Young Guns 20: Lysa Thieffry

By Alixandra Rutnik and Brett McKenzie on Nov 02, 2022

Spotlighting the stupendous class of Young Guns 20

Nearly 100 renowned industry professionals made up the jury for Young Guns this year. And after revealing the 84 finalists, it is finally time to unveil the 31 winners who make up the class of Young Guns 20.

Every year, we add another class of young talent from all over the globe to the exclusive Young Guns community. The winners of Young Guns 20 are your next project directors, animators, designers, editors, illustrators, artists, photographers, storytellers, coders, and writers. So this is your cue to follow them on Instagram immediately– because they are our industry’s future legends after all.

In two weeks, the winners will fly into NYC from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments, make new friends, have a few cocktails, and take home their official Young Guns Cube. We can’t wait to celebrate with them at Sony Hall on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 6:30 PM– and we hope to see you there too!

Before the party begins, we took the time to get to know each of our winners so you can read up on the highly creative individuals who make up Young Guns 20.







When did you first hear about Young Guns?

I first heard about Young Guns when I was studying at Parsons School for Design, and I discovered Designer Stefan Sagmeister (YG1) was a Young Guns winner. I never thought I would be a winner as well!

Why did you enter this year?

To be honest, I never thought about entering because I thought my work was too girly and fun to take it seriously. But one day, I received a message from someone at The One Club that said I should apply, and in that moment I was like, "OMG I remember when I was at Parsons and I dreamed of being a part of this competition where so many talented artists were put in the spotlight!" So, I thought I had nothing to lose and applied.

Young Guns is as much an exercise in self-curation as it is in sheer creative talent. After all, 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?

It was easy! My projects are my babies. I love them all. And I am so proud of them because I always put all my heart and who I am into them. But my most recent works are definitely my strongest, because over time and learning more and more everyday, I create stronger and stronger pieces. I never stop improving, whether it is technically or conceptually.

What went through your mind when you discovered that you won, especially knowing how difficult it is to make it into Young Guns? How did you feel? Do you remember the exact place and time you were when you found out the news?

I LOVE this question! Yes, I remember! I was working on a photo shoot in Paris, took a break, looked at my emails, and couldn't believe it! I had a kind of intense electric feeling that went through my whole body and I wanted to jump for joy! What's funny is that I was asked, "what is it?" I told people I was one of the Young Guns 20 winners, but people in France don't know it, at least people not into art. But it doesn't matter, because the young New York student I was a few years ago is super proud!

How would you describe your personal brand in one sentence? Now, try defining it in three words.

I am a big dreamer, and I create a fantastic universe with a pop aesthetic! Colorful. Bling Bling. Unapologetic.

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

I'm a 90's B***! I was born in the 90's and raised in the USA, so all the early 2000's pop US television and music culture inspires me as well as the movies. I am a huge fan of director Baz Luhrmann's work, aesthetic, and storytelling. I think I have the Peter Pan syndrome of not wanting to grow up, so I still have a lot of childish influences in my mind. And, as weird as it is, I have never read or watched Mangas, but I LOVE K-POP. I am so attracted to their culture and values. I have a really supportive family who doesn't know anything about art or photography, etc., but they let me live my dream. One of my biggest mentors was my boss at in NYC– I was a Junior Digital Designer and he was the Art Director. He taught me so much and still today he helped me get my US Visa. I could never thank him enough for everything he has taught me.

Who do you look up to in the Young Guns crew?

Stefan Sagmeister!

Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill — who would you love to collab with?

My dream is to direct video clips for POP artists, because with music there are NO BOUNDARIES AT ALL– everything is possible. That is FIRE. And later on, I want to direct a TV show about youth culture or women, and recreate a contemporary, BOLD, girly, new generation Sex and the City show.

"And later on, I want to direct a TV show about youth culture or women, and recreate a contemporary, BOLD, girly, new generation Sex and the City show."

Any last thoughts? Life motto? Will we see you at the official YG20 party in NYC in November?

Yes! I have a US working visa now, and I am looking for representation in NYC, so I will be coming to NYC to meet you all. My life motto is super simple, "create for you, and never give up!" It is really hard, but always remember what GAGA said, "There can be 100 people in a room and 99 of them don't believe in you, but all it takes is one and it just changes your whole life…” I truly believe in Gaga's words.



Come party with us and celebrate all the Young Guns 20 winners on Wednesday, November 16 at Sony Hall!

Get tickets! It's party time!

The class of Young Guns 20



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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