Drawing On Some New Blood

D&AD exists to stimulate, enable and award creative excellence in design and advertising. A couple of years or so ago, I was lucky enough to help out at one of their New Blood workshops. Along with around a dozen fellow professional mentors, I was eased into the day with a complimentary lunch at Middlesex University, overlooking impressive views of London and the Hertfordshire countryside beyond.

New Blood is the opportunity for some of the best students around to experience real projects, set by real clients and judged by top creatives. I was not involved in the judging, but over the course of the workshop provided strategic and creative mentorship to teams of young creatives, as they worked through their ideas.

It’s a great opportunity. For the students it’s a chance to address a set challenge for an international brand, and they must work alone and as part of a team. For the mentors, it’s a chance to work with fresh talent that is keen to impress. What emerges is seen and judged by the representatives of the brand, along with a panel of leading creatives from around the world. And whether you’re a copywriter or photographer, a digital specialist, product designer or something in-between – there’s always a brief for you.

It’s possible to make new friends as well. Not just with other mentors, but with the students taking part. I cannot remember how it happened, but after the event somehow landed on a blog written up by one of the students on my team and was able to make contact with him again. It’s great to have kept in touch, because if you can build up trust with someone early on, their input provides valuable new perspective. Plus you’re helping build a profile for each other too.

If you are interested in getting involved in New Blood, entry to the awards is open to anyone in full or part-time education; recent graduates who finished their course within the past two years; and anyone under the age of 24. For mentors, just get in touch with the D&AD, and express your interest: www.dandad.org/en/new-blood-awards

Many thanks to @dandad and @danielapt for providing content.