Team Talks with YSYF: Interview with Shreyansh Kushwaha

We are back with another YSYF Team Talks interview! This series allows you a glimpse into the mind of our organization’s team members.

Most of the information we consume comes from social media or online sources. Naturally, creative professionals are in high demand. Creatives have a unique power to evoke emotion using a cluster of words, images, or colours. Collaboration is the name of the game as video editors, writers, and graphic designers take many steps when conceiving their artwork; from examining their audience to collaborating with other team members, and finally imagining concepts that tempt us to stop scrolling and engage.

Shreyansh Kushwaha brings this precise approach as one of the newest additions to YSYF.

Shreyansh was instrumental in the visual conceptualization and design of YSYF’s Women’s History Month this past October.

Shreyansh hails from the north-central Indian metropolis of Prayagraj, a few hundred kilometers from the Nepali border. He found his beginning in design by creating content for his sister’s beauty pageant back in 2019. Since then, the creative juices haven’t stopped flowing. “As designers, we are always looking for inspiration.” Shreyansh explained, “This can be anything from a regular bus stop to doodles to even looking for patterns in a bee’s flight.”

Presently he’s a senior secondary student studying math and physics. “Taking the world in the form of numbers and combining them with my creative abilities gives me a new perspective on the world. Consequently, there is more inspiration to seek.”

Shreyansh is an 11th grade maths and physics student.

With a large majority of YSYF volunteers based in Canada, you might be asking how Shreyansh, 10 and a half timezones removed from our team, came across YSYF. He learned about our work through a former YSYF team member, with a wide network. He explains that “the greatest thing about the age we live in is the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere without any restrictions. That means if I love graphic design, I can connect with other people who also love the same and are experts in their respective industries.”

As a keen pupil of history in his early secondary school years Shreyansh was sensitized to the processes and terrors that were and continue to be the colonization of Africa. Decolonizing and communicating knowledge through social media graphics will no doubt be a defining moment in our history. As a result Shreyansh wanted to channel his artistic prowess through a greater good.

Hoping to continue studying math and sciences in university, I had to ask Shreyansh, ‘what about design?’. “I learned design because I personally had an interest in the subject and when I want to study something, I don’t want any restrictions. I feel the design world is constantly changing and the systems to teach design are rigid in universities.”

Indeed it’s generally more acceptable to get a medical or engineering degree than to earn the equivalent in arts. “If you say to someone that you are a UX designer or a brand designer their reaction is mostly, ‘Umm… But what is that?’”

The societal pressure to choose a respected career path is a universal dilemma. Although Shreyansh doesn’t have many creative role models around him, he is determined to continue his practice by challenging himself. “Being a part of different design communities gives me the opportunity to learn from others and improve my design skills. Also, this opens a whole new world of networking and connecting with fellows.”

Shreyansh recently designed the cover of his sister, Pooja’s (pictured left), new book about communication skills titled “Nail The Convo With Strangers”.

Changing tides are, however, always upon us. The connectivity of our world allows wonderful ideas to be shared across borders, across cultures. It’s true, deeply rooted norms never really disappear, but if we challenge them in positive ways, innovation will give birth to revolutionary ways of life.

“Otherwise how could a kid from a city in India be planning to build a career in design when everyone around him is pursuing science?”, Shreyansh attested. “Definitely, it will take time for people to accept that design and freelancing can be a career option just like engineering but we still have a long journey to cover.”

You can see Shreyansh’s art on his instagram page linked here. Be sure to follow YSYF on socials to stay up to date on our work.