Eiko Ojala: Conquering Everest

ADC Young Guns 11 winner contributes to ADC 95th Annual Awards campaign

The ADC 95th Annual Awards are here! Yes, the Call for Entries for one of the oldest and most respected industry award shows in the world has been launched, with the help of BBDO New York‘s “Rare For A Reason” campaign, featuring beautifully designed ads which highlight just how uncommon it is to win a top honor. 

To create the campaign, BBDO New York tapped into the talents of various artists from around the world. We at ADC love to shine the spotlight on creative talent, and so we will be featuring the artists throughout the Call for Entries season.

Our first artist: an Estonia-based illustrator and ADC Young Guns 11 winner who calls his work “minimal, precise and well-advised.”


Tallinn, Estonia


How did your life lead to an artistic career?

I remember the end of the Soviet Union here in Estonia; there was a lot of tension and changes in the air. I was really young and confused, so I started to draw to relax myself and get it out of my system. Ironically I was drawing guns and soldiers, but it worked. It was at this  point that I discovered that creating and drawing was something more than just a fun thing to do.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I would call it minimal, precise and well-advised. My work process is more about getting rid of things than adding them.


Walk us through this project. Where did your mind initially wander?

I received a very specific brief from BBDO. You can’t really change the shape of Mount Everest, but that’s great for me. I love it when the people I work with know exactly what they want and which direction to lead people. This gives me the opportunity to concentrate on working with the small details of a project, which in this case was paper-cutting, photography and digital elements. It is quite rare these days to have the chance to really work the details.

“I love it when the people I work with know exactly what they want and which direction to lead people. This gives me the opportunity to concentrate on working with the small details of a project…”

Any thoughts on the finished work?

After finishing a project, I always look at it and imagine myself walking and wondering around inside of it. This was especially true with this one. It was a real pleasure to work on this project.

What’s on the horizon for you in terms of other projects?

I’m struggling to find time to work on my personal projects. Many people undervalue personal projects, but these are the places to experiment, think of new approaches and come up with new ideas. If all goes well, these projects will be put on exhibition.

As rare as an ADC Cube is, an ADC Young Guns Cube is even rarer. How has life in that super-rare club been treating you since your own win?

Being accepted into the ranks of ADC Young Guns changed a lot for me personally. It gave me great deal of confidence and self trust. I’m always reminding  myself of this, especially in difficult times with difficult projects. Young Guns also opened huge amounts of opportunities, as well as the courage to accept bigger challenges. So life is interesting!

What are the pros and cons of winning an ADC Cube versus climbing Mount Everest?

I haven’t been to Everest, but I don’t think it’s so hard. You just need money and exercise. There are no judges who say who can go and and who can’t. That’s what makes me appreciate an ADC Cube more; I really do value personal effort but there is something more magic when other people think you are worth it. Winning an ADC Cube means the judges deem you worthy.

The ADC 95th Annual Awards Call for Entries is now open.