NEW YORK, USA — The One Club for Creativity has opened the call for entries for Young Guns 21, celebrating international creative professionals aged 30 or younger.
Young Guns is the industry’s only global, cross-disciplinary, portfolio-based awards competition that identifies and celebrates today’s vanguard of young creatives. The program is open to creatives aged 30 and under who have been working for at least two years, full-time or freelance. Eligible entrants can submit a combination of professional and personal work.
The online entry system is open, with the reduced-fee early deadline of June 29, 2023, regular deadline July 13, 2023, and final deadline July 27, 2023. Winners will be announced in the fall.
The renowned competitions regularly attract entries from upwards of 45 countries, with more than half coming from outside the US. Winners will be selected by a jury made up of past Young Guns winners and other creative leaders, to be announced shortly.
“In a year when two of the Oscars’ Best Picture nominations were directed by past Young Guns winners, it really shows how much of a springboard this honor can be,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, referring to Top Gun: Maverick director and YG4 winner Joseph Kosinski, and Everything, Everywhere, All At Once directors and YG14 winners The Daniels.
Levine/Leavitt YG Assistance Program
New this year is the Levine/Leavitt Young Guns Assistance Program, open to illustrators and photographers who qualify for YG21 but may not have the means to enter with ease. Successful applicants receive free entry into the competition courtesy of Levine/Leavitt. The deadline for the new program is June 30, 2023.
Levine/Leavitt is a long-time YG partner, also offering its Artists-in-Residence Award in which the artist rep firm provides one YG winner with a full year of artist and career management representation.
“Creativity knows no bounds, and neither should opportunity,” said Jeff Levine, Co-founder of Levine/Leavitt. “With this program, we aim to remove the financial hurdles that young, ambitious creatives may face. We hope this initiative will inspire and empower a new generation of artists to aim for the stars, and take their shot at Young Guns glory.”
COLORFUL jury, Sunday Afternoon mentorship program announced
The submission deadline for COLORFUL, a separate YG grant program to help young BIPOC creatives around the world advance their careers, has been extended to May 31, 2023. There is no fee to apply, and the grant is open globally to BIPOC creatives who qualify for YG21.
This year’s COLORFUL jury has just been announced:
- Rich Tu, designer, artist, ECD, partner, Sunday Afternoon, New York, and COLORFUL cofounder
- Andre Bato, director, New York Lousia Bertman, digital illustrator, Cambridge MA (US)
- Kervin Brisseaux, artist, creative director, Brooklyn
- Fernanda Cozzi, type designer, Buenos Aires
- Eric Hart Jr., photographer, artist, New York
- Jump Jirakaweekul, graphic designer, New York
- Xinmei Liu, illustrator, Harrison, NY
- Beatriz Lozano, design director, Brooklyn
- Osborne Macharia, photographer, Vancouver
- Monique Ortman, designer, Harrah, OK (US)
- Jamaal Parham, director, writer, Brooklyn
- Audrie Poole, executive director, artist manager, partner, Sunday Afternoon, Burlington VT (US)
- Arsh Raziuddin, designer, Brooklyn
- Tré Seals, type designer, founder, Vocal Type, Washington DC
- Danica Tan-Lijun, animation director, Los Angeles
- Kwame Taylor-Hayford, creative executive, cofounder, Kin, Brooklyn
Sunday Afternoon, a female and minority-owned creative studio that created this year’s COLORFUL branding and contributed to the grant funding, will also offer one COLORFUL applicant 12 months of mentorship from the studio’s leadership team. The lucky recipient will connect with the Sunday Afternoon team to help support their creative growth and goals.
Program branding and design of the YG Cube award itself is reimagined each year by a past Young Gun winner. This year’s YG21 branding was created by Zuzanna Rogatty (YG18), senior designer at COLLINS New York.
All Young Guns winners receive a unique version of the iconic Young Guns Cube, designed exclusively for this year’s incoming class, and have their permanent profile page added to the Young Guns website. Winners also receive a complimentary one-year One Club for Creativity membership, permanent membership in the Young Guns network, a chance to be featured in Young Guns events and an assortment of career-boosting opportunities from Young Guns sponsors.
Past Young Guns include rising stars who went on to become leaders in their chosen fields, including graphic designers James Victore (YG1), Stefan Sagmeister (YG1), Natasha Jen (YG4) and Jessica Walsh (YG8); artist/designer Rich Tu (YG8); ad creatives Rei Inamoto (YG4) and Menno Kluin (YG6); illustrators Christoph Niemann (YG2) and Deanne Cheuk (YG4); fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond (YG14); artist/filmmaker Calmatic (YG16); director/photographer India Sleem (YG17); photographer Ryan McGuinness (YG2); typographers Alex Trochut (YG6) and Gemma O’Brien (YG13); film and video director Mike Mills (YG1), animation artist Todd St. John (YG1), and others.