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D&AD’s New Blood Shift seeks young creatives who didn’t go to art school


D&AD has launched a new initiative, New Blood Shift, that aims to educate, connect and enable young people aged between 18 and 26 who haven’t been to university to take a step closer to a creative career. New Blood Shift is seeking people who lead creative lives but haven’t got creative careers, either due to a lack of training or connections.

The organisation is keen to attract individuals from a broad range of disciplines and has not set a brief for applicants. “The only entry requirement is that they must be creative,” says D&AD. “This can take any form, from blogging to poetry, coding to Instagramming, writing music to painting, creating street art to illustration. We don’t expect experts on the creative industry just an interest in finding out how they could turn creativity into a job.”

New Blood Shift, with support from Leo Burnett, will enroll 15 successful applicants into a 12-week night school (scheduled to allow participants to work during the day) that will start in September. The course will cover topics ranging from how the industry operates to how to create a portfolio. Once the course completes, students will be introduced to agencies and studios in order for them further their careers.

“Diversity in the advertising and design industry is rightly a hot topic, but although many people are talking about it, we need more action,” says Paul Drake, foundation director at D&AD. “New Blood Shift is an ambitious project that we need the whole industry to get behind. We want to find undiscovered talent and give these young people the tools and placements to forge careers.”

Applications to the programme can be made here. The deadline is 1 June and 50 applicants will be invited to exhibit their work in early July before the final selection is made.