Young Guns 16: Michael Fohring
By Brett McKenzie Posted on Nov 01, 2018
Showcasing the incredible winners of Young Guns 16
After months of decisions, discussions and debate, The One Club For Creativity is thrilled to unveil the winners of Young Guns 16! These 30 art directors, illustrators, filmmakers, photographers and designers of all types stood above all in this career-making, globe-spanning portfolio-based competition.
Ahead of the Young Guns 16 Ceremony + Party taking place on November 15, we are shining a spotlight on the various superstars who will be honored that evening.
What does winning this award mean to you?
So much. This is a huge validation of several turbulent years of dedication, fun, struggle, and importantly, many many failures. It’s a great sign to keep pushing, and an amazing platform to share my work
It’s not easy to be a successful creative. What sorts of challenges have you encountered to get where you are today?
Taking the leap to leave my job and go out on my own was definitely the most challenging thing I’ve done. When are you really ready? Are you ever really ready? The initial move was a massive obstacle and was kind of the typical story of “following my gut.” But then came a series of even bigger obstacles: establishing fees, writing contracts, organizing schedules, dealing with everyday issues and questions that came up on a very complicated construction site. It’s so critical to be patient, curious, and unafraid to say, “I don’t know,” and then go find the answer.
Was it a challenge to curate yourself, deciding which projects to enter?
Not really, to be honest. In general I just chose my most recent projects, which are naturally the most cumulative in terms of folding in as much of my education as possible. In turn, I think they rise to the surface as having the most confident sense of self in them - they have the most to say.
Can you name any past Young Guns winners who you look up to, whose work you admire or are even inspired by?
Even though he’s not an architect, Stefan Sagmeister (YG1) has been immensely inspirational to me, as much for his philosophies on the relationship between “work” and “not work” as for his work itself.
What keeps you going, creatively speaking?
It sounds mega boring, but really, just everyday life. It’s very easy to get caught in the spiral of only ever working 24/7, but I’ve come to find that it’s so critical for me to balance my time working with other interests, and allow myself to be as normal as possible. For me it’s really important to really be in the world, and to develop an understanding of my place in it to actually produce anything of any meaning.
Now that you’re a Young Guns winner, what’s next?
Go win more awards — hopefully!
The Young Guns 16 Ceremony & Party takes place on Thursday, November 15 in New York City.