Young Guns 16: Sophie Koko Gate

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.

Sophie Koko Gate
Animation Director
London, UK



  • What does it mean to you to join the ranks of the Young Guns?A lot of my favourite animation directors and designers have won this award, and it inspired me to try my luck at getting one! I entered last year and was a finalist which was so cool, and so I thought I’d just try again this year

It’s not easy to be a successful creative. What sorts of challenges have you encountered to get where you are today? How did you overcome them?

I get the feeling my work is quite hard to chew sometimes, it’s often quite visceral and .. ugly? My grandma is not a fan. I’ve often wanted to pack it in and design pretty looking stuff, or try and steer my style so that it’s more mainstream. I’m glad I haven’t had to compromise that much as I’m now working with clients that come directly to me asking  for something gnarly! (laughs)

How did you decide what projects to submit, knowing that you can only enter six?

Yeah, I had a tough time deciding whether to pick to more commercial projects, which I don’t necessarily like, but I know that other people like them. To look at your body of work from a subjective point of view is the hardest thing ever, in my humble opinion.

Can you name any past Young Guns winners who you look up to, whose work you admire or are even inspired by?

Tom CJ Brown (YG13) and Nicolas Menard (YG12) are two people who helped me get to grips with animation and software and they both constantly inspire me. I also love the work of Becky & Joe (YG14), Sean Buckelew (YG14) and The Daniels (YG14)..

What keeps you going, creatively speaking? 

The people around me, my friends and family are my source of inspiration. I have so many ideas for films I want to make because of them, they are so strange, all of them. I’d like to be able to fully realise my ideas, I’m not there yet, but hopefully the more films I make the closer I will get to this ideal.

Now that you’re a Young Guns winner, what’s next?

I’ve just been signed by Blink Ink so I’m really excited to see what we can do together with bigger productions. I want to keep making personal films and also continue to try and develop a cartoon series. Also watch out for my new animated music project ‘Blurgh’ ;)

The Young Guns 16 Ceremony & Party takes place on Thursday, November 15 in New York City. 





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