Jenna Paddey is an illustrator we stumbled upon on Instagram. We saw an illustration she made in our Explore page and just instantly loved all her portraits. Also having just binge watched the two seasons of “The Crown” we couldn’t help but love the portrait she made of Margaret. Her use of a pastel palette is simply amazing. She demonstrates that you do not need to use bright colours to catch your attention! If you love her art as much as we do, you can own an illustration of hers through her Society6 shop.
Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hey! my name is Jenna, and I’m a 21-year-old illustrator from Canada.
How did you start illustrating?
I’ve basically been drawing my whole life. Art is always something I have been passionate about, and ever since I was little I’ve been content keeping myself occupied. Drawing was a way I could keep myself entertained and put my imagination on paper, so it’s always been a very constant part of who I am. In school I would doodle all over my notebooks and papers. I remember drawing pictures on the backs of my tests, because for some reason I had it in my head that I would get a better mark by defacing math exams (spoiler alert, it didn’t work). I’ve always known I wanted to work in a creative field, but illustration specifically didn’t actually click until one of my high school teachers mentioned that I could do it as a job- that I could put my art in publications or something one day. It made complete sense, and I’m so in love with illustration that I’ve never really looked back.
What inspires you the most?
So many things! I honestly find inspiration everywhere. Films and books are a frequent cause of it, nature, people, history, photographs, colours, music, cities, art, architecture. Fashion too; I think there’s such incredible talent and craftsmanship in couture design and I have massive amounts of respect for it. Inspiration often hits strongest through travel. I definitely think somehow challenges and new experiences open entirely different compartments of your brain that give you better ideas for art haha, so I’m grateful for that whenever I can get out and explore.
How would you describe your creative process?
Normally an idea is sparked by something I see or hear. From there, I love to build mood boards to curate a sort of aesthetic of inspiration for the kinds of things that I want to build into a piece. I spend a lot of time compiling ideas and references. Then I’ll sketch something out and once I’m happy with it, I colour! I usually work with either gouache or digital media. Oh, and it can never be quiet. I’ve always got music or podcasts or an audio book going while illustrating, it’s a nice way of multitasking and gives my brain some sort of direction.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
I would say just always chase what you’re most passionate about. It’s been said a million times, but clichés are born for a reason. Cultivate what you do best, and find a way to make it your own. Be inspired by others, but also make sure you art feels true to you, and that first and foremost, you are proud of it. There will be a lot of moments where you get discouraged and compare yourself too harshly to other people, but remember that the world would be boring if all creators were at the same skill level, making the same kind of work. There is beauty in difference. Create always and create passionately, observe that which is around you, and don’t be afraid to take risks. I probably sound like some cheesy quote book, but I mean it all sincerely.
What are your three favourite instagrammers?
Three is very hard to narrow it down to, but currently I absolutely love @someoneatemypencil, @emilyblackapple, and @tugrice
If you loved this interview, make sure to check out our other Discover The Creator interviews! We always love hearing your suggestions and would love to discover new artists so make sure to comment them down below!