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New Blood: Tips for creating winning work

Take three New Blood winners, grill them for three ultimate tips on creating Pencil-worthy work, and what do you have? An article worth a serious read, that's what. So off you go.

Jack Beveridge, 2014 Yellow Pencil

Find the truth

Because if it’s true, nobody can argue with it.

Go there

Whenever you come up with ideas don't just sit at your desk. You need to go there. Touch it, feel it, even lick it. Otherwise you're drawing from what's already in your head, and that's probably going to be what other people have in their head. So to get a unique insight and perspective, you need to experience it.

Don't hide your homework

At school we’re told not to share our answers. This is completely counterintuitive. If you share your ideas, tell your friends, your mum, your dog…you’ll be amazed how much you get back and how quickly an idea can grow.

Anna Barton, 2014 Black Pencil

Go beyond the brief 

Write a short list of questions the brief is asking and keep going back to them. Tick those boxes. But don't stop there. Think what no one else is doing - stretch your idea as far as it goes.

You might cry a bit. 

Trial and error is key. A truly brilliant outcome has usually had a few flops on its journey to greatness. Go on the scenic route rather than the quickest. Try everything and document it.

Wow people. Fast. 

Can you explain your idea on a post-it? Remember, judges will only spend so long looking at your work. Don't let their minds wander.

Tom Manning, New Blood Trustee

Consume. Digest. 

Print the brief, read it, highlight it, cut it up, rearrange it, and then forget about it. Fill up on culture, cartoons and quotes, let your mind drift and your subconscious will do the hard work.

Kill your babies

Be brave enough to kill an idea that isn’t working. But love your experiments as you would an ugly child.

Serve dessert first 

Beware the case study video. Cut the preamble and get to the point. Don’t make the judges wait by burying your genius or saving the best until last. Knock them out in the first 10 seconds.

So there it is. Nine tried-and-tested tips from those in the know. All that’s left to do is take on the New Blood Awards and try them for yourself.

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