Fearless – The Winner’s Story

By Elle Murdoch | May 2, 2024

Last year, we hosted Fearless, a competition that called upon young creatives to showcase their talent and redefine the essence of fearlessness. As we prepare for the exciting launch of Fearless 2024, we’ve had the pleasure of catching up with 2023 finalists to talk about their experiences and see what they have been up to since then. Join us as we sit down for a chat with Sadie, our 2023 Fearless winner, and talk about her journey.

So you won last year, did you expect to win the competition?

No I didn’t. Because I thought that mine was really different from what everyone else had handed in. I didn’t really know what everyone else was doing. I know some people were doing graffiti and stuff, but mine was more based on a myth and no one else had done that. So I wasn’t really expecting to win anything.

How did you find the competition itself? What was your process?

It was good. I originally had a different idea. I got really stressed about it to begin with. And I wanted this to be perfect. But then I thought, It’s a competition – They want us to be fearless. So I thought instead of getting stressed, and trying to make things perfect, let’s just try something else and try something new. And then I came up with the idea and then won. 

Okay, so you pushed yourself a little bit? That’s what we like to hear. How did you find that? Did you learn anything about yourself in that process?

Yeah, I think it’s not to overthink it as much. Initially, I had this big A3 painting which was going to be like a tapestry. So it had like big church spires that were full of illustrations. And then I was looking at it and thought, Yeah, this is cool, but it’s so overcrowded and I don’t think it shows being fearless. I had spent most of the summer trying to complete this painting and eventually, I thought, you know what, let’s try something completely different. Try and be ‘fearless’.

You mentioned earlier you didn’t expect to win, but you tried something different anyway and ended up winning the competition. Do you think doing this gave you some confidence in your work?

Yeah, it definitely gave me the boost I needed to try something new in my work. Because then on my next project, I was like, okay, I can try different things and maybe that’ll work out as well. I pushed myself for the competition and then I got good results. So for the next project, I thought let’s try something else. So then I tried something completely different that I wouldn’t normally do. I did a completely digital illustration, but normally I work in traditional. So it helped me expand on what I want to do in the future, especially when I was applying to universities. Initially, when I looked at a different style of work I wasn’t sure, but since winning the competition I thought let’s just try new things, which I wouldn’t have done before. Winning it showed me that it is okay to be different and to push myself out of my comfort zone.

What have you been up to since the competition? Anything in college or out of college that you have been doing?

Mainly projects for college, but I have done a couple of bits for my portfolio as I have been applying to universities. So I have been experimenting with different media and trying different things to see the outcome and where that can take me. 

Would you recommend any other Students entering the competition?

Yeah, I would say definitely do it because it makes you try and think outside the box. Normally when we get a brief it’s like you have to cover this and this and there is a specific outcome, but with the competition brief, It was just ‘Fearless’. And initially, I was thinking, what can I do with that? But it actually me helped in the end. Because the brief was so broad, you get to come up with more ideas and you’re not tied down to an outcome. It allowed me to push myself and look at a project differently to how I normally would approach it.

And finally, What are your goals for the future?

I am hoping to go to uni this year, but my backup plan is to take a gap year and get some experience somewhere in the industry. I want to keep pushing myself whichever route I end up taking.

We also had the chance to chat with our runner-up, Cerin, and third-place finalist, Vinnie, from the competition. Check out what they had to say about their Fearless experience.

Cerin Flynn, 2nd Place Fearless Finalist

I found the competition quite fun. It definitely did challenge me a bit as it was just a one word prompt. I didn’t know how much like how creative I could be with it. Or if there was like a limit you could do? But I went with a topic I had an interest in and just ran with it creatively. The Fearless competition made me want to be proud in my artwork and more confident in what I can achieve. Since then I also came 1st in another competition, so it has given me the boost to push myself and try something different. This has given me the confidence to go further with my illustration. Originally I was thinking I would go into graphic design at uni, but these competitions have pushed me with my illustrative work and I am now applying for illustration courses at university.

Vinnie Homer, 3rd Place Fearless Finalist

The Fearless competition definitely challenged me, but I enjoyed that allowed me to have more creative freedom in my work. In college, we have a lot of equipment to help us, but as I did the project over the summer I had to think outside the box and try new things. I experimented with lots of different mediums to get to my final outcome and it showed me what I could achieve without the use of anything digital. I would definitely recommend just going for it. Don’t be scared to, you know, be fearless. No pun intended. But do whatever you like, have more of a creative outlook on your work and see how you can evolve. 

It’s been fantastic catching up with the 2023 finalists and talking about their journeys. We’re eagerly awaiting the incredible entries for Fearless 2024. Get ready to make a positive impact!