BenQ recently ran an online competition to design a new Screen Saver with the theme 'True Colors Right Before You.'


YES was asked to help judge the competition and in this post we catch up with the runner up Maddy Zoli.

To ask her more about her creative process and why she decided to take on this brilliant design challenge.

Above you can see her fantastic winning entry! Read the full brief here.

If you follow our blog you may have also noticed our recent post on the overall winner Ewelina Kędzia.

Feedback from YES founder and competition judge Martin.

We absolutely love Maddy's artwork. Checking her Instagram account we can see that she developed a unique illustration style full of vivid colours and curves.

In her entry for the BenQ competition she used a dynamic perspective and managed to handle the difficult foreshortening on the character extremely well. We love the design of the flowing hair and the transparent bubbles adding further momentum to an already dynamic composition.

IMG_0404 benq winner


Q. Could you tell us a little more about what you do and your job role as a Creative Professional?

A. I work as an Art Director in a digital learning company based in Brighton. I also work on my personal portfolio and stories in my free time from my home studio. There's not a day spent at work or in my home studio when I don't Illustrate something from simple icons to more complex illustrations.

Q. Did you study illustration in School/ at University or are you self-taught?

A. Unfortunately I didn't study Illustration in School which is something I wish I had done. During High School I attended more classic studies, like languages and literature and decided to finally dip my toes in the art industry when I reached University.

I've always been really passionate about drawing my own characters and stories but at the time I was really insecure about my Illustration skills. So I decided to study Branding and Graphic Design and later on I practiced more on UI Design and Icon Design.

My working process is almost entirely digital. From the first sketch to the final piece I keep everything on my trusty devices.

Q. How long have you been working in the Creative Industry and what has been your biggest
challenge so far?

A. I've been working in the Creative Industry for 6 years now and I've changed my job role several times! I have a lot of experience as a Graphic Designer and UI designer. It is only in last year that I finally decided to focus more on my illustrations and I think I'm getting there one small step at a time. I think that my biggest challenge so far has been to move to the UK, I'm originally from Italy.

It's been a tough process with the change of language, the cultural shock and above all try to find my spot in the creative industry in another country. Things are slowly growing and I couldn't ask for a better outcome.

Q. Could you give us a little more insight into your working process? For example, do you prefer to work on paper or digitally to start with and where do you go from there?

A. My working process is almost entirely digital. From the first sketch to the final piece I keep everything on my trusty devices. I still own a crazy amount of unfinished sketchbooks that I like to use when I need to practice or when I don't feel like looking at a screen after an entire day of work.

Usually when an idea comes to my mind I try to get it down as soon as I can before I forget about
it. Usually that happens on random pieces of paper or even on yellow post-it!

Q. What tools both digital and physical do you use when creating your work?

A. The tool that I use the most is the iPad Pro. Since I decided to invest in an iPad Pro, my productivity went through the roof! I can take it everywhere and I can complete a vector Illustration in a couple of days. When using an iPad to create professional illustrations the other important thing is to select a useful app that could help your workflow on the go.

I usually use Procreate to sketch my idea and do some colour studies, then I move to Vectornator Pro to transform the Illustration into a vector masterpiece. Sometimes I add an extra step on Adobe Illustrator and do the final touches from my laptop. 

Q. What would you consider your greatest success?

A. I know this might sound a bit cheesy, but I consider my greatest success finding the courage to follow my dreams. I can see that it is a long journey but every step of the way it's a great experience.

Q. Why did you decide to enter the BenQ DesignVue Screensaver Competition?

A. I decided to enter the BenQ DesignVue Screensaver Competition because I thought it could be a great opportunity to showcase my work and hopefully to collaborate with a great company in the tech industry. I also really liked the theme of the contest as colours are my favourite thing to play with in
my work.

Q. We love your entry, how did you come up with the idea for it? 

A. Thanks! I came up with the concept of "The Runner" because I wanted to portray a brave young woman jumping into an explosion of colours and light. It is a strange universe, the one she's running through, but she does it with courage and belief.

The perspective is intended to emphasise her determination. She's fighting both against the force produced by the explosion of colours and a low gravity environment. When I look at her I feel empowered and brave.

Q. Is this the first creative competition you have entered or do you enter them often?

A. This is the first creative competition I've ever entered. I always thought this kind of competition would be a waste of time but they are actually a great opportunity to challenge yourself and also to compare your work with others. Regardless of the result, it is a great chance for growth!

Stop waiting for the right opportunity and instead work hard to create it yourself. Stop waiting until you have the right idea, start sharing your talent with the world today

Q. What one piece of advice would you give to anyone right at the start of their career?

A. If I can give a small piece of advice to anyone who's at the start of their career in the creative industry I would just say 'stop waiting'.

Stop waiting for the right opportunity and instead work hard to create it yourself. Stop waiting until you have the right idea, start sharing your talent with the world today. Stop waiting until you're ready, because you are. Just go for it.

Click the links to follow Maddy on Instagram or Twitter

We want to say a big thanks to Maddy for taking the time to answer our questions. We highly recommend you guys check out her colorful, stylish and fun website!

To learn more about competition sites check out this blog post we recently put together about an awesome competition ran by Talent House


from Adobe Certified Instructors and industry professionals

About the author 

Emily Melling

Emily Melling studied a degree in Visual Communication, after graduating she became a freelance graphic designer, specialising in Branding & Identity. She enjoys developing working relationships with clients and other creatives who are open to exploring new and innovative ideas.

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