Q&A: Judge Jenn Woodall talks Illustrator’s Deathmatch & More

Acclaimed illustrator Jenn Woodall, the creator of GirlsGhoulsMagical Beatdown and more, has joined the Indie Illustrator’s Deathmatch team as a guest judge. Jenn will be combing through ALL entries to select the Top 20 to kick off the contest. The winner of the Deathmatch can also look forward to meeting Jenn and getting feedback from her about their illustrations and career!

We chatted with Jenn about the contest, how she’ll approach judging, and what’s next for her. The deadline to enter the contest is Dec. 31, 2020.

Broken Pencil: How are you going to approach judging?

Jenn Woodall: With conviction, hope, and fully lubricated and rested eyeballs. But also, I will try to use my art school education to some degree, probably.

What do you look for in an illustration?

I like tons of different art and styles, but there are things that jump out at me across different mediums and pieces. I really love a good sense of colour that heightens the feel of the image, and I am also a sucker for beautiful linework and shapes. I feel like the majority of illustrators who I love have a real sincerity to their work, whether that’s the subject matter or the approach. It’s a bit of an intangible quality but I definitely think there is something that can be expressed visually by an artist who really loves what they are creating.

Do you think this contest is even a good idea?

Sure! Probably!

What’s your advice to emerging illustrators?

Oh man, I feel advice is really difficult to give because there isn’t really any one thing that’ll work for everyone. Art is difficult and confusing when it comes to trying to figure out a career. THAT SAID, there are some basics that I think are sound advice.

Try to share your work regularly and connect with your community. Work on projects that you feel passionate about. Burnout is very real in this industry and hard work will only take you so far. If you work on things you love, that extra element can carry you farther. And like I said previously, that quality that comes from authentic work is something others can see. Also, prioritize your physical and mental health over your art and your productivity. You need to sleep, eat, and relax. Constantly pushing yourself is really damaging and will just lead to burn out even faster. Believe me, I have been there several times and it IS NOT GOOD.

GHOULS was a big hit at Canzine. What’s next for you?

Thank you! I’m working on a graphic novel right now which will hopefully be released in the Spring of 2021. Also working on Magical Beatdown Vol 3 as well as some personal projects. I also bought rollerblades!