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Clipped Wings

Based on the bird feeders in Jose's parent's backyard.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

One of the rare instances in which Jose worked backwards. First he thought of what the spade could be transformed into: a fish. Next, he created the Pelican to catch the fish in its mouth.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

The bird featured on this card is a hoopoe, which is considered sacred in some cultures. In literature, the hoopoe has been portrayed as a leader and as a king, most notably in Aristophanes' play, "The Birds."

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

Jose says this card addresses pollution. Pictured is a great black-backed gull, snared in club-shaped plastic soda can rings.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

When he was in fourth grade, Jose and his classmates did an outdoor reading of a short play. One of his classmates, he remembers, had the unfortunate luck of being pooped on while she was reading her lines.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

While many of the birds in the deck are real species, Jose also wanted to illustrate how humans are often attracted to birds creatively, using paper cranes and shadow puppets.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

Jose says he likes to use negative space to create a suite of symbols. Here he chose the converging beaks of two mute swans.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

The bird pictured is a red macaw, and the card presents historic lore about parrots and pirates.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

Based on the concept of the cat and a canary, and also the artist's appreciation for felines. The situation, he says, invites a story.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

The binoculars came to Jose instantaneously. Though the bird that's visible in the lens isn't a specific species, the face is an homage to the Obey/Andre the Giant prints by artist Shepard Fairey.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

Jose lived in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the northern cardinal (one of his favorite birds) is the state bird (in addition to six other states). He decided to infuse the card with some humor by showing the bird painted by a brush.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose

This card shows a milky stork, and is based on the the tender tale of a stork delivering a newborn baby to waiting parents.

Photo: Illustrations by Emmanuel Jose