step into 18-year-old greenville-based illustrator maya ajani’s smoke-filled fantasy world

January 9, 2017

Check out 18-year-old Greenville-based visual artist Maya Ajani’s stoner fantasy illustrations for headwrap-wearing, incense-burning, black soap-washing, Apple Cider Vinegar-using black girls and femmes. In Ajani’s world of hazy nonsense, getting lit in the bathtub turns into soaking in a giant of ramen and the world outside turn to floating ecosystem. Maya’s otherworldly images are made up of dreams where the spiritual worlds of ritual, self-care, friendship, and herb-induced enlightenment intersect. “My illustrations incorporate spiritual/fantasy elements into it that represents many of my spiritual beliefs,” Ajani tells AFROPUNK. “The characters in my drawing typically look like my friends and I because representation is important. Growing up as a black/biracial girl it was rare to find characters in tv shows and other forms of media that resembled me.” See some of Maya’s work, below!

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

“Summoning Friends”

“The Feels”

“They Want Us to Die Slow”

“Ramen Mami”

“Smoke Sesh”

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at