Caymanian student featured in British TV station campaign

Brandon Saunders’ artwork used as ITV logo

Artwork created by rising artist and Caymanian student Brandon Saunders is now among idents being used by UK-based television network ITV.

His design, a working electrical circuit using recycled materials forming the ITV logo, was among the winning idents selected by the TV station in its recently concluded ITV Creates contest. An ident is a snippet of a TV station’s branded promotional video that plays for a few seconds before a programme starts.

Saunders, 19, from Bodden Town, said he drew inspiration from growing up in the Cayman Islands and his love for science, for the winning design.

“I wanted to re-interpret a circuit by stacking rocks and copper plates together and still have a lightbulb turn on, so that was kind of the concept and I really liked it,” he told the Cayman Compass.

Saunders said he believed his Caymanian upbringing gave him a competitive edge over his European counterparts.

“As Caymanians, we see the world differently,” he said, “and growing up on a natural island is [probably] why I guess I used rocks and things I found on the beach nearby for my idea.”

Saunders, a Newcastle University student, was pitted against 52 people, including 48 established artists, in the competition. He was among four students selected in the competition which started last December.

After his design was selected, Saunders presented it in London where it was applauded. The ident was used liberally last month for a full week.

I hope that me being selected by ITV is encouraging to young people,” he said.

Saunders added it was a proud achievement from him, not just as young artist, but as a young Caymanian.

“I think the big takeaway [from this] is, don’t lose your individuality. Remember what made you special or how Cayman has influenced you because the way you have grown up. That cannot be replicated; that is something that will inspire new ideas … that no one has seen before,” he said.

Saunders is the eldest son of Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders. He credits his parents for instilling in him values of Caymanian pride and the passion to pursue his dreams.

The second-year university student recalled his father’s exclamations that, from the womb, he was an artist because during pregnancy, his mother Shawnette would always be busy with arts and crafts.

Saunders said now he is dabbling in using artificial intelligence to create art, as well as self-tutoring himself on visual effects to hone his artistic skills.

“Next year, I am planning to do a whole project based around it. I really just sit down and teach myself a lot of these things and I have created a few things, but I am still thinking about what to do with it and how to use it effectively,” he said.

For his next project, Saunders said, he will be heading to Italy to check out a train station for a competition in which he and others will conceptualise a piece that may be chosen to be permanently displayed there.