Young Guns 19: Ana Cecilia Thompson Motta

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie on Oct 27, 2021

Featuring the creative stars of Young Guns 19

A year and a half of uncertainty across the creative industry and beyond has finally given way to a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel — a spotlight with a great big "YG19" standing in the middle of it. After more than 70 acclaimed creatives from around the world and across a multitude of disciplines reviewed hundreds of submissions, whittling them down to a formidable finalist list, we can finally reveal the phenomenal winners of Young Guns 19!

This year, we welcome a diverse class of 32 inductees into the exclusive Young Guns family, a collection of young creative talent that is already near the top of their game — and will only get better. These are the designers, the art directors, the illustrators, the filmmakers, the animators, the multidisciplinary artists whose names you'll want to know — if you aren't already following their every move, that is.

Ahead of the Young Guns 19 Ceremony + Party taking place on Wednesday, November 17 — our first in-person event since the pandemic began — we are featuring the future legends who will be stepping into the spotlight that evening.



Los Angeles, California


São Paulo, Brazil


When did you first hear about Young Guns?

I believe the first time I ever heard of Young Guns was when taking Pablo Medina's (YG3) class my freshman year at Parsons. He was a very impactful teacher and I remember researching his career and spotting the Young Guns award on his website.

Congrats first-timer! What swayed you to enter this year?

I am definitely not getting any younger! I thought about it a couple of years back, but felt I needed a more comprehensive understanding of my work before submitting. This year, I felt confident that my body of work reflected who I am as a designer.

I believe what helped me was the ingenuity of not being a trained interior designer or architect. It has allowed me to design things that are "wrong" or not the way someone who knows better would go about it.

Since you are only allowed to submit six projects, how did you decide which pieces were best to enter and truly reflected you and your work?

When looking at my portfolio, I tried to make a selection of projects I thought turned out visually successful. But I also took into account projects I thought were impactful in their process, research, and meaning. Projects that were not only important to me, but also to the clients as well.

How did you celebrate when you found out you won Young Guns?

I was at the PLAYLAB office in the middle of a huge looming deadline and I could barely understand that I'd won before having to get back to work. It all became real when my co-worker and friend Dillon surprised me with some beers and cheers!

If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?

My favorite project is the Louis Vuitton Men's Fall / Winter 2020 Show. It's the first large scale fashion show I have ever worked on. The amount of hours, weekends, and iterations made the process grueling in the best way possible. It also symbolizes the start of my internal understanding that some crazy dreams really do come true.

If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you,” what would it be?

Style is a hard word for me. I've always steered away from having something that could visually be tied to me. If there is a consistency to my work it is research. That's definitely thanks to my past years working at PLAYLAB. By pulling references from paintings, sculpture, performance art, and pop culture we create layered and thoughtful approaches to an idea.

"Style is a hard word for me. I've always steered away from having something that could visually be tied to me. If there is a consistency to my work it is research."

It also never hurts to have some sort of humor in each project.

Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career– people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?

Jeffrey Franklin (YG11) and Archie Lee Coates IV (YG11) are the reason why I'm receiving this award. They have given me opportunities to explore, experiment, and make mistakes. Most importantly, they showed me the value of trust and kindness. I'm forever grateful to have them as bosses, collaborators, and friends.

Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?

Hassan Rahim (YG14), Kerby Jean-Raymond (YG14), Zak Kyes (YG5), and Grilli Type (YG13). They just do it different!

The pandemic of 2020 is slowly starting to taper a bit, so do you have any big goals moving forward into 2022?

I would love to do some work in Brazil in 2022– personal or professional. It's always been a dream of mine and as 2020/2021 has kept me away from home, doing anything there would feel fulfilling on many levels.

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!

These often shift, but currently I have three big dreams:

1. Production design for a feature length movie or TV series.

2. Being involved in any capacity with the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

3. Lastly, but most importantly, working with Stevie Nicks. This one will never change.

Any thoughts on how you are feeling about winning YG19?

Obrigada Mãe! Obrigada Pai! I owe you everything!




Go check out all the Young Guns 19 Winners in the archive!

Young Guns 19 Archive



Fire + Fragility: Zuzanna Rogatty's YG21 Cube Design
Young Guns 21: Max Amato
Young Guns 21: Justin Au
Young Guns 21: Tess Ayano







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