Q&A with Zakee Shariff

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.

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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.

2.11Do 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.

PEACE?

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”.
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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.

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