It’s almost been one month since the launch of our new collection, Moroccan Nights, a limited edition, luxury lingerie and sleep wear collection inspired by and made in Africa!
Earlier this month we spoke to the beautiful Miss Laurence Sessou, the face of Moroccan Nights and now we’re very excited to introduce you to some of the creatives behind the shoot. So today we will be speaking to the artists from YOCF, the creative collective we worked with, to hear the story behind what they do!
NS: YOCF! Hello and welcome, thank you for taking the time to chat with us! We were very fortunate to be able to work with such creative individuals on this new collection. So let’s start by hearing more about who YOCF is and what does YOCF stand for?
YOCF: Hi there! Thank you for having us, also thanks for the compliment. YOCF definitely has multiple meanings to us all but the main one is “Young Once Creative Forever”. You’re only young once in life, and you can’t change that. But you can change your legacy, what you leave on this earth, and we do that through our creativity which is why we’ll be creative forever. Creativity lives forever!
We are a creative collective that has one goal, leading into the other meaning of YOCF which is “Your Own Creative Family”. That’s what we thrive for when we work with people; to become a hub where we can take your ideas and nurture them and make sure we provide you with a product that makes you, as our client, happy! I hope we did that with you [laughs].
NS: “Young Once Creative Forever” We like that! Can you tell us more about the concept behind YOCF and how it came to be about?
YOCF: We were all individuals, by that, I mean Israel Peters, Vanessa Jermina, Derek Yeboah and Cornelius Walker. We all did well as individuals in our own fields but we realised we’d be a lot stronger as a team rather than as individuals. So we put our minds together and YOCF are the fruits of that. At YOCF, our collective focuses on bringing audiences and content together. We blend intelligent creativity with a sincere collaborative approach, consistently delivering powerful results for our clients.
NS: How did you all meet and decide that you wanted to join collectively as YOCF?
YOCF: We’ve known each other way before we decided to make YOCF. Israel, Derek and Vanessa have known each other for a good 8+ years and Cornelius has known the team for 5 years. So we are literally family in our personal lives. We decided to make YOCF official when we wanted more from life. We wanted to work with brands and cooperates and just realised that together we were stronger than individually. YOCF were in talks for a long time beginning from Israel and Derek. But we all needed to be ready and when we finally were, we decided to make it work and we haven’t looked back since!
NS: Many people struggle with finding their passion. Can you give us some advice based on your own journey on how to find your passion?
Y.O.C.F: It’s funny you ask this because everyone in the team would say the same thing. We mainly struggle to find our passion because we refuse to believe that it’s within us, or that you can actually make a career from what you love to do. I know it’s sounds easy but just do what you love and you’ll find your passion and purpose. It’s the skill that you do naturally, the skill that you find easy to do, the skill every one compliments you on. Those are the things we normally look past, but those are your passions and that’s what you should build and develop. Yes, it will be hard and yes you’ll want to give up, trust us we know! But just keep on going it will work out if you put in the work in.
NS: Whether it comes from parents, teachers, counsellors, lots of times society discourages the youth from following a creative path due to the risk and uncertainty of it. What words of wisdom can you give to young individuals that want to pursue a creative path such as yourselves?
YOCF: Instead of parents, teachers, counsellors spending their time telling students about the risk and uncertainty of a creative path maybe they should spend their time more wisely and actually figure out how they can help the youth to develop in the creative field. We would say trust yourself, trust your creativity, believe in yourself and invest in yourself. Get an education in your field…that may be through university or an apprenticeship. Use your time wisely and no matter what, get experience whatever way you can even if it means creating your own lane. Also sometimes experience in any field can also help your creativity, so just be proactive. Everything in life is a risk; even stepping out of your house, so why not take a risk on something you’ll be doing for the rest of your life!
NS: What does a typical day look like for YOCF?
YOCF: Typical day in YOCF [laughs]. Is there ever a typical day in a creative life? How can I answer this? Follow us on Instagram and we’ll show you!
NS: What are type of services does YOCF provide?
YOCF: The services we provide are Photography, Video Production, Creative Consulting, Graphic Design and Art Direction. We’ve had the opportunity to work with clients such as Google, HSBC and Red Bull and now we’ve had the privilege to work with Nubian Skin. To learn more about us and our services, just visit our site at www.yocf.co.uk.
NS: What were some of the biggest challenges YOCF faced and what did you learn from it?
YOCF: The biggest challenge for YOCF was starting a company as friends and learning how to separate business and personal matters. Trying to speak to your business partner and not your friend at times was very difficult because it can spill into your personal life if you let it. Luckily for us we are all very open with each other and could solve conflicts very quickly.
Another big challenge would be communication, making sure that we communicate to the right channels at the correct times and just being very open with one another in regards to work and personal matters. It’s kind of funny now when we think about it. When you start a business, I don’t know why, but you believe the customers will just come knocking on your door. When we first started we assumed the work will just come to us…well it definitely didn’t happen like that. In business you have to work for everything, there are no shortcuts and we learnt that the hard way. What we’ve learnt is that we make mistakes and learn from them. Everything is a risk in business and if you don’t take it you’ll never know if it was worth it and if it doesn’t work out at least you’ve gained experience.
NS: Do you have a mantra that you live by? If so, can you share them with us?
YOCF: We all have our own mantra but something we always say when a project comes in is, “Do what best for the project” When that’s said we know what time it is…throw your ego aside, throw your pride aside and let’s focus on doing the best for this project, for the client and most importantly for YOCF.
NS: 3 Words to describe your style…quick, go?!
YOCF: Is there a timer…. Organic, Bespoke, Precise. Hey did that in 10 seconds!
YOCF: Of course we’d heard about Nubian Skin beforehand! Taking on this project was a great thing for us not only because it’s Nubian Skin but because we genuinely like the people behind Nubian Skin! They are great people and we love working with people when the energy is great!
NS: Where can we keep up with the latest updates on YOCF?