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.
What are your impressions of the Young Guns competition — the award and the community?
Every year I see a few artists I like join Young Guns. I did my research and realized it is a competition that opens up potential opportunities for young people from all over the world and this resonated with me greatly.
Congrats on the first-time win! What motivated you to enter this year?
Yes, this is my first attempt this year. I've had plans to apply for the past three years, but I felt like my portfolio wasn't ready. The winners are always really good, and I preferred to wait until I felt competent.
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, so how did you choose?
I think the projects I internalize and think about reflect my approach and sensitivity better. In these six projects I chose, I was quite satisfied with both the process and the result, so I specifically chose six projects where I could freely implement my own ideas and make more space for myself.
Do you remember the exact place and time you were when you found out you won? How did you celebrate?
When I went to check my emails in the early hours of the morning, I saw the email, rubbed my eyes, and couldn't believe it. Of course, I was super happy. My creative partner, Ozoyo was next to me, so I broke the news to him right away and we bounced around together for five minutes!
How would you describe your personal brand in one sentence? Now, try defining it in three words.
I think my works have a unique point of view– contemporary with a sophisticated aesthetic, understanding, and above all free and passionate. Creative. Sophisticated. Mysterious.
What are some of the biggest influences on you and your work? Who may have had a hand in mentoring and supporting you?
The animations I watched and the games I played in my childhood had a great influence on my desire to be an illustrator. Later, when I grew up, I met a lot of artists who influenced my mindset and my work. Recently, nature and all living things are the most influential subjects in my work. But other than that, I can never forget Ozoyo, with whom we always support each other in our life and careers!
"The animations I watched and the games I played in my childhood had a great influence on my desire to be an illustrator."
Now that you’re in the Young Guns crew, are there any past winners you look up to and admire?
Actually, it's great to unite on this platform with many artists whose work I follow or will discover in the future. I don't want to miss anyone, but the first people that came to my mind are Sophie Koko Gate (YG16), Max Löffler (YG17), Nonotak (YG14), Anna Ginsburg (YG15), Alexis Jamet (YG17), and Mihailo Kalabić (YG18).
Name a creative/professional dream that you have yet to fulfill — hey, maybe Young Guns can help propel you in that direction!
There is a whole list I dream of making. But my recent priority is to learn and develop animation properly and make my own animated short films and music videos. I love watching animation, especially experimental animated films. Music is also an important part of my life. It has been my dream for a long time to produce works by combining these two tastes. It would be nice to work with companies like Adult Swim, Warp Records, Brainfeeder and the artists involved in these companies.
This is YG20, but what do you imagine you’ll be up to when YG30 rolls around in 2032?
It's very hard to say for sure, but I will continue on the path of making my dreams come true and creating myself. The sweet and bitter coincidences I will encounter in the future can affect all my decisions and ideas. Maybe the medium or concepts I'm interested in will change over time, but I'm sure on my journey to becoming an artist, I'll go where my soul desires and still make stuff I want.
Any thoughts on how you are feeling about winning YG20? Will we see you at the official YG20 party in NYC in November?
Winning Young Guns is very honorable and meaningful to me, because this award makes me feel I took the right steps and risks in my career journey. Even though I started my career under difficult conditions, I learned to trust my ideas and never give up. There is little you can't do when you follow your dreams and work towards them. I would very much like to be at the award ceremony and share this excitement and be a part of the community, but unfortunately I will not be able to attend due to the country and conditions I live in. I hope one day I will be able to!
Come party with us and celebrate all the Young Guns 20 winners on Wednesday, November 16 at Sony Hall!