Voices

The next generation of creative talent: D&AD celebrates 40 years of New Blood

It is now perhaps more important than ever to support and nurture the next generation of emerging talent and offer them resources and space for both learning and development.

Izzy Ashton

Deputy Editor, BITE

Share


The celebration of creativity is a significant cultural occurrence, whether it’s the process of standing in a museum, sitting in an audience, walking past a graffitied wall, or admiring a billboard as you walk past. The beauty of creativity is that it knows no bounds; there are no restrictions on who can create.

Unfortunately for many years within the advertising and marketing world, not everyone’s creativity has been celebrated accordingly. The prioritisation of industry names, the exclusiveness of all male teams and a squeezed middle have all contributed to the creation of an industry often guilty of existing in its own echo chamber.

But it feels like there has been a reckoning of late, as inappropriate behaviour is called out, diversity prioritised, and youth respected. D&AD have been at the heart of supporting the best creative minds, existing to stimulate, celebrate and enable excellence in commercial creativity through awards, festivals and learning programmes.

One such programme is New Blood that supports the emerging cohort of creative minds to find opportunities in the advertising and design industry. This year the programme celebrates its 40th anniversary with a virtual programme running from 6th to 10th July.

It is equally important to reflect on what the next 40 years of creativity will look like as our industry undergoes immeasurable change.

Dara Lynch

The next generation of creative talent

As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt around the world, there can be no doubt that educational institutions and creative businesses are bearing the full brunt. It is now perhaps more important than ever to support and nurture the next generation of emerging talent and offer them resources and space for both learning and development. As New Blood celebrates its 40th anniversary, COO of D&AD Dara Lynch said, “it is equally important to reflect on what the next 40 years of creativity will look like as our industry undergoes immeasurable change.”

The D&AD Digital Festival format has been designed to highlight the work of emerging creatives, connect those just starting out with industry leaders, and provide a platform of inspiring content. New Blood is partnering with The Dots to create a showcase of over 1,000 portfolios shown virtually whilst also working with the Youth Creative Council to help recent graduates access job opportunities and placements; essential steps in a year when physical graduate shows have been cancelled.

A survey conducted by Creative Access found that 85% of current trainees are either not being kept on post their internship or are unsure if they will be. This compares to almost 90% of trainees pre-COVID-19 moving into a full-time position at the end of their internship. Talk is one thing but what creative graduates need is the means by which to enter into the industry of their choosing.

This>That

The digital festival will centre around five daily themes in the form of This>That statements highlighting key topics of discussion and debate in the creative industries today. The statements have been designed to spark conversation between industry leaders sharing their experience and young creatives navigating the ever-changing landscape. This will take of the form of keynote speeches, live sessions and practical workshops.

The themes examine questions like: What is more important, practice or theory? What really makes us stand out, our craft or our passion? And, perhaps most poignantly in the current climate, should the commercial creative industry be innovating and defining culture, or is it our role to reflect and comment on the world around us? This last point will be explored in a talk from Harris Elliott, Creative Director, Curator and Stylist, just one of the many sessions taking place over the five-day virtual festival.

Part of promoting this content will come from a partnership with Squarespace which will see a three-part video series created called By the Book where top creatives will offer advice on how to make your portfolio stand out online. The videos are discipline-specific to provide more in-depth advice around illustration, graphic design and art direction amongst others.

The ideas and insights of emerging talent will define the future of creativity.

Dara Lynch

Pass it on

D&AD are calling out to individuals across the industry to submit articles exploring the five themes and offering invaluable advice to young creatives. These articles will serve as an extension of the content already on offer, published on the D&AD website, to help set off conversations about what it is to be a creative in the industry today and how the landscape is shifting and changing.

After a call-out to creative professionals to donate their time and expertise, D&AD will also be running 600 portfolio reviews with support from more than 200 creatives.

The New Blood programme embodies the notion of passing it on, recognising how important it is to create a dedicated platform where emerging creatives can seek inspiration, advice and support. As Lynch adds, “the ideas and insights of emerging talent will define the future of creativity.”

By amplifying both the work of industry professionals and young creatives, New Blood showcases the best of the creative industries. It captures the notion that true creativity doesn’t care how old you are or how experienced. A great idea is a great idea, regardless of who holds the pen that formed it.

New Blood Digital Festival 2020 runs from 6th – 10th July 2020. Visit D&AD’s website to find out more.

Related Tags

Youth Young Creatives