We the People of the Diaspora-Black Culture Exploration is a fashion illustration series by Jamilla Okubo. Okubo is a textile design artist influenced from her Kenyan and Trinidadian culture. Okubo is heavily influenced by African fabrics that are seen in her artwork.

Just like quilts, I feel like I can use textiles (designing patterns) to tell stories by creating symbols that represent what I am trying to share or tell. Regardless of whether a print is intentionally telling a story or not, it creates a connection with the person wearing it. For example, Kanga fabric, which comes from East Africa, is sometimes worn to tell viewers something about that person.

So far I find textiles very freeing because there is so much you can do with them. Textiles includes but is not restricted to weaving, block printing, knitting, embroidery, digital printing, and fabric dyeing. Once you learn the many textile design methods, you can create whatever you put your mind to, taking it to the next level and further.

– Jamilla Okubo
6 Questions with Jamilla Okubo

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