Young Guns 17: Joyce N. Ho
By Brett McKenzie on Nov 04, 2019
Shining a light on the amazing class of Young Guns 17
What happens when you take a jury of 60+ respected creatives, more than 500 entries from all over the globe, and mix them all together for two months of serious consideration, debate and decision-making? Eventually you get the winners of Young Guns 17! This year, The One Club for Creativity is honoring a creatively diverse class of 28 winners, including animators, designers, photographers, illustrators, film directors and editors, all of whom came out of this process as true champions of their craft.
Ahead of the Young Guns 17 Ceremony + Party taking place on November 20, we are featuring the various superstars who will be taking the stage that evening.
Joyce N. Ho
New York, NY
First of all, congratulations! Now how did you first discover Young Guns?
It was probably when I was just starting out as a junior designer in my hometown of Brisbane in Australia. I’d seen a few designers that I followed when I was in university win Young Guns, and it definitely got my attention as someone just starting out in the industry. Young Guns seemed really wordly, honoring such a diverse range of talent from all around the globe!
Now this wasn't your first attempt at winning Young Guns...
No, this was my third time entering. I’d come close as a finalist the previous two times, so I’m stoked to have made it this year. Plus it’s my final year eligible – apparently I’m no longer young next year!
What do you think you did differently this time around that pushed you over the line from "finalist" to winner"?
This year, I had two new high-profile client projects that I didn’t include in last year’s submission. For those entries, I included a super snappy reel of the work. This was a one minute edit that highlighted the best parts of each project, so I’m guessing that helped!
Which of the projects that you entered is your personal favorite and why?
My favorite out of the six projects I entered is the Semi Permanent titles. It was one of those rare projects where I got to realize my vision, build a team and collaborate with some super talented people that I’ve always wanted to work with! It was a challenging project, but I learned so many things as a result. I’ll look back on it fondly, as one of the projects that had a huge impact on me.
One of the highlights of entering Young Guns is the ability to submit personal projects alongside professional ones. I understand you took advantage of this...
The Likeminds 2017 titles was a passion project. This was the first project I’d ever done completely solo, it was just me and my sound designer! I wanted to use it as an opportunity to experiment and try something new and it's probably because of this, that the titles turned out more playful than my past projects. It also led to more abstract and conceptual projects, in both personal and client work.
What was it like to discover that you won YG17?
It was a very awesome moment! I read the email as I was eating breakfast with a dear friend of mine while we were visiting Seattle, so it was great to be able to share the fantastic news and cheers our coffees in celebration immediately!
How would you describe your creative style?
I didn’t always feel like I had a distinct style; I think it'll always be an ongoing process and will keep developing! Right now, you could say it’s more conceptual and abstract. I love to mix animation techniques, as I find that creates more interesting outcomes. I also tend to gravitate towards a darker vibe, which probably stems from a personal preference to the color black — I know, I know, I’m such a designer!
What is your favorite tool when it comes to making what you do, something you’d feel naked without?
This is probably an “uncool” and super nerdy answer, but I don’t think I could live without Google Spreadsheets. It’s my go-to tool to keep track of everything. I’m excited when I freelance at different studios and get to see how they set theirs up. Such a fan of a good spreadsheet!
What do you do when you hit a creative wall, when you are stuck for ideas and solutions?
When I hit a creative block, the first thing I do is hit up one of my colleagues, collaborators or friends, and start talking it through. I always find bouncing off ideas with someone else to be super helpful because they always bring a different perspective that I hadn’t thought of before. I also love to browse through books for inspiration, either going to a library or a bookshop. Doing research outside of the internet can be hugely inspiring.
What are some of the biggest influences on your work and career?
Some of my biggest influences are also mentors of mine: Jonathan Kim and John Likens, who are always there to chat and guide me through work (and sometimes life) things! Also, I can’t forget about the continued support and advice of all my talented friends in the motion design community: Alex Gee, Erica Gorochow, Jordan Scott, Mercy Lomelin, William Arnold, Worship, Nidia Dias, and Greg Wilson, just to name a few — they are all so damn inspiring! Finally, it goes without saying that my family has played a huge part in supporting me and helping me to get to where I am. I know that I wouldn’t be here if not for all of these amazing people. Much love!
Now that you’re in the Young Guns family, are there any past winners that you look up to and admire?
Ah, there’s too many to list! Some of them include: Anna Ginsburg (YG15), Alex Grigg (YG11), Gemma O’Brien (YG13), Jorge R. Canedo E.(YG12), Daniel Savage (YG10), Shane Griffith (YG10), Lisk Feng (YG15), Zipeng Zhu (YG13), Justin Gignac (YG5), Dark Igloo (YG10), Dress Code (YG5), Alex Mapar (YG9), and Noemie Le Coz (YG15). I’ve met many of these Young Guns winners over the last few years, and I’m honored that I can call some of them my friends. Shoutout to my talented pals!
Name a creative dream that you have yet to fulfill.
I would love to collaborate on interactive live visuals for a musician I’m a fan of, something that would merge real-time visuals with music, to create a one-of-a-kind experience for concert-goers! Outside of design, I’m trying to pick up the pencil a bit more often and getting back into my graphite drawings again. Perhaps one day I'll have a gallery exhibition for some of my art!
Any final thoughts for the Young Guns community?
Thanks so much, it’s such a huge honor!
WORDS FROM THE JURY
"Joyce's work is at such a high level that you are immediately drawn in to watch further, with hidden elements worthy of repeat viewings. Though her work is varied, you can feel a distinct mind at work, with intricate attention to detail and balance. She has the ability to not only creatively execute a vision but also has a mastery of understanding what is at the heart of storytelling through design. This trait is what truly makes her a Young Guns winner."
"Joyce’s work shows true digital artistry. She creates memorable motion pieces across a range of visual styles, with a level of skill and polish worthy of a Young Guns winner. Her compositions show an eye for design and art direction, with thoughtful typography, illustration and graphics all brought beautifully to life in motion. Her animations flow seamlessly and tastefully through scenes and styles. The diverse range of projects in her portfolio shows her ability to work in a range of aesthetics, bringing style and class to everything she works on. I can’t wait to see more from Joyce in the future!"
Associate Creative Director
The Young Guns 17 Ceremony & Party takes place on Thursday, November 20 in New York City.