Posted 27 February 2020

Get to know the five award-winning projects from our Shutterstock collaboration

Back in October, we partnered with Shutterstock to offer students exclusive free access to select assets for use in their projects or coursework. We then invited anyone who had made use of these stock elements to submit the results – no matter how big or small. Entering for the chance to win some incredible prizes courtesy of Shutterstock, including a MacBook Air and Wacom Intuos Pro Graphics Tablet, we are now thrilled to be able to share the five highest-awarded projects. Spanning a broad range of themes, from the consequences of mass tech consumption to raising awareness for mental health, all of the work integrated a unique combination of assets. Read on to find out a little about each one!

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Daniella’s submission ‘iCons of The Anthropocene’

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Daniella’s submission ‘iCons of The Anthropocene’

An inquiry into how technology impacts the planet

First place: Daniella Chukwuezi

With an interest in photography and image-making, Daniella Chukwuezi only recently tried her hand at graphic design. Currently in her third year of the BA Design for Art Direction course at University of the Arts London, Daniella’s project was informed by the research into the role that tech giants like Apple play in people’s lives. The title, iCons of the Antropocene, is a direct response to the Apple products (including iPhones, iMacs, iPads) taking over the world.

For her submitted work, Daniella used icons and imagery found on Shutterstock to create the base of her designs – landing her the first-place prize of a MacBook Air. In her judging of the entry, Shutterstock’s associate creative director Florence Lau described Daniella’s designs as, “effectively capturing the feeling of a dystopian future by applying posterised effects to the planet and combining icons of humanity.”

So what’s next for Daniella? Once she graduates, the young creative would like to own her own studio so that she can “have the freedom and space to create and try out new ideas.”

Shutterstock assets:
104136; 298523780; 433008472; 405899422; 392365669; 252750259; 184460672; 12709416; 2329854

See more from Daniella:

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Adeel’s submission ‘Lums in the Red World’

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Adeel’s submission ‘Lums in the Red World’

An abstract world of colours, shapes and textures

Second prize: Adeel Zafar

As a student on the Visual Effects and Motion Graphics at Brunel University, Adeel Zafar finds himself at the very beginning of his 3D journey. Navigating his way through his first year, he’s hoping to venture into the world of games and VFX once he graduates in 2023.

Channeling his interest in experimentation with 3D scenes and manipulating textures, Adeel’s submitted work drew on an impressive range of colours and gradients. His use of marble at the centre of the image trickles into the colour scheme throughout the piece, making up an intentionally “intriguing abstract look”.

Playful experimentation with contrast and hue, in combination with well-selected stock elements – including 3D renderings as well as photography – resulted in a surreal visual world that captured the Shutterstock judges’ attention. For associate creative director, Florence Lau, the image was “vivid, surrealistic and humming with energy”.

Shutterstock assets:
Marble Texture 01; Gradient Backgrounds, Shapes and Swatches (in Living Coral, Lemon Squeeze)

See more from Adeel:

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Kaja’s submission ‘Chairbeing’

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Kaja’s submission ‘Chairbeing’

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Kaja’s submission ‘Chairbeing’

Playing around with the everyday

Third prize: Kaja Kusak

Currently taking her graphic design skills to the next level at Shillington College of Graphic Design, Kaja Kusak’s work explores space, perspective and light. Having recently begun experimenting with techniques beyond illustration and graphic design – including videography, photography and painting – she has found that mixing practices has produced some of her best work to date.

In this piece, Kaja experimented with interiors and landscapes to create an intriguing piece that repositions the ordinary – resulting in an environment where an everyday chair can effortlessly float around. Integrating a handful of Shutterstock gradients to create more depth and expression to her initial illustrations, she used texture overlays as a way of playing with repetition.

Coming in third place, Florence Lau remarks that Kaja’s use of “perspective and repetition really created something mesmerising out of everyday items. There’s a sense of disorientation [that] includes nods to Brutalist architecture.”

Shutterstock assets:
Gradients: Beachy Waves Swatch and Living Coral Swatch

See more from Kaja:

Sophie’s submission ‘The Golden’

A mixture of pain and beauty

Fourth prize: Sophie Khoo

Sophie’s work The Golden was born out of an ongoing project entitled Mania, which juxtaposes beauty with pain, as it explores the potential of the human imagination. Currently in her third year, studying BA Photography at Middlesex University, Sophie’s work dances with a range of colours and concepts.

This particular piece landed fourth place for its beautiful composition and symbolism, highlighting an important and poignant topic. Subtly mirroring the Golden Gate Bridge, the second most-used landmark for suicide, we observe “a profound scenario – a woman lost in thought, balancing on the cables,” shares Florence Lau. Presented with dream-like qualities, the image’s hyper-colour and polished finish raise questions around what a polished veneer might be hiding – with the use of stock imagery only further reinforcing Sophie’s agenda in creating a fabricated scene.

Shutterstock asset:

See more from Sophie:

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Diana’s submission ‘Distractions’

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Diana’s submission ‘Distractions’

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Diana’s submission ‘Distractions’

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Diana’s submission ‘Distractions’

Exploring mindfulness and movement

Fifth prize: Diana Barta

Specialising in visual storytelling, Diana Barta can be found practicing her craft at University of the Arts London, as a BA Illustration and Visual Media student. Over halfway into her third year, she has found herself dabbling in both digital and traditional media to bring her visions to life, with her sights set on working in animation and games design when she graduates in 2021.

Her Shutterstock submission was a personal project that touches on the power of distractions. Using stock imagery of water ripples and marbling to indicate an ebb and flow, she conjures the distractions that can prevent us all from completing tasks or resolving issues.

Diana’s final pieces invite us to be mindful of the chaos of life, and have been commended by Florence Lau for their exploration of “fluid patterns and high-contrast colours” in an attempt to convey rapid movement.

Shutterstock assets:

91363319; Marble Texture 05

See more from Diana:


This article is brought to you in partnership with Shutterstock. Every year, Lecture in Progress partners with like-minded brands and agencies to support our initiative and keep Lecture in Progress a free resource for students and emerging creatives. To find out more about how you can work with us, email [email protected]

Written by Creative Lives in Progress
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