They shared some insights on their success with media update’s David Jenkin.

Please give us a brief introduction to yourselves – how old are you, where are you from, and what’s your passion?

DC: I’m 21-years-old and finished high school at Affies in Pretoria. My passion for digital started when I started playing first-person shooting games online. I would see people making montage videos of their gaming skills and tried my hand at making my own. It took a while because I had to record my PC screen while playing online. The players would make these great videos with slow motion and 3D motion tracking and that was next level for me.

I really wanted to have a video that could ‘wow’ people if they viewed it on YouTube. I knew I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. Something that I would love doing, even if it meant that I had to stay up the whole night to get it done and not mind because I wanted to do it, not because I had to do it. That’s when I discovered Vega. I sat in on one of their classes just to get a feel for the place and I was so impressed.

It was great how everyone was so creative in their thinking. They made me feel at home, which made me want to come back to learn more and do amazing things.

BC: My name is Bernard Cloete, I am 23-years-of-age, a Vega student and a massive nerd from Pretoria. I love design and my passion is UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) strategy.

JS: I am 22 and from a small town in KZN – Newcastle. It’s definitely easy to be passionate about this industry when you’re surrounded by such inspiring people.

What is it that attracts you to a career in digital?

DC: After my gaming experience, I knew that video was something that I could love – telling a narrative and creating that nostalgic feeling when people watch my videos. Video also has that potential to take me places and give me the opportunity to experience different cultures.

BC: I am attracted to digital because it is raw and ‘human’ in a way that traditional media can never be. We have this massive platform to just be.

JS: We’re living in exciting times because of digitalisation. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? We were fortunate enough to be granted an opportunity to be a part of such an exciting environment, where we could develop our application.

What was your winning entry about and to what do you attribute your success?

DC: To be honest the app was just something that came to me when I visited a friend in Cape Town. We longboarded in the streets and I asked him where the best place was for us to get some speed or just have a lovely ride with an amazing view. He couldn’t answer me and that's when I thought I could really do with an app that could tell me where the best longboarding spots are.

I thought the app would be really useful to long-boarders and give them a way to challenge themselves. The app also has the leaderboard option where you could see how well you perform amongst the rest of the long-boarders in Cape Town. In addition, the app also shows you how you can improve your skills and become better.

BC: The app functions as a documentation and information platform for the longboard riders. We made a proposal video that is a summary and explanation around the who, what and why of the app.

Our success is definitely attributed to good research and hard work.

JS: We stumbled upon a great brand and saw an opportunity to develop an app which gave longboard riders a purpose. The application consists of various routes (powered by Google Maps), and, once complete, riders can upload their recorded route as a challenge.

The purpose was to create an online platform/community that riders can be part of.

How did you feel hearing your names called out at the awards, and how do you feel about it now? Has the euphoria worn off yet?

DC: I really hoped that we could win and we did and that felt amazing! It made me feel so confident in my work. Vega told us that they had tickets for the Bookmark Awards and that we should go. We sat there for the whole show, and then the moment of best digital student came up and we heard our names. I couldn’t believe that we got it! A Black Pixel! Overwhelmed with excitement and fame we got on the stage and held the Black Pixel. I very surprised at how heavy it was.

Our family and friends were so proud of us. The award has opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve had multiple freelance job offers and an offer for an internship position at an agency in Johannesburg.

JS: The euphoria hasn’t worn off yet. The feeling associated with the win is an amalgamation of success, pride, gratefulness and surprise. As a creative, you tend to underestimate your value, so winning this award is certainly a memory we’ll hold onto.

BC: The feeling of getting recognised for any hard work is absolutely amazing. I still can't believe that we won anything.

What’s it like to be a student at Vega?

DC: Being a student at Vega was a great experience that really allowed me to be creatively free. For this year, I'm traveling and making videos. I must say I really am enjoying the designer's life. I love my work and just want to improve my skills and build on them.

BC: I've been a Vega School student for the last six years and being a Vega student is unlike any other experience I've ever had.

JS: Vega is an amazing place and it’s even better to be part of the Vega culture. At Vega we are surrounded by phenomenal creative lecturers, who have certainly moulded us into becoming future branding experts.

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Interested in other winners from this year’s Bookmark Awards? Read about Net#work BBDO’s success in our article, Net#work BBDO’s Brad Reilly reflects on its victories at the Bookmark Awards.