Get to know the phenomenal class of Young Guns 21
After 85 incredible finalists and intense deliberation, the Young Guns jury has narrowed it down to the 29 winners that make up the class of Young Guns 21. An astounding collection of animators, illustrators, film directors, typographers (a few Ascenders 2023 winners as well!), graphic designers, and photographers make up YG21.
Every year we interview the Young Guns winners to get to know them better as artists and people. And as always, we are welcoming another class of outstanding individuals into the highly coveted Young Guns community.
Now that you know the YG21 winners better, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating them in person at NYC’s Sony Hall on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at 6:30 PM. See you in two weeks and get ready to party!
ZHANG & KNIGHT
SOUTH WALES & HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND
When did you first learn about Young Guns?
How did you end up in the creative field anyways?
We used to work in China together and wanted to start our career in advertising so we spent a year saving up all our money so we could make one music video using the industrial locations we knew in China. Luckily, it wasn't a disaster and we got signed to our first production company.
Congrats on the W! Why did you decide to enter this year?
We always try, but this felt like the right year to really go for it finally!
You only get to submit six projects that embody you and your talent. The best of the very best. So, how did you decide which pieces were good enough to make the cut?
We wanted to show a spread of the different things we can do, whether that's heavily art directed pieces or some with more storytelling. So we went for a bit of a mix.
"We wanted to show a spread of the different things we can do, whether that's heavily art directed pieces or some with more storytelling."
How did you celebrate when you found out you won?
We were in a Bulgarian airport with a delayed flight and had a celebratory latté.
In what ways does your hometown inspire your creativity as an artist? And your current city?
We love the bombastic weirdness of English folklore which inspired a lot of our early work. In our current hometown of London we've been inspired by our queer community here and the creative DIY approach to making amazing projects people often use.
Now that you’re a part of the Young Guns community, who are the past winners you look up to and admire?
We are big fans of BRTHR (YG20), we love the huge amount of detail and craft that they clearly put into their work.
If you could create a new Young Guns tradition, what would you want it to be?
A Winners Coffee Club!
Name a creative and professional dream project that you have yet to fulfill — maybe Young Guns will propel you in that direction!
We'd love to make some fashion work. We love design when it comes to art direction and we'd love to craft a world around an amazing designer's collection.
This is YG21, but what do you imagine you’ll be up to when YG31 rolls around in 2033?
We'd love to be making narrative films, but we'd also like to start developing photography alongside our moving image work.
Will we see you at the YG21 party in NYC in November?
We don't know for sure yet as we might be on a shoot which is penciled for then. But we will try if we can.
Come party with us and celebrate all the Young Guns 21 winners on Wednesday, November 15 at Sony Hall! See you at 6:30 PM in NYC!