As a New Blood Academy alumni, Danae Gosset, Designer and Animator at &Walsh studio, talks to us about winning a New Blood Awards Pencil, taking part in the Academy, creative career advice for advertising and design graduates and her career highlights so far.
Tell us what you're currently doing professionally?
I am working at &Walsh as a Designer/Animator. I also work on a variety of freelance/self-initiated projects in my downtime.
Tell us about your journey from graduating from university, being part of D&AD New Blood Academy and kickstarting your career in the creative industry, to where you are now?
I went to the New Blood Academy in 2017 after winning a yellow Pencil for the Arjowiggins brief. I graduated a year later, in 2018, from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I worked the summer of my graduation for Pablo Delcan, one of my thesis teachers from SVA, at his company: Delcan and Co. During my time there, among a lot of things, I worked on animations for a music video called Swan Gone. I combined experimental animation techniques, printed and scanned animations, scratched film with different tools, and painted over frames. This led to October 2018 when I got the amazing opportunity to work with the studio Art Camp and Saad Moosajee on the co-direction, design, and cel animation of the music video A Pearl by the singer Mitski. After its release, it was received very well from the public and led to winning my first professional D&AD pencil, amongst other awards. Right after the Mitski project was done, I flew to Argentina with a friend to shoot a documentary about a sign painter. When I got back to New York, I was actively looking for my next opportunity. After a few months of trials and errors, I got an opportunity at my dream studio Sagmeister&Walsh, which transitioned into being &Walsh during my time there.
You've achieved a lot since graduating as an advertising and design student, How did the New Blood Academy help you get there?
During the Academy, I landed an internship at Brand Union, which I happened to get during the New Blood portfolio review. After my internship at Brand Union, I knew I wanted to have a job in a smaller studio setting versus a bigger corporation. I am a strong believer that knowing what you don’t want is as valuable as knowing what you want, and that is probably a big part of where I am today. Although I don’t know what the future holds and a bigger company might suit me best in a few years from now. In addition, the Academy was a great networking opportunity and provided a platform of eager soon-to-be professionals.
What is one thing the Academy gave you that you couldn't have gotten anywhere else in terms of creative industry internship and professional experience?
It gave me a vivid taste of what being a professional was, and what it took if I wanted to succeed in the industry. It demystified the idea of the creative genius and somewhat made the industry seem much more accessible. I remember thinking to myself that we’re all humans, and anything is possible with crazy hard work, tenacity, and a little luck.
Have any lessons, workshops, or speakers stuck with you?
Many, but if I had to choose, Google was definitely a big high. Pitching sustainable ways of farming in South America to the Google Creative Lab in London was an experience full of adrenaline. We had one afternoon to come up with a concept, its solution, and make a full deck. This exercise mixed thinking, public speaking, collaborative spirit, and leadership undertaken in a high-pressure setting.
What would you tell someone who is on the fence about entering the New Blood Awards programme?
I’d suggest - do it. Take as many notes as possible, be a sponge, keep in touch with peers from the Academy. I run into people from the Academy all the time at events and social gatherings. This is the community, it is an amazing resource.
What challenges do you think young creatives are facing entering the creative industry right now?
Right now, I find that young creatives may rely a little too much on technology, taking shortcuts in the process. Not that I think that it is bad, but I am a bit skeptical of automatism and going the easy route versus the complicated path which, from my personal experience, has a better chance to surprise and be unique in the long run.
Where do you get your best creative ideas?
Walking around, paying attention to my surroundings. I like to wander with intention. I love talking to friends about their takes on problems. This often opens up new directions of thoughts that I wouldn’t have considered otherwise, as well as opening new patterns within my own thinking.
How do you keep yourself inspired and keep ideas flowing?
I am eager to learn and that is a big part of how I keep myself inspired. I become obsessed with a subject, research it extensively, and then I go on to the next. For example, over the summer I got very interested in microscopic photography. I enrolled in a continued education course and spent my Saturdays in a biology lab - it was amazing. Then I got interested in coding and enrolled in an online class and worked on it over the weekends. I also picked up on random things like mentalism and binge-watched Youtube channels on how to interpret micro-expressions and how to better read people. I took improv classes to be better at public speaking. I also listened to a ton of podcasts, and I love reading the New York Times Business News. Interestingly enough, I mostly enjoy podcasts about business and finance, topics that were far from my interests growing up. I think in general, just being curious about most things is a good approach to staying inspired in my everyday life.
What are you most proud of in your career to date?
I have the issue of being eternally unsatisfied mixed with imposter syndrome. Although it’s fuel, I don’t feel like I have done anything worth being proud of yet. But, I am proud of myself for always trying to be better.
I am a strong believer that knowing what you don’t want is as valuable as knowing what you want, and that is probably a big part of where I am today.
What is the thing you love most about what you do now?
I get to develop so many different skill set at &Walsh. From design, to animation, to video editing, to retouching. I’ve never wanted to specialise into one specific thing, the fact that I get to touch on a little bit of everything is very fulfilling.
What is your dream project?
My dream project will be to have my own company.
When are you going to fulfil your dream project?
In a few years, I am playing the long game, I am in no rush.