We spoke on December 2020
Hey Yas, How are you?
Hello! I’m doing alright thank you – as best as I possibly can right now. Pretty exhausted after this year of sheer uncertainty and a rollercoaster of emotions. Yet really looking forward to having a couple of weeks off at the end of the year, to reconvene everything that’s happened and open up hope for the next upcoming year.
Who is Yasmin Banks?
Yas Banks is a northern-gal emerging into the design industry based in and around Manchester as a freelance graphic designer. Yas is also the founder of Proper Talk, a platform that aims to amplify emerging creatives within the design industry, sharing motivational advice and useful resources to inspire them on their career path.
You have mentioned you are the founder of Proper Talk, tell me more about this.
As mentioned previously, Proper Talk is a platform that aims to mentor emerging creatives and amplify their voices within the design industry, while sharing advice and resources to inspire them on their career path.
At the moment, I run the platform via a website and social media platforms to begin to share stories of recent graduates, emerging into the industry in whichever way they are choosing to. Sharing motivation and tips from industry along the way in shareable, relatable content to give a healthy reassurance to those engaging. So far, I’ve had some positive feedback from those interacting with it, how they’ve needed to hear things to keep them going - knowing that people feel the same about certain things.
In the future, I’m venturing into some form of mentoring service for anyone that’s interested. Working towards partnering with a couple of different organisations and really making the work I do with Proper Talk a definite within my practice as a designer. There are a few other bits n pieces in the works that I’m aiming to push out next year; keep your eyes peeled over on Proper Talk’s social media to find out more – instagram.com/propertalk
You have graduated from university, do you have any advice for students to get the most out of it?
Learn & experiment. Don’t worry about your ‘style’ of working as yet, you’ve got YEARS to get into that. I spent an awful lot of time in the print room, surrounding myself with the risograph and getting stuck in. I wish I had the opportunity to do that alot more through my three years as now, I miss getting hands-on in that way; experimenting with patterns, colours, textures, techniques. ALOT, if not everything, of what I do now is digital, and don’t get me wrong I LOVE it – it’s where things are shifting; especially in a virtual world but to be able to spend a day in the print room again; screen printing, seeing a print come to life per layer; experimenting with colours; going through the whole process – YES PLEASE!
When it comes to leaving university, getting the most out of that time is honestly (easier said than done I know, I’ve been there!) but DON’T PANIC. Don’t overthink things. Jobs are VERY difficult at the moment, there’s an influx of students at once getting out there; urging for that 3 years of education to be worthwhile but what I’ve found is – everything I’ve done, the route I’ve explored has been equally as worthwhile as honestly, I don’t think if I headed into an agency job straight away, I would have learnt half the stuff I’ve learnt & experienced / met some of the most amazing people. Take it day by day. Get a part-time job, keep being creative, don’t lose your love for what you want to do as you’re not hopping into that agency position straight away!
You have been creating stuff with Design Manchester, please tell me more about this.
Yes! I had the honour of taking part in the Takeover Day they did with the University of Salford and Extinction Rebellion last year (2019); and from the amazement of how well that day went, I completed a book of reflection from the day. This included loads and loads of content created from all students involved; amazing reflective thoughts from some practitioners to share out as a memorable piece for the day. It was really inspiring seeing everything coming together in that capacity; hearing what people got out of the day. To have full creative control on the piece too was ace, being able to share it with the Design Manchester team too.
Being involved in a couple of events they also coordinated this year (virtually, of course) has been a huge honour. One was to display work in a VR world for the Lost Horizon festival as part of their ‘Yours Truthfully’ exhibition. Having my work shown on that scale was mega for me, seeing it in a completely different light in a virtual reality world. MEGA EXCITING!
Again, they ran an event with the University of Salford and this year in collaboration with Open Collab - which I cheekily got myself involved with; virtually collaborating with students all over the world. Now, hoping to see how that can be compiled into something further as I help out with that for a project in 2021 (shush).
For my final question, what is next for Yasmin Banks?
I’m coming back in 2021 refreshed, with a fresh mindset, accepting the weird yet wonderfulness that the world is in and cracking on. I’ve come to terms with what’s going on; this past year was spent full of uncertainty for all – not knowing if you’re coming or going. In the next year, it’s me that comes first – bringing in any opportunities that get thrown my way; work with some more amazing people; grow Proper Talk in the BEST way possible.
But most of all, look after myself. Know that I'm a priority over anything; if things get too much... take a breather... re-address the situation... see how far I’ve come.
Keep making amazing connections; be able to work on ace projects; build up my freelance portfolio a bit more. Take regular breaks and breathers away from work so I don’t burn out too much. 2021 I’m excited for ya!