Lifestyle Blogger Zeena Shah’s Instagram Feed Is A Colourful, Positive Treat
She talks to ELLE about her favourite hues and its correlation with positivity
London-based textile designer Zeena Shah wears multiple hats. Apart from designing her own line of textiles, she’s an Art Director, stylist and TV presenter, has published two books and runs her Instagram page, @heartzeena. Her zeal for life and go-getter attitude is reflected on her social media feed through a myriad of colours. From vivid detailing in every nook, playful ginghams, flowers in full blossom to arresting backgrounds, her content feels like consuming watermelon on a balmy summer day. Refreshing!
She talks to ELLE about her favourite hues, its correlation with positivity, her obsession with colour, Instagram challenges, journey with social media, struggles and more.
ELLE: How did your love for colours start?
ZEENA SHAH (ZS): I have always been drawn to colour. From a young age, I remember loving colourful clothes and patterns. I really honed my sense and passion for colour at art school. I studied Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art, where I would spend hours in the dye lab making sure my fabric and printing inks were just the right shade.
ELLE: What inspired and pushed you towards starting your own Instagram page dedicated solely to your love for your colours?
ZS: Like most people, I started my Instagram account many years ago for fun and social networking with friends and family. It has been a really organic journey. I’m an Art Director and stylist, and so I love to curate my feed and fill it with things I love. My work is always evolving, and colour is a part of it. It inspires so many other elements of my life. My feed is me, and I really enjoy sharing my colourful and creative world. But I also want to inspire others to find their colour and creative confidence too.
ELLE: What have been some of your biggest creative prompts?
ZS: Definitely doing more of what I love and enjoy. I create content for me as well as my audience. In March 2020, when the pandemic hit the UK, we were plunged into a lockdown filled with uncertainty. I started the #InstaRainbowChallenge with a friend @talliwall as a way to bring some colour and joy to our feeds. We set an Instagram challenge with daily colour prompts and asked our audience to dress in a different colour each day to create a virtual rainbow of hope on their feeds. It was wonderful to see our followers get involved and creative.
ELLE: What’s your personal opinion on the correlation between colours and a positive mind?
ZS: Colour and positivity go hand in hand. Surround yourself with colour, and you will smile every day. Notice the effect wearing yellow has on your mood compared to a day you might wear something black. Your mind will be blown!
ELLE: How do you keep yourself motivated to be creative constantly?
ZS: Creativity is part of who I am, and my work really is an extension of me. It comes naturally and easily because I enjoy what I do. I always say that ideas are never the problem for me—it’s the time. There aren’t enough hours in the day! I do go through periods of working too hard and have suffered from burnout on more than one occasion. So, it’s important to take care of yourself, rest well and energise yourself every day. I also think being self-aware and knowing yourself is everything when it comes to being motivated. Knowing what you need, when you need it and when to take a break is key.
ELLE: What are your top tips for someone who wants to incorporate more colours in their everyday life?
ZS: Embrace it! Starting small is always my best advice. Colourful socks, scarves, hair accessories are an easy way to inject a bit more colour into your everyday outfit. Build your confidence, and then you can move to adding a colourful layer. Find your colour—once you know what suits your skin tone, it is much easier to feel colour confident and then experiment with shades.
ELLE: If you had to pick, which would be your favourite colour?
ZS: It has to be pink! It really is one of the most versatile and joyful colours. I love that pink encompasses so many shades and tones that can bring joy to everyone.
Photographs: Courtesy of Zeena Shah