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THE D.I.C.E BLOG

An interview with Anya Bess!

Interviewer: Ju – Head of Brand Development and Marketing at D.I.C.E

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Anya Bess, a passionate graphic designer from the twin-island of Trinidad and Tobago. Her Caribbean heritage has constantly inspired her, and her mission is to positively impact others, just as her roots have impacted her.

 

Her business ‘Anya Bess Designs’, creates visually stimulating work that her clients fall in love with, and her dedication to the craft allows her to translate even the most complex ideas into substantial designs. She moves the hearts and minds of others and describes this effect on people as the key to what drives her as a designer. She joined D.I.C.E in 2023 and has made her mark on the organisation through her creative ways and heart-warming personality!

 

Keep reading to learn more about Anya and what she’s been up to at D.I.C.E.


 

Ju:

Tell us about Anya - Let our readers know, who you are and how you got involved with the Podcast project!

 

Anya: 

I came from Trinidad and Tobago, in pursuit of my dreams to start my own career as a graphic designer.

 

I’ve always wanted to be independent, so I knew that eventually I wanted to have my own graphic design studio and start my own personal projects. D.I.C.E has been very supportive in helping me make these dreams a possibility in whatever way they could contribute. When they were starting the Podcast project, they mentioned that it would be great for me to get involved and it would be an opportunity to collaborate with other creatives to work on designing the merch in support of reducing youth violence in London.

 

I thought it was brilliant and I wanted to be a part of it. I learned so much and it was such a great opportunity. I’m really happy with how everything turned out. Being able to collaborate with like-minded people was awesome and you could tell that there was a lot of creativity and free-spiritedness in that space. We were able to produce some really beautiful merch.


 

Ju: 

I love that! We’ll speak about the merch in a bit more detail later on, but first let’s take it back to how you  first got involved with D.I.C.E – tell me the story!

 

Anya: 

I was doing a freelancing course with a company called YouPress, and Kianu, one of the co-founders of D.I.C.E was delivering a workshop there. I thought to myself - this woman seems so knowledgeable and she’s in a space right now that I eventually want to see myself in.

 

I was being taught by this young entrepreneur and I was like, she would definitely be the sort of person I could learn from. So, after the workshop, I approached her and told her that I would love to stay in touch. Kianu said we should have a meeting ad when we did, she was singing my praises haha. I remember her saying ‘this girl, she has her head on, she’s really serious about what she wants ‘ and she invited me to D.I.C.E to see what they do and that’s when I met her sister and the other co-founder Aaliyah. They were both really excited for all the different projects I was doing and where I wanted to go. They wanted to help me reach my potential and give me the help and guidance that I needed!



 

Ju: 

You mentioned how passionate you were about graphic design. How have you found becoming a graphic designer?

 

Anya: 

I’ve been creative all my life. In secondary school I chose art as my predominant subject, and whilst most people had art as a hobby, I knew that I wanted to create a career out of it. I just didn’t know how at the time. Towards the end of secondary school, I went into visual communication. I didn't have access to Adobe software back then, so I was doing everything by hand. I realised that I liked using my creativity to convey messages and thought it was really cool. From there I knew that this was something I wanted to delve into more and discovered that it was called graphic design. I started to look for universities and found that graphic design was an actual course that people provide. It was a great fit for me.

 

I’m pleased to say I was able to graduate in 2022 and started interning at a studio last year and then made the transition into freelancing. Freelancing isn’t the most stable thing and starting off you’re probably not going to make that much money. But I’m hoping that with my mentor I’ll get the proper guidance I need to really make that blossom and see the fruits of my labour. I want to establish myself professionally and hopefully, things will get much better from here going forward. I’m excited to see where this goes!

 

Ju: 

Awesome! How would you describe your design style?

 

Anya: 

I would say my design static is bold and colourful which is reminiscent of my Caribbean background. Especially coming from Trinidad and Tobago, we have carnival where there’s loads of colours around, so my home has inspired the way I design today!

