Bans aka Hannah Prebble is an artist/ illustrator based in South London. Her debut solo exhibition, WAVEY THINGS, was held at Doomed Gallery in Dalston 29th September- 3rd October 2016. It featured 100 ceramic hip-hop heads, skate decks and some of her first hand-painted clothing designs. Bans’ mission is to use her art and her brand to change the world by spreading a positive message and being a good role model to young people, incorporating her reflections on life and advice into her work to try to influence kids for the better.
Bans, who has designed clothes for American rapper Playboi Carti and London-based rappers Section Boyz, will be launching a CONSCIOUS KIDZ event on Sunday 5th November at WAH Nails Soho, which includes a clothing customisation workshop with the artist and motivational talks for young people from a range of empowering speakers.
Tell us a little bit about STAY GRATEFUL
This generation is so sick and full of amazing things but it’s also teeming with pressure; STAY GRATEFUL is a celebration of the good and a reminder to steer clear of any negativity, rise above it all and always be the best you can be!!! I also hope to highlight the mental health issues that youth face – and offer some solace and support through art, fashion and music and by creating a community.
Are there any artists or creative works that have made an impact on your work?
I find my inspiration from music, youtube videos, Instagram and anything youth culture but also from my friends and lovely people with good energy, that’s what inspires me the most to unleash all the colourfulness and spread the love! I can’t really pinpoint my influences as there’s been so many (although I have always loved Basquiat loads)- often not people in particular but a big melting pot of skate artists and illustrators, fashion designers and musicians, I take a little bit of something from anyone who’s doing something amazing and creative and use it to push me forward in my own direction. I always had quite an illustrative style for as far back as i can remember, but in the past year or so it’s all kinda clicked into place and i’ve found my own thing and am trying to create a positive, uplifting movement with it which is really exciting, having a true purpose is the best feeling in the world.
You and Leila are releasing a zine together to celebrate this upcoming launch, can you tell us a little bit about what it’s about?
The zine has the same title as the collection which is STAY GRATEFUL. After I suffered from depression last year, I decided I had to channel my experiences through my art to help other people going through a difficult time and help in any way I can, so I thought I’d do something more personal to go with the clothing and write some advice which I think I would have benefitted from when I was younger. I did lots of colourful paintings featuring my characters to go alongside it, it’s really cute and fun. I wanted to make something that would bring younger people (and all people!) comfort, make them smile and hopefully make them look at life in a new way and give them some tools to cope with struggles. At the end I’ve told the readers to shout me if they need someone to talk to because I don’t think there’s enough support out there which isn’t clinical or a bit intimidating- with my brand and art I want to create a big bans gang family where we all represent love, togetherness and repping good mental health.
How have your own experiences with mental health issues influence you work and your incentives?
Why is it important for you to tackle the issue of mental health in this current climate?
It’s sooo important because even though it’s getting better, it’s still a bit of a taboo and definitely isn’t seen as cool to talk about mental health yet but I really want to change that- everything on Instagram looks perfectly framed and has a filter on it so people and situations appear a certain way, and that can really affect people’s state of mind and put a huge amount of pressure on us. It sparks comparison and low self-esteem or feeling we aren’t good enough. We need to reach out and support each other and spread awareness that it’s all a fake dream. We need to nurture each other and recognise what what’s real because that’s what has longevity, and I don’t think there’s a better way to do it than through colourful clothes and swaggy shit!!!!
What message do you hope to give to the people that come down to WAH this weekend?
LOVE, PEACE & POSITIVITY!!!!! Good vibes, redefining the word gang to something really beautiful and empowering and about creating a community. I want everyone who comes along to feel the love straight away and feel part of something really warm, welcoming and exciting!