Young Guns 16: Tal Midyan
By Brett McKenzie on Nov 01, 2018
Showcasing the incredible winners of Young Guns 16
After months of decisions, discussions and debate, The One Club For Creativity is thrilled to unveil the winners of Young Guns 16! These 30 art directors, illustrators, filmmakers, photographers and designers of all types stood above all in this career-making, globe-spanning portfolio-based competition.
Ahead of the Young Guns 16 Ceremony + Party taking place on November 15, we are shining a spotlight on the various superstars who will be honored that evening.
Art Director & Designer
What does winning this award mean to you?
I honestly was pretty shocked when I found out I was a finalist, and I definitely didn’t expect to win! It truly is an honor to be named a Young Guns winner. In an industry where there are so many award shows and different types of recognitions for your work, being honored as an individual, not just for a single project but for six unique pieces, that really feels special. There’s also this stigma that going “in-house” is like “cashing out” and that you can’t really do great work working “client-side” for a brand, so it feels really good being recognized for all the work I’ve done while at Spotify.
It’s not easy to be a successful creative. What sorts of challenges have you encountered to get where you are today?
,It sounds cliché to say, but I’ve always felt that in our industry it’s easy to get placed into a specific box and be stereotyped as a specific type of creative. Especially when you first start your career. You get hired by an agency to fulfill a specific role, at an agency that is hired by a client to execute a specific type of work. Whether it’s web design, branding or funny TV spots. I’ve always struggled with that and I always made sure to work in organizations and for people that allowed me to work however I wanted in whatever discipline. To add to that, side projects and self-initiated work allowed me to be creative and make work that’s within the spaces that interested me.
How did you decide what to enter into Young Guns? Was it a challenge to curate yourself?
It definitely was a challenge. I realized that I have a pretty wide range of projects that could potentially fit in different Young Gun categories. I wanted to pick the ones that really showed the breadth of work I’ve done, while still appealing to the Advertising jury. I figured that the judges were going to look for great ideas before anything else. So I made sure to look at my work with that filter in mind. Whether it was a website I designed or an out-of-home campaign, I picked the six projects that I thought demonstrated unique ways to solving a more ”traditional” brief.
Can you name any past Young Guns winners who you look up to, whose work you admire or are even inspired by?
So many incredibly talented people have been Young Guns winners, but just to name a few... I’ll go way back to the very first year. James Victore (YG1) was a huge inspiration for me when I was studying Graphic Design and Advertising at SVA. I didn’t take his portfolio class unfortunately, but I remember sitting in for a few of his lectures and was super inspired by his approach to design and what it means to be a “Designer”, it really opened my eyes. I remember thinking he was such a badass. It’s also crazy to see former classmates of mine that have been Young Guns winners whom I really look up to as well. Ben Grandgenett (YG15) and Zipeng Zhu (YG13) have been crushing it ever since they left SVA which has been really inspiring to watch.
What keeps you going, creatively speaking?
I really love taking on big scary challenges. Especially projects that I’m under-qualified for. I find it exciting working on ideas in new mediums. I feel like it’s a blessing and a curse. For example, after finishing Pharrell's website which was over a year of work from concept to execution, I kept getting approached to do big web re-designs for random clients, but mentally I was interested in doing something completely different, in a different territory. I’ve also always been driven by new technologies and how we can use them either in useful, problem-solving ways or just useless stupid ways. I always like to consider both. For example, in my time at Google I was exposed to a lot of Machine Learning and image recognition work that was happening in the Creative Lab, it was really fun to apply the same technology for 21 Savage’s website.
Now that you’re a Young Guns winner, what’s next?
Well, going to stick around at Spotify a little longer. The company is constantly undergoing massive changes and product innovations that is keeping me curious and optimistic for what’s yet to come. However, it does feel like everyone is starting their own studio/agency. Would be fun to do that one day. Otherwise I’m currently working on a fun little product/brand with a friend of mine that we’re hoping to launch in the next couple months.
The Young Guns 16 Ceremony & Party takes place on Thursday, November 15 in New York City.