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Talking with New Talent: David Dearlove and Judith Veenendaal

Associations, Award Shows and Festivals
London, UK
Winners of Creative Circle’s Best Up and Coming Male and Female Commercial Directors, Engine’s David Dearlove and Stink’s Judith Veenendaal on creative beginnings and overcoming doubt
David Dearlove, creative director at Engine, has won several awards for his outstanding advert for Women’s Aid - the first time he had ever directed an ad. His moving piece was also awarded gold, silver and bronze by Creative Circle. Through her cross-medial passion for film, music, photography, dance and theatre, Judith Veenendaal is no stranger to awards either. Her recent win at Creative Circle crowns what is expected to be a growing list of industry accolades. Her style has been described as simple and light, in awe of the mundane and everyday life. 

Here the pair share how they got to where they are now...

Q> How did you end up directing? Are filmmaking and creativity things that have interested you since childhood?

David> Ever since I was young, I’ve been drawn towards creativity in one form or another, be that drawing or music or design. I’ve always enjoyed film but only comparatively recently have I become obsessed by it. Directing felt like the next, natural step in my career having been a creative at an advertising agency for the last 10 years. I always think that there’s a lot of similarities between a creative and a director. Both are in charge of a project’s overall vision, that they then have to communicate to people who know far more about their specialisms than they do. I’m also at my happiest when I’m making things, so directing was a way of fulfilling that.
Judith> My parents are both sculpture artists, my dad is a jazz musician as well. Art and music have always been a big part of my childhood. I spent my time painting stories and ended up studying graphic design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. I found out designing books wasn’t really satisfying to me, I wanted to visualise words in a different way and was more interested in the story and how to express it through moving image. From there I started experimenting with film.

Nostalgia - Directed by Judith Veenendaal

Q> Do you have a certain signature style that you have developed throughout your work?

David> This is my first directing project, so whatever style I have currently exists only in my head! I like single-minded, visually striking, cinematic adverts. I recently wrote an advert for the Marines that Nicolai Fuglsig directed. If I can make adverts that look like that, I’d be very happy.

Judith> Somehow my eye is always attracted to the beauty of light, composition, surrealism and movement. I’d like to approach every new piece of work as a blank canvas.

Royal Marines: Pirates - Written by David Dearlove
Q> How did it feel to win Creative Circle’s Best Up and Coming Commercial Director award?

David> Very, very pleased. There was a lot of doubt in my head as to whether I could pull it off, so for it to have turned out well was amazing, but to then be recognised at the Creative Circle, is wildest dreams territory.
Judith> I felt very honoured, to say the least. 
Q> What's exciting or inspiring you in the industry right now?

David> I’m always heartened by the fact that despite everyone’s best attempts to science the shit out of advertising, it’s still great creative work that everyone flocks to – agencies, clients and the public alike.
Judith> For me art is a huge inspiration. I also love personal storytelling.

Women's Aid - Directed by David Dearlove

Q> Which piece of your work would you say has been the most fun to work on so far?

David> Directing an advert trumps anything I’ve done in my career as a creative. Chiefly because I was in charge of seeing my idea all the way through from script to screen.
Judith> I think my music video 'Noir' for French artist Yseult. For this project I collaborated with my friend choreographer Shay Latukolan. It was such a pleasure working with him throughout the entire process. Teamwork is everything.

Noir - Directed by Judith Veenendaal

To enter Creative Circle 2020 awards, please visit
Entry opening date: 1st November 2019