I am happy to announce that the Absolute Affirmations deck is AVAILABLE NOW! Absolute Affirmations is a 44-card deck promoting positivity and self-love, it is an intentional set of cards using color and current imagery to change the way you approach life by inserting positivity into your routine. This was a joint project by my sister, Krystal Banner, and I and we are SO proud to present it to the public (see where we first announced and previewed the deck HERE)! So, with the recent release of Absolute Affirmations, I felt it was appropriate to post a blog allowing everyone to get to know my sister, Krystal Banner, and I a little more.
The use of positive psychology and positive affirmations has helped us immensely in our individual lives but also as a unit while collaborating on this deck. To make this post a little different than those previously published, I decided to structure this in true interview format (similar to Beyoncé interviewing her sister Solange for Interview magazine). Read below to learn about our childhood, creating the Absolute Affirmations deck and how positivity has allowed us to develop into the women we are today in our conversational interview.
Blake: Okay, so I'm really excited for us to interview each other and talk about our Absolute Affirmations collaboration! So, let's just get started. First I want to ask if you remember anything specific about your childhood that steered you towards this current path that you're on. The path involving being an artist, creating your own tarot deck, and creating those super dope greeting cards?
Krystal: Hey Girl! There's something that sticks out in my mind specifically when I was a child that I believe kickstarted this whole path that I'm on. I remember coloring at the table when I was young and mom and dad being so excited and impressed with my skills! They made me feel like I was the most talented kid artist in the world.
Blake: So that sounds like it was the beginning of those positive affirmations for you.
Krystal: Exactly, not only that. I feel like it gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my abilities. And I'm also left handed and they made me feel like that was the coolest thing in the world. Okay Blake, so you've always been a very upbeat person who can instantly change someone's mood for the better. Where does that come from?
Blake: I honestly think it came with me being the youngest sibling. I feel like my personality and ability to joke and make people laugh fit in our family dynamic perfectly. I'm 99% sure I came out the womb this way, so let's say it is innate. [both laugh]
Krystal: I can agree with that! You never got in trouble because you were too busy making mom and dad laugh!
Blake: I'm just really glad we had the opportunity to come to be such great friends outside of being just siblings. So what does the Absolute Affirmations deck mean to you?
Krystal: The deck symbolizes the choice to be positive amongst all the craziness associated with our day to day lives. For me it's also a reminder that it's necessary to constantly remind yourself to be positive. It's not as easy as it sounds and this deck, for me, is something that says 'hey let me make it a little easier and accessible'. When we first discussed this idea, what did you feel the benefit would be for you and for others?
Blake: When the deck was first being discussed, I knew immediately that this would be something that could initiate others' journey to living a more positive life. Sometimes people require tools to do what may come as second nature to you and I, like being able to see the positive in not so positive situations, and I was just excited for us to be able to provide that to others. Plus, my interest and research in positive psychology allowed me to understand the health benefits that could result from individuals having access to a tool like Absolute Affirmations in their lives. I know we were able to collaborate on graphics and imagery that you illustrated, but where do you get most of your inspiration from when creating? Not just for this positive affirmations deck, but for your tarot deck and greeting cards as well.
Krystal: I believe my inspiration comes from my childhood, we had so much fun in our childhood...
Blake: We Did! [both laugh]
Krystal: Also, Pop culture, music, my sense of humor, color and culture. One of my passions is to increase representation in art through relatable themes and people that look like me.
Blake: I know we've had the conversation before about representation, especially when it comes to topics like positive psychology and the stigma that sometimes surrounds certain communities when talking about mental health and how to improve that through therapeutic processes...
Krystal: And that's where your expertise comes in. You've seen firsthand how a positive mindset can affect the physical body. And I believe us coming together as individuals who are seen as grounded, helps remove any stigma of positivity being fluff or something that is non-value added. Because that's just not true.
Blake: I say this all the time, that this is real. This is science, there are studies and this isn't a placebo effect. Positivity really can and does impact us for the better. So, getting back to the Absolute Affirmations deck itself, what is your favorite aspect or part of the deck?
Krystal: Well first of all, working with you was pretty cool. Secondly, being able to pull directly from life experience and put it in this deck. Being able to take what was helping me stay positive and turning it into something like this. I want to emphasize this isn't something that was created just to sell, this is truly a way of life and what we have both been using to keep our vibration high. Fun Fact is that while illustrating and creating this I was going through a pretty major career change at the time and I did not have the opportunity to be negative about it because I was creating a positive affirmation deck.
Blake: Sometimes I feel like you have to go through those life shake ups to have your strength and resilience tested, and obviously you passed with flying colors!
Krystal: Well thank you sister! What was your favorite thing(s) about working on a project like this?
Blake: Similar to your answer, being able to create a body of work with my sister was by far the coolest and most fun experience ever. But outside of that, just seeing from start to finish the deck being an idea to becoming a tangible product was something special to me. It's something we can be proud of and like we discussed earlier, it's something that will help others by sharing the power of positivity that we so strongly believe in. Alright, so just to wrap up this interview I just wanted to say that I am so super proud of you for starting your business, being an amazingly talented artist and woman and by far one of the best role models I could ever have and I am so happy we were able to add another backslash to our relationship as business partners.
Krystal: Oh my God! That is so sweet! You are the coolest little sister EVER and I can't believe I have to call you Dr. but I am also so very proud of you and am looking forward to collaborating on more dope projects together!
Krystal and I would like to give a super special shout out to our middle sister Alexis, who is so supportive and steps into any role necessary to help both of us out. Her personality is dynamic and we are so thankful to have her through this journey.
If you are interested in purchasing the Absolute Affirmations deck, you can find it HERE! Be sure to check Krystal out on Her Instagram as well as Mine where we share additional information and photos of the affirmation deck and the creation process. Thank you guys so much for reading the blog and I hope you enjoyed getting to know my sister and I!