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At the heart of creative cooperation with Annual judge Simon Waloszek - #JudgeSpotlight

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A globally acclaimed and multidisciplinary creative director would have all the reasons to feel proud or even entitled – but if there's anything that this industry has taught Simon Waloszek, it is the value of humility and being yourself at all times.

Simon had the chance to take part in the Annual awards several times in the past, first as an entrant (grabbing more than a couple of amazing prizes), then as a judge for the 2020 edition. The Annual panels were certainly left enriched by his presence and expertise in the 3D category, as well as by his incredibly inspirational feedback and observations.

We certainly hope to see Simon join the panels again in one of the future editions of the Annual. For the time being, in this first Judge Spotlight of 2021, we learn more about Simon's experience with the Annual and what tips he has to share with any entrant looking to grab a prize.

You have only until 27th May to enter your work into Annual 2021. Enter now to grab your slice of creative immortality!

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What feels unique about judging in The Annual?

What definitely feels unique is the fact that the whole Annual feels less than regular creative awards but more a cooperation between the judges and participating in creating some sort of guidelines for the upcoming year for the industry. I see Annual as a benchmark of what to do and where to go, how to look at things and how to understand and clarify them for the benefit of the creative communication worldwide. I mean how cool is that? Awards that basically feel like they are created for the actual living, breathing people, not the other way around.

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How did it feel like to be a judge for the Creativepool Annual Awards?

I am sure that I would be talking not only for myself but for all the people who have been selected to have a pleasure of joining the judging panel for the Annual - I feel extremely grateful and honoured. Grateful for the opportunity of seeing the best of the best in the creative world, and I mean, really THE BEST, seriously - Did all of you go through the last year winner list? And the projects that won? These submissions were the absolute beasts of creativity, with all the teeth and razor-sharp claws, created in the underground laboratories - But they had something extra which made them cool - A giant, grinning smile. And this smile, my dear readers, is what creativity stands for. To feel honoured for the opportunity is also an understatement - I was given a very important role and the trust I got from the Creativepool team and community to do so was truly unspoken for me.

Will you be joining the panels again in the future?

That's a tricky question - I would love to, but I also believe that variety is the key. There are so many amazing creatives all over the world that could truly inspire and change our perspective on the creative industry that I think reshuffling every year is definitely a way to go. The whole core idea of the Annual was to keep things fresh, so I think sticking to that is also very important. 

Can you tell us more about your 2020 category and what impressed you the most about the submissions you scored?

I had a pleasure of being selected as a judge to go through our lovely three-dimensional submissions and what has blown my mind is the level of progress. I mean seriously, 10 years ago we were barely sorting ourselves in 3D world, we were trying to understand how raytracing works and bang, 2020 hits and students are developing whole worlds in VR during lunch break. The contestants and submissions, and also the stories behind them were amazing - It was a pleasure to be taken for a creative journey by these absolute champs and I enjoyed every single one of them. For me every sub was like a short novel - And trust me, the stories were just as good as Lord of the Rings. 

What did you love about the Creativepool community and the entrants you scored?

Hear me out, because I really want this to go out in the proper, bold way. It's the HEART. It's not only the craft, the creativity, the technical skills, it's the most important bit, that comes from the heart - An absolute piece of passion and dedication to expressing your inner thoughts and believing in them created the fireworks of new ways of approaching the creative problems. And I love this kind of fireworks.

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What advice would you share with agencies and individuals looking to grab a prize?

As cliche as it sounds - Be yourself. Stop doing the things you will think people will like but try to do things the way you see them and how you would like to have them done. What was this saying with everyone being taken so be blabla? You know the drill. Make sure you put all your heart into it - And recognition will come. 

How do you feel Covid has impacted the creative landscape in 2020? How can The Annual make a difference?

Is it good or is it bad? Dear friends let this be judged by everyone personally. Some people love working with their cats on their keyboards, some are missing the office madness and grabbing a lunch in some cafe in between meetings. What I definitely feel is that we are all different, we have sort of evolved, and finally we had a chance to look at our industry from the other perspective. The Annual for me is a vessel which will summary the 'new outlook' on creative world. Will the covid be visible in the agencies and personal submissions? I'm sure it will. Will it be for better or worse? Let's see and then judge. 

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What are your hopes for 2021 and beyond?

Besides ending this ridiculous pandemic I think this is the time for a 'fresh start'. We had a chance tor reset our overworked minds and grab some air. This will help in developing ourselves and creating the coolest projects in the future that will hopefully impact not only our industry but the whole planet for good.

What is your most exciting project in the next year?

Honestly? Getting back to my desk. I had no idea these words would ever come out of my mouth :)

 

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