Following our announcement of The Cosmic Slumber Tarot (publishing October 2020), we’re talking to Tillie Walden about her inspirations and influences, and what to expect from The Cosmic Slumber…
Hi Tillie! Tell us a little bit about The Cosmic Slumber Tarot deck…
Ahh, hard to describe. There are a lot of feelings in it, and I feel a connection to each card I’ve made. I suppose the imagery is inspired by dreams, nature, and space. But that’s not too unusual for me!
Creating a tarot deck is a bit of a departure from your usual work. For our followers who aren’t familiar with you yet, could you sum up your recent projects?
Sure! I’ve made a handful of graphic novels, some short, some rather long. They span a lot of genres – sci fi, memoir, other. But across the board, I think I tend to make rather personal books, stories that feel intimate and expansive simultaneously. At least, that’s what I’m going for. (More on Tillie’s books here.)
Your artwork style is unmistakably your own. Were you influenced or inspired by any other artists in developing your voice, imagery and colour palette?
Not too much! I mean, of course I’m a combination of early influences (Winsor McCay, Osamu Tezuka) but when I think about where my art is at right now, it feels like it got here on it’s own two feet. My colors are inspired by the fact that coloring is really hard, so I continue to use limited colors and yellow and pink everywhere, because I’m comfortable with them. Working with my limitations has given my work kind of a ‘look’ which I’m totally fine with.
Did you reference any other tarot decks when creating The Cosmic Slumber Tarot?
I have a pile of tarot decks. In the research phase we (my assistant Beth and I) looked at a lot of them, but when it came to designing the cards I tried very hard to be in my own mind, to not draw too much, especially from Rider Waite Smith, which is of course the most standard deck around. I really want this deck to feel distinct, I want it to feel like it’s me.
How do you use tarot in your life? Do you have any favourite decks to read with?
I’m not an active Tarot person. I feel most connected to the cards and their meanings as I create them, and as I have learned about them. It occupies a space in my life that is perhaps on the periphery, but I have found comfort in it in times of stress, especially. I also believe the imagery will be in my work for some time to come.