Diana Ejaita works as an illustrator and textile designer. She launched the clothing line WEARYOURMASK. She talks about the role masks play in African culture - that they are not just used to shield one’s face but also to tell specific stories. These masks are also a big part of the influence behind her brand and are featured often in her textile designs. She goes on to tell us about art; how she interprets it from her environment and also the main challenge she faces as an artist. Being one who likes to enjoy herself, we talk about travel, her free time activities and favourite shops in Berlin as well:

Wear Your Mask - Fashion Africa Now 3


So tell me a bit about you and what “WEARYOURMASK” means?

I am very fascinated by the fact that in many cultures, especially in the diverse African cultures, the mask has a very important role: it is used to represent a specific divinity  a spirit or an animal during ceremonies,  sometimes to get in the body of one of them to get their power or to open a connection with the gods and goddess during a ritual or a celebration or simply to tell a story.

The mask as well as the costume has the power to open a window to another dimension than the daily reality we live in depending of course on the energy applied by the person wearing it.

Talking about my brand WEARYOURMASK and fashion I would say I choose it because I like this aspect of creating a “personage” by playing with different textiles and outfits.

We all “wear a mask” of some sort – it is kind of a protection or something that give us power, it is not about hiding but it is like creating a character of ourselves, like a business card. Then of course you have to dig more into a person to understand the nuances.




In your opinion what are the most important elements of artistry?

I believe that in creativity it’s important to be able to observe the social, cultural surroundings  and to be able with honesty and simpleness to translate that information into art. Playfulness is also an important part of artistry, keeping an openness for changing materials, techniques and ideas, being able to get inspirations from every corner might also give a good help. Focus and perseverance!


What challenges do you face in your work?

I guess the challenge is to transfer into material product the idea or the feeling about something…


What are your favourite shops in Berlin?

I am actually a big fan of markets, street markets like flea, antiquarian or fruits markets… I like the vivacity of them, I like observing people. I think from a market you can understand a city, or a country, the culture..


Flea Market at Ostbahnhof Berlin
Flea Market at Ostbahnhof, Berlin (source)


If you were not in textile design, what other careers would you pursue?

Well, I work also as fine artist and illustrator at the same time – I guess I would be one of them again or maybe a jewellery maker or a carpenter.. anything that as to do with the transformation of materials would suit me!


Out of all the countries you have lived in which inspired you the most and why?

Well I would say that any country I have been living in gave me inspiration, any experience is a good source of new ideas and growth. Looking forward to travel more!


What do you like to do when you are not working?

I love to travel, research, read stories of other people, going to some nice concerts…but I really love to work!!