Interview with Zeena, from Heart Zeena

Hey Zeena! Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Hi Laura,
Happy New Year!
I’m a wearer or lots of creative hats and live in a pastel haven in East London.
I trained as a print designer at Chelsea school of art and have since set up my own brand selling hand printed goods around the world. I’m the author of How to Print Fabric* and Illustrator of Scandia* – an adult colouring in book. I teach creative workshops from my Dalston studio and for a whole host of brands. I am a stylist and art director and work with brands to create content and creative for digital marketing. I am obsessed with Instagram and love sharing my #ootd and love of pastels and living a colourful life.

zeena shah from heart zeena

What’s the best thing about what you do?

It’s so varied, I’m not very good at sitting still or doing just one thing.. and never have been, so being able to work across lots of disciplines is the perfect fit.

Do you have any tips for aspiring creatives? Especially those looking to get into print design or anything similar.

I have so many tips I keep meaning to write a blog post about all of the things i’ve learnt over the years.
Here are my top three:
1. Try and intern and do as much work experience as you can – it really helps you realise what you love doing and what you don’t. Keep in touch with everyone you meet on your creative journey you never know where doors might open from.
2. Create an online presence and don’t overthink it. Use social media channels to help yourself and your work stand out. I always suggest starting a work Instagram feed to use as a portfolio.
3. Be true to yourself and your creative voice and keep learning.

socks from happy socks

Where did your love of socks come from? 

Haha! I think it’s because i’m always cold and often have cold feet so would always gravitate to a pair of socks. I’m a magpie for print design too so as soon as I found pretty patterned socks I was hooked and now seem to collect them.

Have you always loved sewing and making? What’s the best thing you’ve made?

I have always loved making things, my mum really inspired me from a young age to craft and create. We’d always be making something.
The best thing I made in 2018 and perhaps ever was a pink gingham dress with lots of ruffles that I absolutely adore and will treasure forever despite looking a bit like a table cloth..!

What inspires you? You certainly seem to have a strong love of pastels. Does colour play a big part in what you do?

Colour has always inspired me. Haha and yes I’m a bit in love with pastels. I’m drawn to colour, it’s such a big part of print design, mixing and selecting the right shades and tones it always seems a bit of a cop out to use black unless the design calls for it. This way of thinking has fed into my everyday. I’m a stylist and really enjoy curating my outfit of the day’s in the same way. Nature and architecture is also a huge inspiration. For me there is inspiration everywhere.

All photos courtesy of Zeena Shah

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