This friday’s talk was from YCN “Young Creatives Network” and i was really excited about this talk because i am currently working on an entry for one of their Student Award Briefs and relished the opportunity to learn more about the organisation and the brief i am working on.

The Young Creatives Network is run from a building in Shoreditch, East London and its an organisation that brings together young creatives, potential clients and people from all over the world. They aim to help members and non members alike connect with new communities and ideas, and fuel their creativity and curiosity in design and beyond. YCN believes that creativity is the most important trait a person can posess and their student awards programme is how they began in 2001. We have been introduced to this organisation through two of their members today, Jennie who works in the YCN shop and runs events, and Doris who is a Creative producer in their Talent Team.

During this talk we were informed more indepthly about the Student Awards- how the briefs are set by clients and YCN send all of our entries off to the clients to be judged, the only award that YCN has any involvement in judging is the “Student of The Year” award. The briefs are put out by YCN from brands that want new, fresh and creative approaches to design and business solutions. The clients pick a selection of entries- there are no 1st, 2nd or 3rd prizes just commended students; these students are then invited to the Award ceremony in September. This is a lavish affair in which you are wined and dined and entertained for the evening and presented with an award, an award which would look very prestigious i imagine on a creative CV.

Aswell as the Awards ( they also have awards for graduates aswell as students, but these are separate) YCN aims to provide creative inspiration, through the creation of a magazine show casing interesting in depth interviews, studio visits and new talent and each edition has a theme like “You can now… get lost” which encourages people to go on adventures in their creativity and get lost in the creative process. They also have daily digital publishing, which also shows a selection of new talent, studio visits and insights into brands.  The YCN building in Shoreditch also has a wide range of events on its calander such as talks and workshops with creatives from industry. It also hosts an event called “Two’s company” in which two people successful in a certain industry are invited to talk and discuss with an audience their success and their inspirations, in order to inspire creativity in others and enlighten those about different creative industries. What i found most useful was the introduction of a jobs and opportunities page on the YCN website, which i have just looked on and found more creative opportunities and internships on that one website than i have spanning the internet these past few months. It also shows freelance opportunities which would be very useful for myself.

Doris then spoke about her job in particular and her role within YCN, as a Creative producer she has a more organisational role and business minded job in which she keeps all of the talented members of YCN’s portfolios regularly updated, manages projects for creatives and is a go between for client and artist to ensure a project runs smoothly. She also explained how membership works:

  • Membership is £120 per year, and entitles young creatives to free advice , a portfolio viewing in which YCN members are given feedback and ideas for their portfolios and advice and guidance on how to get work, how to cost projects which can be a challenge when you are first starting out. They can also look at contracts to ensure you are being fairly paid for your work which is great for people who are new in the industry, because i personally would not know where to start in pricing work or how much my work would be work or time would be worth.

The YCN have had lots of big clients such as Vitamin Water ran a campaign with one of their member that spanned a whole year, and included illustrations being created for all regions of advertising from online to on the side of buses. YCN ensured that the illustrator was fairly compensated for his work and how much his illustrations would be creating in revenue being used for the whole year.

  • RANDOM PIECE OF INFO- alot of illustrators used pseudonyms!  i had not thought of this!

Finally the talk was ended by Jennie and Doris sharing their Top Tips for Success in the Creative industry and these are INVALUABLE¬

  • Share your work!- social media/ cargo collective/website
  • Love what you do, do what you love- don’t bog yourself down or convince yourself to do work you wouldn’t want to be known for, it shows in your work when you have put your heart and soul into what you have created
  • Be NICE- being a friendly and personable creative will make you more employable
  • Be PROACTIVE- no-one is going to make you successful except you, contact clients, put yourself out there and keep trying
  • Present yourself well- ensure your work is clear, professional and coherent
  • Online Presence should be clear and considered, don’t show all your university work- show what you want to be known for and what you are proud of. use social media effectively. websites should be easy to use and accessible. When you email clients- keep it short and sweet.

We have also been given Jennie and Doris’s email addresses if we have any more questions and i think i will send them my final Alice in Wonderland images for critique 🙂

dt@ycn.org – doris

jw@ycn.org- Jennie

below are some images from the presentation:

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The brief i am currently working on for the YCN Student awards is the Pan Macmillan brief to re imagine Alice in wonderland in a cover illustration and 1-2 internal illustrations. They spoke about this brief and after the talk i was lucky to be able to ask them more questions about it which cleared up my confusion as to whether Pan Macmillan, who spoke about the traditional character of Alice in the brief, wanted her included or re imagined also. They informed me that Pan Macmillan wanted an entirely new interpretation which was of great relief to me, as i had tried to create a new version with the traditional traits but they felt uninspirational and not fitting with my ideas. I also got the chance to show them some images of my current ideas and set design on my phone and they were interested and said it was the sort of different that Pan Macmillan were looking for, this has restored my confidence a little in where my work is going because as of tutorial yesterday i was feeling a bit concerned that i was heading towards a dead end with my sets.


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