The first time I sat down with Yetta Banks I was struck by her unassuming demeanor. It seemed at odds with her rockstar corporate and creative status. I quickly learned that her fierce quiet isn't an oxymoron. It's how she harnesses her instinct—for people and for design. Yetta is an architect, interior designer, and Vice President at Viacom, where she has been curating the design and construction of spaces, whether on camera or off, for nearly two decades. A proud Atlanta native, she earned degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Intercontinental University in Los Angeles, spending her final year of architectural studies at Ecole de la Villette in Paris.
When I asked Yetta what she's had to #droptheball on in order to stay on top of a game in which there are so few women of color, she said, "The thrill of constant exploration and learning. I have given all that I have to my work, which I love." Fortunately, when your work feeds your soul, it's easy to be devoured by it. But if you find yourself needing to refuel your tank feel free to follow Yetta's prescription, which includes "more people, summits, podcasts, webinars, books, and research." Not everyone can have Yetta's style. But all of us can design a life we're passionate about.