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.
ANIMATION/ART DIRECTOR, & DESIGNER
When did you first hear about Young Guns?
I first heard about Young Guns my freshman year of art school in New York. My computer arts teacher showed us the Young Guns competition online– he framed it as a sort of mystical career goal to achieve– it stuck with me over the years and I’m very happy that it manifested.
"My computer arts teacher showed us the Young Guns competition online– he framed it as a sort of mystical career goal to achieve– it stuck with me over the years and I’m very happy that it manifested."
Congrats first-timer! What made you enter this year?
I was definitely tempted to apply in previous years, but I didn’t feel my portfolio was strong enough. I’ve developed more confidence in my work this past year since I started working fully independently, and thought it was time to give it a go!
I thought it would be good practice to work on the curation of my work for the submission, and an equally good practice to put myself out there. I thought, "it’s okay if I don’t win, at least I tried, and I can always take it for another spin again next year."
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?
I selected pieces I felt most connected to and that reflected my style. I have a strong emotional connection to all my pieces, from the personal project I started in college (and is still alive today), to my first animated music video. I hesitated at one point between two projects, but decided to follow my gut instinct and choose the one I love the most.
How did you celebrate when you found out you won Young Guns?
I was on my computer working towards an important deadline when I saw the email. I was so happy to find out the good news. I got off my computer and jumped around for a good five minutes.
If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?
If I had to chose only one project, it would be my personal project from which I animate my dreams. I started this project when I was still a student at SVA.
At the time, on top of my other classes, I was animating every day for about 5-6 hours, and I became obsessed with the process. I don't animate daily anymore, but I love going back to this process driven practice as it allows me to be very loose and experimental. It ends up being a great source of inspiration for my professional projects as well.
If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you,” what would it be?
I would describe my creative style as an exploration of narratives between digital and analog. I love the idea of moving paintings, and that’s the visual feeling I try to evoke in my work.
I am also very drawn to dreams. Dream-like aesthetics, dream-like stories... Places and events where time feels suspended. Moreover, art direction is very important in my work. I constantly draw from my background in design and art to create graphic visuals.
Lastly, I would describe my style as being detail-driven. I obsess quite a lot over details, and even though my process can be very free, I foster a meticulous approach towards execution.
Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career– people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?
I am lucky and fortunate to have had the guidance from incredible people. A few of them were my teachers when I was studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York: Carin Goldberg, Debbie Millman, and Pablo Delcan.
Carin Goldberg was the first person to give me the confidence and tools to pursue my own voice. Debbie Millman taught me many valuable ways of thinking, as well as supplied me with tools to manifest my professional goals. Pablo Delcan introduced me to animation, which led me to develop the styles I experiment with today.
Later on in my professional life, my former boss Jessica Walsh was a great role model of leadership and drive. Santiago Carrasquilla offered me various opportunities to work on projects– I’ve learned intensely through his studio Art Camp.
And last but not least, my friend Saad Moosajee has provided me great guidance and support throughout the years.
Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?
Jessica Walsh, Pablo Delcan, Santiago Carrasquilla, Saad Moosajee, Braulio Amado, Alex Trochut, Sam Mason, and Christoph Niemann, to name a few.
The pandemic of 2020 is slowly starting to taper a bit, so do you have any big goals moving forward into 2022?
On a personal level, I’d love to have my life set up between Paris and New York. On a professional level, I want to collaborate with new people, from various creative backgrounds.
Moreover, I'd like to investigate new ways of thinking, as well as further explore how to communicate different feelings and emotions through innovative visual techniques and dynamic narratives.
Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!
I'm very interested in directing live action, especially for music videos.
From personal experience I've found that going towards a complicated route versus an easy path often offers more unique and interesting results. It's a state of mind I actively try to go towards– even if it is uncomfortable, I've found it pays off in the long run.
Go check out all the Young Guns 19 Winners in the archive!