Young Guns 19: Magnus Atom
By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie Posted 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.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ANIMATION DIRECTOR
Saratoga Springs, NY
When did you first hear about Young Guns?
I first heard about Young Guns when I was still in college. It was the award everybody in school coveted so badly. I would look forward to seeing the winners posted each year as it was always full of fresh inspiration from various creative fields around the world.
"I first heard about Young Guns when I was still in college. It was the award everybody in school coveted so badly."
Congrats on the first time win! What made you enter this year?
I had gone through the process of filling out my application the last three years, however at the last minute I always chickened-out. I never felt like my body of work was strong enough.
This year I finished my first major directorial piece for Headspace, that marked the fifth solid entry in my submission. Additionally, I turned 31 a month after the submission this year, so win-or-lose this was my last chance to enter.
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 spent a couple days whittling my submission down to about nine projects. Then I asked some of my most trusted designer and animator friends who I knew would give me completely honest advice. We ended up going with the projects that felt the most cohesive as a body of work, as well as work that I knew I'd always be proud of creating.
How did you celebrate when you found out you won Young Guns?
I was at home alone when I read the news. I literally danced for joy and yelled for about 15 minutes. I tried calling people but nobody would pick up, so it was frustrating for the first few hours not being able to tell anybody!
If you had to pick one of the six projects that you entered as your favorite, which one would it be and why?
This is a hard question as each piece of work holds a special place in my heart. It might be Bonedance for Viceland's Weed Week. The client let me do exactly what I wanted to do unfettered by any outside creative-direction. I wish every project could be as easy and fulfilling as that one.
If you had to describe your creative style, the part of your work that’s most distinctively “you,” what would it be?
The themes I see recurring in all my work are colorful, playful, vibrant, and alive. When it comes to work ethic, I'm a hard-worker especially if it's something I'm truly passionate about. I love losing myself in my work, and I can spend weeks trying to get all the details just right.
Who are some of the biggest influences on your work and career– people who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?
My influences stem from all areas of art and design. The work of Pendleton Ward, Steve McCurry, Josh Edgoose, and James Jean are just a few big inspirations that come to mind.
As for mentors, the one constant I've always had in art and life is my father. If it wasn't for him putting a pastel stick in my hand at the age of three I would not be the artist I am today.
Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?
Yuval Haker, Joel Plosz, Anna Ginsburg, and Caitlin McCarthy are a few rockstars I've had the pleasure working with in the past. Others I've admired from afar include Braulio Amado, Joyce N. Ho, and Debora Cheyenne, among others.
The one thing every one of them have in common is their ability to keep producing fresh, inspiring, and colorful work. They have an ability to continue pushing their work to the next level while continually re-inventing themselves.
The pandemic of 2020 is slowly starting to taper a bit, so do you have any big goals moving forward into 2022?
I've been traveling a lot the last two years, from living in Brooklyn, Manhattan, London, Santa Fe, and my current residence in Saratoga Springs, NY. I like traveling and being able to work from anywhere, but it's sort of exhausting.
My personal goal for 2022 is to find a place to settle down, buy a house, and hey maybe even start a family? My professional goal is to keep doing the work I love with clients I admire and for causes I believe in.
Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!
Doing a music video for Gorillaz! (I would die happy.)
Any final thoughts?
"You're not nervous, you're just excited," – Terry Crews.
Go check out all the Young Guns 19 Winners in the archive!