One thing I love about being a student at Fort Valley State University is the fact that I get to encounter interesting, diverse people every day. My institution is full of hustlers. We’re all out here trying to flip $100 into $1,000,000 and we have inventive ways of achieving our goals of financial stability. Iannah James-Smith, a senior Digital Media & Design Major, has diversified her hustle altogether. She’s found a way to interweave the creativity of art and the strategic placement of conventional marketing and branding schemes to create the timeless start-up business known as “Iannah’s Creative Studio”.
Iannah has been a friend of mine since I came to FVSU my freshman year. I met her when she was an associate for the Marketing & Communications department under the direction of former Marketing Director Mrs. Pamela Berry-Johnson. Iannah, fresh off transferring from the University of Missouri (Mizzou), drew my interest. She was so quiet that you wondered if she even could talk. Yet, she always found a way to talk to me. Sure, our interactions started with a smile here or a hey there but I noticed she started to warm up to me. Throughout our first semester, we started to converse more. That’s when she started to show me her designs. When I saw them, I was blown away!
Imagine a carefully crafted drawing. Lines symmetrically straight. Imaging so sharp it appears to jump off the page. This is the type of precision that Iannah puts into every design that she creates. Her creations are unique. It has her own signature. An Iannah James-Smith creation is truly one of a kind.
I got a chance to talk with Iannah about the creation of her brand, her background in Graphic Design and what she aims to do with Iannah’s Creative Studio in 2018!
Randall: Thank you so much for allowing me to do this interview Iannah! It’s truly an honor to speak with someone as talented as you! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Iannah James-Smith: I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts but Atlanta basically adopted me. I currently live in Union City, Georgia on the outskirts of Atlanta. I am in my senior year at Fort Valley State University. I currently serve as the historian for the Fort Valley State University section of National Council of Negro Women. I also work as a Marketing Associate for Fort Valley State University’s Marketing & Communications department, a position that I’ve held since I transferred over from Mizzou in the fall of 2015. After college, I plan to work for an advertising company while also expanding Iannah’s Creative Studio to other outlets.
Randall: So, you’re a Graphic Design artist! What made you get into this field?
Iannah James-Smith: In my freshman year at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Georgia I was placed in the graphic design pathway. That is where I was first introduced to graphic design. Ever since then, I have had a love for it.
Randall: What exactly is a Graphic Designer?
Iannah James-Smith: A graphic designer is someone who plans and designs graphics that communicates effectively with a targeted audience. Graphics including flyers, advertisements, brochures, magazines, etc. We use good aesthetic to do so.
Randall: You are the owner of Iannah’s Creative Studio where you design logos, flyers and promotional materials for your many clients. What is the origin behind your business?
Iannah James-Smith: Although I’ve had a background in graphic design since 9th grade, I finally got enough confidence to start charging people for what I do in the summer of 2017. Before then, I did designs for family and friends for free to practice and gain experience.
Randall: How has going to an HBCU such as Fort Valley State University helped you in the success of your business?
Iannah James-Smith: I have had an overwhelming amount of support at FVSU. Most of my clients are also my classmates. I am truly grateful for them trusting me to design for them.
Randall: What do you aim to achieve in your business in 2018?
Iannah James-Smith: More clientele! God Please! I also want to do a tad bit of rebranding which includes building an ecommerce website. I’m currently in the process of doing so. It will be done by February!
Randall: Where can we find you and, most importantly, where can we purchase designs for you?
Iannah James-Smith: You guys can check out my Instagram, @iannahscreativestudio and if you like what you see, shoot me an email to [email protected] then we can go from there! Thank you so much!
Make sure to follow Iannah at @iannahscreativestudio! If you wish to order from her, email her at [email protected]!