YG15 Showcase: Yann Kebbi

By Brett McKenzie Posted on Nov 10, 2017

Shining the spotlight on this year's Young Guns winners

Young Guns 15, arguably the most prestigious portfolio-based competition for creatives under 30, is going out with a bang! This year's winners were unveiled last week, and it's safe to say that this is one of the most eclectically talented classes in Young Guns history. 

Next week is the traditional Young Guns ceremony and party, (you've scored your tickets, right?) and nearly all of this year's winners will be travelling from across the globe, across the country, or across the Williamsburg Bridge to attend. Ahead of the festivities, the One Club for Creativity is highlighting many of the winners you'll be able to meet.


Based In: Paris, France
Originally from: Paris, France


What does winning this award mean to you?

Beyond being really happy to win this award, I think it is a confirmation that what I do in my field is of quality, and that hard work pays off. I don't think it is possible to be "the best" in a creative field, nor is that a goal or an end, but it is a needed motivation, a personal one.

"Beyond being really happy to win this award, I think it is a confirmation that what I do in my field is of quality, and that hard work pays off."

What sorts of challenges have you encountered to get where you are today?

I think the biggest challenge, in a way, comes from what people think and project in your work. You need feedback, and it is always reassuring and flattering to know your work is appreciated, and then commissioned, or bought. But if you listen too much, I think you can easily end up doing the same thing. So I think it’s a challenge in any field to be able to renew yourself, to try new things, without being limited or called back to what you did before, even if it might be justified.

How did you decide what to enter?

Well as I am an honest chap, I have to admit that I had the help of my wonderful agent, and had a dialogue with them throughout the process. We mainly selected works that had an editorial or commissioned purpose, but could also show diversity.

Can you name any past Young Guns winners who you look up to?

There are two that come to mind. First is Olimpia Zagnoli (YG9), who I admire not just for her tremendous graphical work, but also for her ability to renew herself, whilst maintaining a steady and coherent body of work. To me that means that keeping it playful, still having fun, and that's very cool.

The second is Laura Carlin (YG7), for the obvious quality of her drawing, and the fact that her work is in a league of its own. I think there are a lot of trends and a lot of good work, drawings and images out there, but some are just more noticeable, more peculiar. In my opinion it's that specificity that makes Laura's work really stand out.

What keeps you going, creatively speaking? What drives you and your work?

First of all I have a need to draw. I have a certain energy and urge in that. I always think that it’s best to do or produce first and to think later. My own dissatisfaction is another motivation, the idea that what I did yesterday or one year ago was either liked or something I was happy with it at the time, but that now I have to do better or do more. I guess this comes back to the idea of being very self demanding.

Yann and his fellow winners will be honored at the Young Guns 15 Ceremony + Party, taking place on Thursday, November 16 at Highline Stages in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. 

Young Guns 15 is presented in proud partnership with Shutterstock, Levene/Leavitt and MTV.



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