As well as being a born-and-bred East Londoner, collector of curious objects, and self confessed “talkative attic”, Graham Shearsby is our Chief Creative Officer. He’s the person responsible for the creative quality and reputation across all of the DB studios. And this year, Graham is also standing to be elected onto the D&AD Board of Trustees.
Since joining the creative world in 1979 – straight out of school and with no University education – Graham’s focus is now to inspire the next generation of creative talent, and help young people understand that there are opportunities out there, no matter what your background, education or social situation. Here’s Graham to tell you a little bit more…
What category are you entering?
I am standing as a candidate for the Board of Trustees as a Creative Practitioner working in Design.
How will you support D&AD over the next three years?
I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved during the last 30 years of Design Bridge, especially as I didn’t start out with a University education. I grew up in an economically harsh East London of the 1970’s where pupils fought with teachers at my comprehensive school. But, art was always encouraged, prizes were given, the Art block as important as the Science block. Teachers were passionate and helped me understand the potential opportunities out there in the ‘commercial art’ world, leading me to get my first shot as a Studio Junior and a few years later winning a Yellow Pencil.
Sadly, this now reads as complete fantasy for my equivalent generation in today’s harsh climate. Facing the sad devaluation of the Arts, they don’t stand a chance or even understand there are opportunities to be part of the creative world.
Yet the creative industries and our clients are craving the need for creative diversity and raw talent.
This is now year zero. Talk over. Time for change. Whatever it takes. We need to inspire and inform the kids at grass roots level and for us all to be bold enough to support and take risks with backing them.
Why should D&AD Members vote for you?
At Design Bridge, I’ve always championed growing our own talent. Practically all of our Creative Director’s started as Junior Designers and have been given the opportunities and support to develop their talent and skills. With my experience and background, I also understand the challenges and issues that many young people face today in terms of social mobility. I can directly relate to it. I believe I can help D&AD be the true catalyst for opening up diversity within the creative industry and make change actually happen.
So if any D&AD members out there are reading this, I’d appreciate your vote.
You can find out more about this year’s D&AD Board of Trustees elections on the D&AD website. Please note that voting has now closed.