materials and stages; from drawing, printing, painting, varnishing, drying, trimming to sealing and setting the finished piece.
Art pendants by artist Annette Abolins

From there to here…

I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember; discovering at an early age that I my voice felt most at home in the visual language of art. This, along with a wild imagination, set me on the path of telling stories and exploring ideas. I went to art school for lots of years and studied a wide variety of art forms (drawing, painting, screen-printing, print-making, photography, ceramics, design…). Each medium and technique providing valuable inspiration and learning, which I continue to draw on to this day. After graduating from the National Art School (Sydney), I spent a decade teaching art (mostly drawing and ceramics) and working in my studio, before delving into the world of graphic design, digital art and web design (which makes up the ‘other half’ of what I do).

Art mediums and style…

Teapot with playing cards on a tableMy artistic style is definitely shaped by my love of traditional drawing and painting techniques… I absolutely adore working in ink and use my pen & ink drawings as the foundation for digital painting and illustration work; where delving into the painstaking process of painting depth, colour and detail gives me the freedom to explore ideas, while preserving the original essence of the artwork ‘idea’ through a happy marriage of traditional and digital art techniques.


image link to view portfolio work on Abolina Art
To see examples of my graphic and web-design work, you are welcome to pop over to Abolina Art, which also includes exhibition work and semi-regular updates about current projects.


discover more about cards, their meanings, creating a deck of cards
Use the ‘Discover’ tab in the top menu to read more about cards, their meanings, the journey of creating a deck of cards and more…


news articles, specials and work in progress
This is where you can find random thoughts, semi-regular updates, special offers and more… I don’t always find time to post on a regular basis, though I love connecting with readers and your support and feedback over the years has been (is) heartwarming :)