Amelia’s Magazine | Scandia by Zeena Shah: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Scandia WIN BOOK review
It’s not just illustrators getting in on the act! I was super excited to hear that the talented textile designer Zeena Shah has produced a colouring book of intricately drawn pages inspired by her interest in nature, folk art and Scandinavian iconography. Best known for her instantly recognisable textile designs and frequent print workshops, Zeena has produced a book that is every bit as fabulous as you would expect it to be, chock full of decorative patterns and beautiful imagery. The paper cut cover of Scandia is a particularly unusual and beautiful choice for a colouring book and is sure to make it stand out as something a little bit special. Would you like to win a copy of this beautiful book? Read on to find out how, this giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE thanks to the kinds folks at LOM Art, an imprint of Michael O’Mara.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 9
When did you first cook up the idea of a colouring book and why did you settle on a Scandinavian theme?
Almost immediately after i’d just finished the final edits of my first book How to Print Fabric publishers Michael O’Mara got in touch about the possibility of an adult colouring in book. They had seen my illustrations and loved my Scandinavian inspired style. I’ve always been drawn to Scandi style so it was a perfect fit and extension of what I already do.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 7
How long has it taken to put together and what was the process of working with Michael O’Mara?
It was a very quick process as I had a very tight deadline (all my own doing as my first book had just been published so I was busy juggling that as well as creating new work). I turned around all of the illustrations within a month or two of signing the book deal. It was such a lovely project to work on and a real joy to be able to draw everyday so I really enjoyed it even though the timing was tight. MOM were a dream to work with, they really understood my handwriting and we were in touch throughout the whole process from the first rough to the first paper cut sample of the book cover.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review
You trained in textiles at Chelsea, what did your studies do to prepare you for the working world?
I studied Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art and as much as I loved every minute of the course in all honesty it really didn’t prepare me for the real design world. It was a bit of a shock when I left art school and started working for various design studios and realised the reality was very different to the experimental art school mentality. I would encourage everyone to get out there and do as much work experience/interning as they can during their courses to prepare them for the industry, make those contacts. I feel so very lucky to be able to make a living running a creative business and doing what I love.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 1
Who or what has most influenced your artistic style?
Nature and the everyday is a huge influence on my artistic style. I love to draw what I see and take inspiration from the things around me. There is an illustration of some leaves in Scandia that come from leaves I collected on my walk to the studio through Hackney Downs park. I’m always that crazy person collecting things on the street. I also collect a lot of vintage textiles and am obsessed with Vera Neumann‘s beautiful printed scarves. Her work is always an inspiration.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 8
What is it about the actual print process that you love so much?
I love working with my hands and creating with a definite process, a start and finish. All of my screen prints will begin with a drawing that might then be papercut to create stencils or exposed onto a silk screen using a light sensitive emulsion which will then be screen printed. It’s the immediacy of this process that excites me. You can very quickly create print upon print once you have your design.

How to Print Fabric
Can you tell us a bit more about your previous book?
My first book How to Print Fabric was published in October last year. It is a collection of 40 print and sew projects for the complete beginner. I wanted to create a book that would make the world of printing onto fabric really accessible to everyone. It shows you how you can use everyday household objects to create beautiful print designs and what to do with them in a straightforward and fun way. One of my favourite projects is a laundry bag you can print using a toilet roll.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 4
You are very busy with a lot of creative projects, how do you juggle your many projects?
Haha, I think I am just one of those people that like working on a million things at once. I always seem to be working on ten things at once as opposed to just one. I try to be as organised as a one woman band can be and have now started to outsource the production of my printed homeware collection to free up time for more creative projects and illustration commissions. I couldn’t live without my ical!

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 3
Can you tell us a bit more about some of your favourite events and projects?
I’m especially enjoying running my screen printing workshops at them moment. I really challenge people on a Monday evening to get out of their comfort zones and create something that really get’s them thinking in a different way to how they usually do and the results are amazing. Every class is filled with such talented folks and everyone’s print designs are always so unique. Another favourite at the moment is turning my illustrations for Scandia into some screen printed tote bags and paper prints to celebrate the launch party. Postcards, tote bags and more will be on the way soon.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 2
Do you colour yourself, and if so what do you like to colour and what mediums do you use?
Before illustrating Scandia I hadn’t gotten into the craze for colouring in, my sister has always been a huge fan but I never seemed to find the time. Over Christmas I sat down and coloured in one of my favourites and used a mixture of graphite pencils, colouring pencils and sharpies. I really like sharpies or felt pens as they give such a lovely sold block colour which is what I’m always drawn to in my printmaking. I would like to try watercolours next time I have a moment though…

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What is your next project, and can we expect a follow up colouring book?
Fingers crossed for another colouring book in the future, I have some commissions keeping me busy next and am working on a new collection of limited edition screen printed paper and textile goods readly for later this year.

