Mechatronics to a Pencil

I was researching the topic intently on my laptop. I was sitting opposite Tara in the canteen at Krow Central in London. We were working on the one–day brief over a Slack call with Ali, bouncing ideas and brainstorming together. Flicking between tabs on my Chrome browser, I landed on my Gmail. There was a new email from D&AD, ‘ah another promotional email’, I thought to myself. The subject line read “Have you won a New Blood Pencil? Time to find out – The pencils are coming…”. It didn’t occur to me that this subject line meant anything. Perhaps, I hadn’t expected to hear back so soon. So, a bit confused and with no expectations at all, I clicked on the email. The page loaded and at the top, in very small text it said “You did it” with a huge image of the D&AD New Blood Awards graphic for 2023.

A bit intrigued, I scrolled down, paying a bit more attention. In a huge font at the centre of the graphic it read “You have won a New Blood Pencil”. My heart started to race as I read the words “Congratulations, you did it”. I still wasn’t sure, I quickly skimmed the next line, till my eyes fell on the words “for Bring Back Dirt”. I felt a pit in my tummy and I sank into the chair. I felt my whole body slide under the table, as I read the line again, “Well done, New Blood. Your work has been awarded a New Blood Pencil for Bring Back Dirt”.

Wow! I did it! I won! I was lost for words. Tara looked up at me, waiting for me to continue the conversation on the brief. She knew it straight away, ‘you got the email’, she said and smiled at me. ‘You won! I won too for ‘De-stigma My Mama’ with Rohmara’. We were both elated, high-fived from across the table. Ali was still on Slack, he sounded so genuinely happy for us. We urged him to check his email. He didn’t want to, he was too nervous. In the next few seconds he was smiling, we could both hear it in his voice. He won for ‘Top Trumps LinkedIn Edition’ with Andrew. All three of us had won a D&AD New Blood pencil! It felt like a true achievement. After all the hard work we had put in for weeks and little sleep.

I walked into the ad world from a career in engineering. When I started at SCA, just over 8 months ago, I was asking Google for the differences between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The fire in me has taken me from Mechatronics to a Pencil within a year, preparing the creative in me for the battles that may come my way. Thanks to all the mentors, office staff and the rest of Honey for helping me with my winning entry ‘Bring Back Dirt’ and playing a role in shaping my career.


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