Interview: Rahana Dariah
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
We're excited to share our first ever interview.
Introducing Rahana Dariah aka Rahana Banana an illustrator she depicts mostly black women and everything that has influenced her in life from growing up in a British West Indian and teen life in Saint Lucia.
Her illustrations spread far and wide to selling her own prints and merchandise, children's books, to creating the artwork and exhibiting at Facebook's Black History Pop Up event and was featured as one of the top young British Artists by Buzz Feed.
Tell us about yourself and your journey on how you got to being the illustrator you are today?
I’m Rahana, I’m a black British illustrator. It’s been a long journey but I’m finally where I want to be in my career. From studying fashion and clothing at college to a gap year and back in college again for a foundation art course and then on to uni where I got my illustration degree.
I see your illustration style is reflective of the black community, can you tell us more about it why you choose that style?
My illustration style depicts black people, I honestly just enjoy drawing us. We’re so beautiful and I hate that we’re not properly represented, so I took it upon myself to illustrate black people.
How do hope to continue to use your art to impact and empower the black experience?
I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing and hope to reach the masses. I also want to write and illustrate my own children’s books.
On your journey what would you say are some of the challenges you've faced and how have you overcome them?
I haven’t had any major obstacles except for struggling at uni because I really didn’t enjoy it.
What or who inspires you and why?
Black women inspire me, my spirituality inspires me, music inspires me, my life experiences inspire me. All those inspire me because they're simply just beautiful and some hold nostalgic feelings. Pretty much everything inspires me.
What's the best advice someone has ever given and what advice do you give others looking to follow in your footsteps?
Best advice someone has ever given me is to value my work, to take a break from work and create for myself. And seriously I can't stress enough how important it is to create for yourself and just enjoy it. At uni I did assignments for 3 years and didn’t create for myself and I honestly felt so depressed. I want to pass that advice onto those who want a career in the arts.
Finally to you - What is real? What is authentic? and What is winning?
What is real and authentic? It’s simply just being unapologetically you and not giving a care in the world. It’s joy, It’s pain and riding the waves of life.
I feel like when you’re being yourself you’re winning.
We hope you enjoyed this interview and insight into Rahana's journey, she is truly talented and incredible and just love how she illustrates and uses her gift to empower the black community.
Check out her artistry, connect and continue to follow her journey on:
IG - @rahanabanana
Twitter - @rahanabanana
Website - www.rahanabanana.co
Purchase her prints and other merchandise at her Esty store here