To win a copy of Scandia head on over to my Facebook Page HERE and leave a comment or sticker. And tell all your friends because the giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE! A winner will be drawn at random on Sunday 26th June 2016. You can buy Scandia on Amazon. Please consider using my links to help support the running costs for this website.
Buy from Amazon UK here.
Buy from Amazon US here.
Find more of Zeena’s work here.

Categories ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Chelsea School of Art, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Giveaway, ,Hackney Downs, ,How to Print Fabric, ,illustration, ,interview, ,LOM Art, ,Michael O’Mara, ,MOM, ,Scandia, ,Textile Design, ,Vera Neumann, ,Zeena Shah

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Hannah Rollings: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Hannah Rollings
Hannah Rollings recently published An Artist Once Said with Michael O’Mara books, a beautiful interactive art book. Her piece for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion follows on from this idea, taking the style and ideas of Henri Rousseau as a starting point.

Hannah Rollings portrait
Your PhD thesis is extremely interesting – can you tell us a bit more about it in layperson’s terms?
I am looking at developing illustrated interactive books or digital outcomes for children aged 8-11 on the subject of woodland stewardship specifically communicating the carbon cycle. I hope to work with children themselves to co-design narratives and resources that they find meaningful.

Dev Hannah Rollings
What draws you to educate youngsters about the natural world, and where did this interest start?
I’ve always enjoyed animal documentaries and used to have a WWF filofax that I used to study and draw from. The outdoors has always been a massive part of my life and has come to mean more to me as I begin to think about what is important in my own life. That natural childlike fascination of learning about things you see or find on a walk in the woods is very liberating and gives me a great sense of freedom that I hope I can communicate to big and small explorers.

Hannah Rollings
You also teach, what do you enjoy most about the engagement with students?
Teaching is a very inspiring conversation as you often question your own thoughts on subjects and it is always a privilege to see someone develop their work and to have a small helping hand in that is very rewarding. It is about asking the right questions at the right time, not necessarily having the answers.

Development Hannah Rollings
Why has academic study in general been so important to your artistic process?
Illustration can be quite an isolated working environment so I have always found that study has given me a good balance to broaden my work and gain critical discussion. Academic study has allowed me the structure and collaboration to develop a more reflective practice, giving me the space and confidence to shape my own direction. I also quite like certificates.

Hannah Rollings
As part of your research you coppiced an ancient woodland – what did you learn from this process?
It was a rollercoaster of an experience: amazing discoveries coupled with the practical difficulties alongside general misunderstandings about coppicing such as often being asked why are you cutting down trees. It was beautiful to see a small coppiced area come back to life through the seasons; the bluebells come up as you’ve given them more light and the butterflies and insects take over while new shoots of tree come up doubling the trees capacity to grow and live on.

Hannah Rollings
What inspired you to create your recently published book “An Artist Once Said”? It’s a beautiful tome.
Whilst lecturing in the studio staff and students would often put on the wall their favourite quotes from artists they admired – each unique and fitting to that persons work – and I thought what a lovely idea for a book. As I often need a creative nudge to get over the blank page.

Diary of a Redundant Cow Shed Hannah Rollings3
What is your favourite way to work?
I love the looseness of inks and watercolour but also find I want to create a little friction and contrast and then that is when collaging on the computer can be very exciting as it allows you to bring very different elements, scale and textures together to experiment and surprise yourself.

What made you want to take part in my colouring book?
My work is focusing on building in interaction and the refreshing menagerie of illustrators and approaches I thought would be very exciting to see and be apart of.

Double Page Hannah Rollings
How did you decide on your theme and realise the image for the colouring book?
I wanted to lead on from an ‘An Artist Once Said’ and had been looking at Henri Rousseau as part of my research in depicting foreign lands that people may not have first hand experience of but have magical naive images of. So I looked at this idea of travel and exploring to discover, as Henri Rousseau himself did to produce beautiful images, through the medium of colouring.

I am so excited that Hannah Rollings is part of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. Available to pre-order as soon as my Kickstarter campaign is live!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,An Artist Once Said, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Hannah Rollings, ,Henri Rousseau, ,interview, ,jungle, ,Kickstarter, ,Michael O’Mara, ,PhD

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