Welcome, Iris Deppe,
illustrator of Tag Your Dreams!
The pleasure is all mine, Dionna.
Do tell. What was your process for inspiration once you read Jacqueline Jules's poems in Tag Your Dreams?
First, I tried to remember the feeling I used to get when I did something active as a kid--the fun I had and the friends I made while doing sports. Being active wasn’t just the thrill of learning a new skill, it was also a way of learning to be a team player, plus realizing what your own body is capable of! Besides reminiscing, I also re-watched (parts of) some sports-related movies from the 90s, which I loved as a kid. "The Mighty Ducks", "Sidekicks" and "The Sandlot’"are just a few that came to mind. I would say these movies inspired me visually during the process of this book.
Why did you choose such an airy, light color pallet when illustrating this book, and what medium did you use?
Jacqueline’s words seemed very light and sometimes dreamy to me, so I wanted the drawings to translate that atmosphere, almost like a breath of fresh air for the readers. So light, airy colours seemed appropriate, especially since many of the illustrations take place outside. I work with mixed media. I draw all the figures and elements by hand, scan them in and afterwards colour them in and place them in compositions with my computer.
I think it’s important that every kid can relate to the characters in these poems. Playing and being active is a trait all kids in the world possess. It’s a universal thing, so I wanted all these kids to be represented in this book.
Why did you enjoy illustrating this book?
I really enjoyed diving into my childhood for this project and getting acquainted with sports I’d never heard of before, like flag football, kickball or foursquare. Now I feel very up to date when it comes to sports and less of an old fart--haha.
Why do you hope children read and enjoy the illustrations in this book?
I hope they will feel inspired to pick up sports and just get active and ambitious and most of all, have a lot of fun doing it!