COLORFUL: A Prelude to Young Guns 19

Since 1996, Young Guns has been an elite portfolio-based competition that takes the profiles of young creative professionals already on the rise and helps elevate them even further. And while the program has made major strides since the days of being jokingly thought of as an award for "extremely talented white designers and illustrators from Williamsburg", there's always room for more diversity.

Enter COLORFUL: A Prelude To Young Guns 19. Ahead of this year's Young Guns competition, we teamed up with acclaimed first-generation Filipinx designer and Young Guns 8 winner Rich Tu to co-found a free portfolio competition and a grant exclusively for young BIPOC creative professionals who qualify for Young Guns — they just haven't entered and won it yet.

After receiving submissions from across the globe, a jury made up of 11 BIPOC creative superstars — all previous Young Guns winners themselves — went over every single entry, grading them not only on the strength of their work but also on how they intend to use the $3000 creative grant, should they win. Afterward, the jury convened to discuss and debate which entrant stood above others as the overall winner of the grant, as well as assemble a class of finalists. The winner and the finalists will all be welcomed to enter YG19 completely free of charge, with the confidence that comes with knowing they've already impressed a jury that knows exactly what it takes to win Young Guns.

The FINAL deadline for Young Guns 19 submissions is Monday, July 26, 2021.


Olivia-Jene Fagon

Creative Director, Vice Media

My name is Olivia-Jene´ Fagon and I’m a Jamaican-American Creative Director based out of Brooklyn and the creative director of Experiential and Events across VICE Media Groups’ portfolio of brands, including VICE, Refinery29, i-D, and Noisey. I was born and raised in Washington, DC, and left the district for New York after studying art history and media studies at Brown University. I fell in love with art (and art without barriers) at an early age, starting my career at The Smithsonian and Artsy, then cutting my agency teeth at Imprint Projects working as a Junior Strategist on brand and artist collaborations with Uniqlo, Sonos and Google, which gave me my first exposure to experiential activations.

Experiential quickly became the venue and common ground for the things that move me creatively: collaborating with artists, pushing the civic engagement of brand work, never keeping your audience at arm’s length and carving out space for the urgent and influential voices of Black, Brown and underrepresented folks in popular media and culture.

At VICE Media Group, I’ve served as the Creative Director for 29Rooms, Refinery29’s touring tentpole event, since 2019, bringing over 500K attendees through our venue, touring the event to 7 cities, reaching 1 in 2 Instagram users through our social halo and creative directing on-site experiential collaborations with brands, artists, celebrities and non-profits, including Mugler, Facebook, Uber, Planned Parenthood, The ACLU, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, and more.

2020 and 2021 have not been a world on hold. From creatively leading a socially-distanced projection mapped takeover of Brooklyn Central Library for Adidas Stan Smith (April 2021) to launching Wash Day, a day-long retreat on Facebook Live to tend to the self-care and hair-care needs of Black women in a reimagined virtual salon (January 2021), pioneering new territory in bringing people together, virtually and physically, continues to guide my creative output.




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