 

I love working on projects that allow me to be bold, colourful and whimsical. Corporate and tech brands don’t suit me that much haha

 

I design from the heart, so I prefer to work with companies that want to make a difference to the world and for people, in whatever little way that they can. I believe in sustainability, mental health, climate change and all that good stuff! As these things are very important to me, I want to work with companies that advocate for these causes also.



 

Ju: That’s really great to hear Anya. So talk me through the process of creating the merch design you made for D.I.C.E

 

Anya: 

The thought process began with collaboration. We wanted to create 2 separate designs for the merch and I mainly focused on the logo whilst the other talented creative (Laura) focused on the illustration.

 

When it came to the logo concept, we started to brainstorm words that we associated with youth violence reduction such as safety and hope. I used this as inspiration to look for symbols that represented the words and in the end came up with this hybrid version of all of the symbols I found. It came out great!



 

Ju: 

Amazing! Did you find the process difficult, easy or neutral?

 

Anya: 

I actually didn’t find it difficult. We had a lovely mentor (Ju) to guide us through the process which made it really easy to direct our thoughts and our planning. So it flowed very easily. It wasn’t hard to come up with the concept and our mentor helped us with the final design decisions. Overall, it was a really fun and easy process!


 

Ju: 

I love that, and how did you find the actual Podcast project, did it meet your expectations?

 

Anya: 

It exceeded my expectations!!

 

This was my first time doing something like this and I thought okay, we’re just going to learn a few tips here and there and that would be it. But it was so immersive! We went to all these different sites around London to collaborate and learn from different people, and hosted some great meetings. We were able to eat and commune with the other participants which let us build great connections with each other. This really helped when it came to the actual work, because we were all comfortable! The process was so enjoyable, we had so much fun and I would love to do something like that again.


 


 

Ju: 

Aww yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed your time and the mentorship! Let’s talk about your business – tell us more about Anya Bess Designs and the services that you offer!

 

Anya: 

I want to do my mentor proud right now haha! Anya Bess Designs has been running for a couple years, I officially launched the company when I was still studying in university, and I would do projects part-time in between my studies. I'm a bit incognito on social media but I aim to get better at it.

 

I offer brand identity services such as logos, print collateral, brand guidelines, mock-ups, and presentation decks. But I also enjoy making album cover designs and customisation projects. I like to paint designs on fabrics, clothes and shoes and would eventually like to turn this into a service.


 


 

Ju: 

Your mentor is very proud trust me haha! I wish you the best of luck in your business. So what advice would you have for anyone who wants to get into the design field or wants to start a branding studio?

 

Anya: 

I would say my top advice is ‘don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done or how to do it. Everyone’s path and life is different and we don’t all need to take the same route. What works for one person might not work for the other, so be brave and go after what you want and I promise you won’t regret it, despite the challenges that may arise on your journey’.

 

 

Ju: 

Beautiful advice! and what about advice for anyone who’s considering working with D.I.C.E?


Anya: 

D.I.C.E is always welcoming people with open arms! Don’t miss out on so many amazing opportunities because you’re just ‘thinking’ about getting involved. I’ve made so many connections and been given so many opportunities through D.I.C.E already. They’re helping young people make that transition into adulthood and into the working world!

 

I would say, explore your options with D.I.C.E – they want to support people in finding what’s suits them and help you make that into a reality.

 

They’ve been so beneficial to my journey. These people are so loving and kind. They’re like my family away from home and I’m really blessed to have found them. They’ve helped me get mentorship, assisted me on my freelance journey and given me some much-needed education. I’ve been able to learn so many skills and even given me opportunities to gain design experience. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we grow together.


 


 

Ju: 

So what’s next for Anya?

 

Anya: 

You can catch me at D.I.C.E events and I’m going to be working on Anya Bess Designs and I’m looking to amp up my social media game plus re-launch my website so you’ll be able to find me there haha!

 

I loved these questions, thank you so much Ju.


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