D&AD has launched the second year of New Blood Shift in London. This unique diversity programme finds the best untapped young talent the city has to offer, with no formal university education and then trains them at an exclusive night school in order to help them get the career of their dreams in the creative industries. Entries are now open for the Class of 2017.
Last year, D&AD received hundreds of entries and, from these, 17 young Londoners were chosen to take part. All entrants came from very different backgrounds but they were united by two stand-out facts: none of them had a formal arts education or degree but all of them showed incredible creative talent. They formed the D&AD New Blood Shift Class of 2016 and took part in the first ever intensive 12-week night school which finished in December 2016.
"Shift for me has meant validation," says Abi Holsborough, one of last year's participants. "Not of any talents or skill but just that there’s more than one path to finding yourself and what you want to do."
The aim of the night school was to give them a step up into an industry that is notoriously difficult to break into without the right connections. D&AD New Blood Shift set out with a simple aim to test a belief that success shouldn’t be about who you are, where you’re from, or who you know. Success should depend on talent. Presenting the creative industry with a fresh perspective, the Class of 2016 proved that it could be done.
Where are they now? Of the 17 from the Class of 2016 all have stories to tell. D&AD is still actively involved in mentoring the group and using their industry connections has enabled 11 paid placements at Havas, Leo Burnett, The Partners, Iris, Apple, Turner Duckworth and MRM Meteorite. Two of the class have been offered full-time employment: Leanne Blossom has been hired as a junior copywriter at Havas London, and Jake Maguire is a junior designer at Design Bridge.
Entries are now open and will run until 28 July 2017. The entry criteria is simple: entrants must be over 18, not hold a degree level qualification and not be currently enrolled in university or art school, but be creative with a wish to have a career in the advertising or design industry. What they enter is up to them, it can be anything from poetry or film scripts, photography series, graphic design, art, even their personal vlog if they are doing something new and innovative with the medium.
Learn all about New Blood Shift 2017 at dandad.org.
Main image: Bethany Harle