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Curtin graduates bound for design boot camp — Young creatives nab two berths at prestigious academy

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Two recent Curtin University graduates have won spots at the upcoming Design and Art Direction (D&AD) New Blood Academy in London, an exclusive boot camp designed to catapult young creatives into the advertising industry.

School of Design and Art alumni Marina Vasilieva and Maya Halilovic were put in contention for one of just 50 academy spots after each winning a ‘pencil’ at the recent international D&AD New Blood Awards.

The Academy entry continues a run of firsts for the Creative Advertising and Graphic Design graduates, who were the first students from Curtin — or Western Australia — to win a pencil or boot camp berth.

Miss Vasilieva’s winning entry looked at how to empower a young audience to engage with the news, using geotagging and smartphone services.

The 21-year-old, who is employed as a junior art director at VML in Sydney, said the academy would allow her to further her career.

“Whenever I’ve been involved in any D&AD events, I’ve come out much more mentally flexible, creative, and confident and I’m sure that the academy will be no different,” Miss Vasilieva said.

“I’m incredibly eager to hear the stories of the speakers and other young creatives and take their guidance and experiences into my day-to-day approach to my work.”

Miss Halilovic, who works as a copywriter at the Perth office of advertising agency 303 MullenLowe, won a pencil for her brief to reboot radio writing.

The 24-year-old said she was looking forward to working with some of the world’s top creatives and seeing how they approached their work and creative obstacles.

“The academy is a chance to gain insight and perspective into working in this industry at their level — their way of thinking, methodology, time management and ambition — things I hope will be helpful in shaping my own career,” Miss Halilovic said.

Professor David Hawkins, Head of School of Design and Art, said the graduates’ win demonstrated the strong capability and creative spirit they developed while studying at Curtin.

“Their competition success shows they are able to compete with the best students and recent graduates in the world,” he said.

“The awards are an important annual industry showcase for the best work in advertising and graphic design and have launched many successful careers. We wish Maya and Marina great success.”

Miss Halilovic and Miss Vasilieva will head to London to take part in the awards ceremony and two-week academy in early July.

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