Dreamer | Yawn Meets Art Director Zeena Shah

Dreamer | Yawn Meets Art Director Zeena Shah

By Alice Whiteley

Dreamer | Yawn Meets Art Director Zeena Shah

Zeena Shah

Hello! My name is Zeena Shah and I am an Art Director, Stylist, Print Designer, Maker, Illustrator and Author. I live in East London with my fiancé and have an addiction to colour!


Print designer, maker, illustrator and author, art director and stylist. We love that you lead a creative life, inspiring your audience to experiment too. What motivated you to turn creativity into a career?

I trained as a print designer at Chelsea School of Art and my passion grew from the moment I walked into the print room. I found my niche. It was a no brainer that I would continue down a creative path from then on. What I didn’t realise is how hard it would be. I’ve always been very creative, drawing and making things from a young age and knew I wanted to create my own brand and label that I could design and make products under.

As a creative person you learn to become very versatile and so I am very much a multi disciplinary designer. I spend most of my time working as an Art Director and Stylist as well as sharing my day to day and inspiration over on my Instagram.

Wearing Yawn's 'Switch Off' Navy T-shirt & Uncharted pyjama shorts.

What’s your proudest moment and where do you get your day-to-day inspiration?

Becoming a published author of ‘How to Print Fabric’ was definitely my proudest moment to date. It was an incredible project to work on and a tremendous amount of work to achieve the end result - a book with my name on that has hopefully inspired a new love of printmaking, craft and creativity!

I find inspiration everywhere. I often feel like a sponge soaking in the everyday. Nature especially inspires my work and colour choices.

The team really enjoy browsing your colourful feed and blog. How does colour affect your state of mind and what advice would you give to someone who wants to add more colour to their wardrobe or home?

Colour has an incredibly positive effect on the mind - it can bring so much joy. 

If you haven’t embraced colour yet I would suggest you start small. Add a colourful scarf or handbag to your outfit. Then move onto a colourful dress or knit teamed with jeans. The colour-blocking trend is here to stay, and because it’s really versatile you can always team a bright with black or navy.

For the home it’s even easier. Try colourful pillows or even a sofa if you’re feeling bold. Bed linen is another way to brighten up a dark room. I can’t wait to paint the walls pink in my own home one day!

Wearing Yawn's cosy bed socks in blue and grey, shop here.

Speaking of mind-set, how do you balance your time across social media and avoid the negative aspects of the online world?

I try to be self aware and empathetic, usually realising when I need to take a break. It is a balance. I have a very busy work life, so I don’t have lots of time to spend on social media and will most often reply to comments and messages when I’m commuting or give myself 30 minutes while dinner is cooking. I am the queen of multi tasking! 

I’m also a very positive person so try and avoid accounts that spread negativity. There’s enough of that in the news. I want to be inspired, make friends and discover new things when I use social media. It’s for being social after all. Just hit that unfollow button.

You wrote on your blog that you ‘struggle with sleep’, often running through your to-do lists for the next day. Do you have any advice for other women struggling with sleep issues? 

I do have quite a ‘busy brain’ as I juggle lots of things during the day and in my working life. I am also a total night owl, which doesn’t make settling into a good night’s sleep all that easy. Some things I’ve found to work for me are;  

  • Setting an actual bedtime and creating a routine. Whether that’s a daily skincare routine, a relaxing bath or putting on pyjamas and a dressing gown.  
  • Sleep sprays and lavender sachets under my pillow.
  • Reading a physical book when I get into bed helps make my brain slow down and start to feel tired.
  • Exercise, I find if I exercise during the day I am much more tired and end up having a really good night’s rest.

Zeena styles her organic cotton tee with 'Float Away' pyjama bottoms. 

And now for a few quick fire questions:

Top of your summer reading list?

M Train by Patti Smith. I loved her first autobiography and can’t wait to read the second part.

Favourite song to relax to?

Ooh this is a tricky one, currently it’s a bit of Bonobo and Freya Ridings.

Podcast or E-book?

Definitely a podcast!

Pyjamas or nightshirts?


Night Cap or Night Cream?

Night cream. I am a huge skincare addict.


For more colour, styling and craft inspo visit http://heartzeena.blogspot.com/ or sit back and scroll through Zeena’s feed on Instagram @heartzeena.