Daniel Madison has just released a video confirming his departure from Ellusionist, thanking them for “an amazing 5-years together” in the description on the video’s YouTube page.
“And so to answer quite a few of the questions that are coming in, yes I have separated from Ellusionist. I’m going in a different direction,” Madison says in the video.
He also clears up some of the tone from prior videos, which implied the complete destruction of his past at the company: “I haven’t left on bad terms, Ellusionist are good friends of mine…it doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on anything that’s got my old logo on it. I’m fully supportive of everything I’ve done because it’s my legacy. It’s me.”
“The complete creative and artistic freedom that I was given over the past five years from [Ellusionist CEO] Brad Christian is unheard of,” Madison says. “I mean, Brad paid for me to **** up a hotel room, you know? He allowed me to print a blank deck of cards.”
He’s also hopeful that Ellusionist will continue to carry the playing cards and products he’s created, but he can’t say exactly whether they will or not.
“So nothing’s happened, other than me needing to explore this new thing in me, this calling,” he summarizes. He also talks bit about some upcoming projects on the way, including a new book, independently-created playing cards, as well as a few decks currently under production with Ellusionist.
You can watch the full video below, or visit madison.ist for the latest updates.
Illusionist and artist Daniel Madison has worked with online magic developer and retailer Ellusionist for years as a creative consultant and inventor, his most recent release a gaffed deck covered in kittens. But it appears that era is ending, if Madison’s most recent YouTube video is to be believed.
A video titled “NOCERE.” (Latin for “hurt”) showed up on Madison’s YouTube channel on January 1, 2018. Backed by a cover of the song Hurt by Nine Inch Nails, Madison proceeds to rip up or destroy many of his previously-designed products, including his custom playing cards, his book Devilry, and even his old logo:
A little over a week later, on January 9, Madison posted a more informative video entitled “ONWARD.”, which appears to give a little more detail on Madison’s future in magic—even if those details are incredibly cryptic.
Madison opens the video stating “I have departed from Ellus-” before the final word is cut off by static, the screen now showing his new logo. “I am Daniel Madison,” he says next. “The Architect is dead. Madisonist is alive and well and living right here in-” The video then cuts again before he finishes his sentence.
As the video continues, Madison describes his reason for the split, which appears amicable though the result of artistic differences. “I believe in following happiness,” he says. “If you’re not happy in whatever it is that you’re doing or whatever it is you’ve chosen to do with your life, if it doesn’t make you happy, then you go the **** out the window, you know? You’ve got to move on, no regrets.”
There’s no word in the video of what’s to come in 2018 beyond confirmation that his playing cards are still on the way. “I’m not going to talk too much about what’s planned, especially on film,” he says. “But yeah, it’s gonna be- I’m excited for this year. More than anything… I’m happy.”
By all appearances, Madison has left Ellusionist, but his body of work certainly skews heavily toward a “life as art” approach. Daniel Madison’s website now features his new logo, along with 2018 “Madisonist” editions of Devilry and How to Cheat at Cards. Yet, as of press time, Ellusionist still lists Madison on its About Us page as a part of the creative team and product development.
We’ve reached out to Ellusionist for comment, but haven’t yet received a response. We will update this story with any new developments.