Yes We Can by Ebony Sayles

Day 11 — Poster posted on February 10, 2023

Ebony Sayles

Pronouns: She/Her
Located: Oklahoma City, OK

Tell us about yourself:

Ebony is a graphic designer based in Oklahoma City. She is a graduate from the UCO School of Design and currently works with CharacterStrong as a junior graphic designer. She uses her design powers to bring attention to social causes and empowering others.

What is the inspiration behind your poster design?

When I see the phrase, “Yes We Can” I think about endless possibilities. Black people are so incredibly diverse within our own communities. We are capable of anything. Our character, hobbies, careers are not defined by our skin or the texture of our hair. We are multitalented, well-rounded individuals. We are limitless. My poster conveys how we’re always in motion, never letting up, and determined.

Why do you love being creative?

I love being creative because it’s not only being expressive but it’s learning how things work. How to figure out how things can work in different ways. Being creative allows room for experimenting with different techniques, mediums, and trades. It always brings me joy when I begin learning a new creative outlet.

Tell us about your experiences in the design world…

All of my design experience as a Black woman is existing in White spaces. Sometimes it can be exhausting having to defend your design choices, especially when your design work revolves Black culture. I learned after a while that what I was learning and experiencing throughout design school was very white washed. It only pushed me more to make sure I had projects to focused on my cultures. I even had an opportunity to work on a design history podcast, Incomplēt Design History, for its second season that focused on BIPOC designer and movements. Still, there’s work to be done to diversify the design world. I’m grateful I had a small group of BIPOC designer friends I could rely on and talk things through with.

How can we create a more inclusive design world and ensure that Black people are represented?

Creating spaces that uplift Black designers, much like this. And celebrating black excellence all year-round. I also believe making historical Black designers more known is crucial. Most designers know who Stefan Sagmeister is, but what about Dorthy Hayes?

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