Rahana Dariah

Rahana Dariah

(She/Her) • London, England

Biography Interview

Rahana Dariah is a London based black digital illustrator. Her illustrations are mainly a narrative of black and brown people, full of colour and world building. Rahana's illustrations are inspired by her environment and personal relationships. She loves illustrating people in her urban illustration style.

Selected clients

Facebook, planned parenthood, Tampax, Tate Britain

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Rahana Dariah

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity?
Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalised communities? My identity, I define myself as a black woman and i’m very much pro black. And as a fat black woman I’m definitely an advocate for the body positivity movement, I like to draw people like me as we’re not seen enough in art.

Where is home?
Home for me is wherever I feel comfortable, and for me at this moment I feel comfortable in London, where I was born and raised. And sometimes St.Lucia where I partially grew up.

Describe your illustration style in one sentence
My style is digital, figurative and fun with saturated colour.

What lights your soul on fire?
Living life to the fullest, reaching milestones and getting the chance to be creative everyday.

What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
I love to explore themes such as the black experience, children’s imagination, Caribbean life and spirituality, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to explore new themes. I love new ventures.

What techniques do you use?
I illustrate digitally using my iPad so I have a 1001 brushes to play with, my techniques vary depending on my mood but nothing too different, I feel like you can still identify my illustrations.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
Quite a lot actually, i do love to depict things that I’ve experienced. From girlhood to womanhood to growing up in different environments.

What do you want to be known for?
The artist who loves to include everybody in her art and doing so in a fun and positive way.

Which projects excite you most?
I honestly get excited by most projects but I love illustrating book covers, album art and character designing the most.

What is your dream gig?
Getting to design an album cover for a huge music artist or illustrating a whole book that will get published by a well known book publishing company.

Where, when and how do you best create?
I best create at my desk, with good music and usually at night.

How has your style evolved since you started?
I started out doing traditional illustration and I loved experimenting with different art materials but as soon as I got my hands on digital illustration it was a wrap. I automatically fell in love with this style of drawing.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
The most challenging thing in my practice is consistency, having a steady income is hard to come by. Also having artists block is awfully frustrating.

How as being an illustrator changed your life?
I get to do what I love, it’s very rewarding sharing your gift.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
My Apple Pencil!

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
I did a project with Planned Parenthood for black maternal health week, the black maternal mortality rate is at an all time high and I’m glad I got to spread awareness with my art.

What influences or inspires your art?
The black experience, Caribbean lifestyle and my personal life experiences.

What would you tell your younger self?
Nurture your gift and don’t be discouraged, you’re gonna do great.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
I feel like visual art can say so much more than words, it makes you feel as well as see. Words cannot describe how beautiful a sunset is fully. The feeling you get when you see a beautiful drawing isn’t the same as someone describing it to you with words.

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