Zakee Shariff is a London based artist and designer. Her extensive client list includes Nike, Channel 4 and Topshop however she still takes time for philanthropic projects. This year she is donating 20% of proceeds from her Valentines Art to Refugee Community Kitchen.
What inspires your work?
I’d say spirituality, my spiritual journey, meditation, music, London street culture, and travel.
What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Wow I have a few, pen/brush and ink, paint and screen printing.
Was it a natural progression to move into fashion?
Yeah, I grew up in it all my life. My folks have been in fashion as long as a remember. I always said I’d never end up in fashion so my textile degree was pure fine art, however it was inevitable it would come calling. I love that now I can work as an artist and a designer. I have to co-exist between the two.
Do you ever feel your work is compromised when you collaborate with big brands?
I couldn’t ever say who, outta respect to those that have commissioned me over the years. However for sure there have been many times that I felt compromised. I’ve decided in the last few years to only work with people that really believe in my philosophy or who have a connection to my creative process. However there have been some that stand out for the goodness and I am grateful that I have been blessed to work with some really special people that just get me inside out. I love to collaborate, I love the process of bringing different minds and energies together. There’s magic in group effort I believe.
Complete this sentence: … is the future.
What’s more important to you, the process or the outcome?
Good question… Shizzle I’m a Libra, I crave balance and I’m indecisive, so I’d say, creatively sometimes one or the other and sometimes both. In life I’d say the journey so maybe I should get of the fence and say “THE PROCESS”.
What are you trying to tell the viewer with your art?
I am interested in connecting to people through an emotional response through the work, to touch their hearts and bring a sense of healing. Whatever that means for them. Be it laughter, connection, emotion, safety, healing, peace… I find most people say they feel am emotional connection to my work and they can’t put what that means further into words. I also like the idea of empowerment more around my clothes.
Where do you feel most creative?
I feel it everywhere. Just comes when it wants to come.
Where are you most at peace?
In nature, meditating and in my bed.