Young Guns 19: Kathryn Kvas

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.



Brooklyn, New York


Toronto, Canada


When did you first hear about Young Guns?

I can’t remember the first time I heard about Young Guns, but there have been so many people I admire and look up to that have won this award. It feels like I’ve known about it for ages and I have always hoped I could one day be a part of the winners.

Since you’ve entered before, what did you do differently this time around that may have pushed you into the winners’ circle?

I entered two years ago and was a finalist, but I didn’t make it further than that. I was disappointed, but I kept trying to make work that I thought was cool, funny, or had never been done before.

This time around I tried to include a range of not only advertising work, but also a music video I worked on for Kelsey Lu and Boys Noize, comedy writing I’ve done for The New Yorker and The Onion, and experiential websites for The Weeknd and Bon Iver. I really tried to show my range as a creative director and writer.

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 really wanted to show a range of work– projects that speak to who I am and my best work. I don’t think I second guessed myself very much, because I knew which work was my favorite.

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

I was at home when I got the news, and I was so excited! It felt like such a cool thing to be celebrated as a creative based on my work as a whole, and not just on one project.

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

Wow, it’s so hard to choose. I love being able to write humor and satire for The New Yorker, The Onion, and McSweeney’s. I just love being able to talk about things that are very personal to me in a funny and ridiculous way.

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

I love horror, so I like to draw from that. I try to mix horror with comedy whenever I can. I guess my work also tends to skew into the absurd or existential a lot.

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

Growing up, my parents propelled my love for writing and art. They always encouraged me to keep going and they would always request that I write them a story or “make them something” for their birthdays and holidays. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Also shoutout to MJK, a very influential professor of mine who encouraged me to do something I loved, and not what I thought I was supposed to do. There are too many people in the industry to name who have helped me along the way. Felix Richter, my first creative director and writing mentor at Droga5 taught me so much. To my ECD’s at BBDO Danilo Boer and Marcos Kotlhar, thank you both for your constant support and encouragement along the way. And thanks to Dan Brill at Spotify for backing our crazy ideas.

And thank you to my husband Vig, who always cheers me on no matter what.

"Also shoutout to MJK, a very influential professor of mine who encouraged me to do something I loved, and not what I thought I was supposed to do."

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

I want to keep making things.

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

A BIG dream is to one day create and run my own TV show. But also make more short films and music videos along the way.




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

Young Guns 19 Archive



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