Bold monochromatic illustrious work references artist’s African lineage

Berlin-based Diana Ejaita illustrates bold, heavily patterned black and white figures.

Diana Ejaita works as an illustrator and textile designer in south Berlin. What sets her illustrations apart is a combination of dramatically contrasting areas of black and white with soft patterns and textures that create images that betray the strength of femininity.

Born in Cremona, Italy and of Jamaican-African origins, her aesthetic pays homage to her lineage. The patterns that act as an overlay over the illustrated figures reference the centuries old Nsibidi system of symbols and ideograms indigenous to southeast Nigeria. The symbols were once taught in schools and many of the signs deal with love, warfare and sacred spirituality. 

Her fascination with Yoruba masks and Urhobo textiles is also a constant and fertile source for her textiles, silk-screening, illustrations and wood engraving. Her work is an impressive collection of expressive illustrations employing the aesthetics of traditional African sculpture with a more detailed treatment of the human face.

Ejaita is also the founder of Wear Your Mask, a brand that uses a silkscreen to mix African textile and patterns with minimalistic silhouettes to create “a unique style where cold abstract and warm expressionism meet each other." she said.

A fine arts graduate, Ejaita has been travelling, studying and living in different European countries since 2004.