How a local organization is empowering Black youth

You may have noticed the elegant designs used in our recent Black Changemakers series. They were created by a newly launched design company called DestaNation Creative Agency.

DestaNation Creative Agency offers fresh perspectives from talented designers

CBC Montreal is recognizing current-day changemakers who are helping to shape our future. (DestaNation Creative Agency)

You may have noticed the elegant designs used in our recent Black Changemakers series. 

DestaNation Creative Agency designed all the graphics for our Black Changemakers series (DestaNation Creative Agency)

They were created by a newly launched design company called DestaNation Creative Agency.

The agency was born out of DESTA Black Youth Network — a non-profit Montreal community group founded in 2006 that aims to reduce individual and systemic barriers to employment for Black youth. 

It offers professional services in graphic and web design, communications and marketing.

The Black Changemakers project logo in progress. (DestaNation Creative Agency)

CBC Montreal had the chance to speak to DESTA graphic designer Kamden Biggart and multidisciplinary designer Peeta Chery, both of whom worked on the Black Changemakers project. 

They told us about their work, how they stay motivated during the pandemic and how they got into the design business. 

CBC Montreal: How did you get started in this line of work? 

Peeta Chery: For as long as I can remember, I always had a pencil and paper at close range. I also started making comics at a very young age. I transitioned to fashion graphics and gaming to finally continue this journey into the digital marketing world. 

CBC Montreal: What is your favourite part of Design? 

Kamden Biggart: My favourite part of doing this kind of work is creating something that fulfills its purpose and that the creative team and client loves. It's a great feeling. 

CBC Montreal: What are some of your biggest inspirations? 

Peeta: Being a multidisciplinary designer gives you the ability to work on so many different mediums. I can be inspired by art pieces from a museum exhibition, TV commercial, a product packaging or a videogame. My biggest inspiration is the work of Pharrell Williams. 

CBC Montreal: How do you stay motivated and balanced — especially during the pandemic?

Kamden: Normally, I balance work with rest by playing team sports, hanging out with friends and biking. During quarantine, that has changed to just trying to take a walk every day before 8 p.m. I stay motivated by keeping my working and living spaces clean and organized. 

Peeta Chery pictured working on a design, while on a video call with Kamden Biggart. (DestaNation Creative Agency)

When it comes to advice for people looking to become a designer or work in a creative field, Peeta referred to the programs offered by DESTA.

He encourages people to challenge themselves to find time to work on their own creative projects because "creativity is like a muscle, you need to flex it."

Most importantly, he said, creatives should "[be] passionate, hungry for more and never stop learning, because this industry is in constant evolution." 

On March 27, CBC Quebec and DESTA are continuing the Black Changemakers conversation with DestaBx- Black Experience, a live virtual event hosted by Our Montreal's Catherine Verdon-Diamond.

For more details, visit DestaNation's website.