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Meet Sehreen Shahzad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sehreen Shahzad.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am a digital artist and illustrator based in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was involved in arts from a young age but my actual artistic journey started from Karachi, Pakistan where I graduated with a degree in film and design. Filmmaking is still a relatively new subject in Pakistan and so I was amongst the very first lots of film graduates there.

I was interested in animation and production and luckily found myself employed at a very prestigious production house in Karachi. We were entrusted with the challenge of making Pakistan’s first 3d animated feature film for young adults under the direction of a Pakistani Emmy Award Winning director. It seemed like a mammoth of a task and I immediately found myself completely immersed in developing concept art, environments, and storyboards for the film. The film was very well received and the director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy went on to win two Academy Awards in the following years.

Following the success of the film, I pursued my passion for the visual arts, I traveled to Italy where I collaborated with a film festival and produced some short films of my own.

Currently, I am settled in the USA and continue working as an illustrator and artist. I have a few children’s books to my credit and just recently opened my own Etsy shop where I offer a wide range of cute and custom products. I develop and craft all the products in my own art studio with the help of my husband.

My husband has been a very supportive companion in my journey of art in the US and encouraged the idea of taking my brand ‘Sehreen’s Art Lab’ to art conventions and comic cons.

This year, we took Sehreen’s Art Lab to Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky where I got to meet some very interesting artists and also started building a fanbase of my own. I am very excited to see where the coming years will take me next.

Please tell us about your art.
I make a lot of cute, colorful, children oriented art in different mediums.

As a child, I started reading from a very early age because I was always attracted to the illustrations and wanted to know the context behind them. This produced my lifelong fascination with illustration and storytelling especially of the colorful and whimisical kind.

I also make handcrafted custom pins, acrylic and wood pop art jewelry. I use a laser engraving machine for my wood and acrylic designs. The process starts from my computer where I first draw and conceptualize the art using my digital drawing tablet. The designs are then either baked, printed or engraved depending on which medium I am working with.

When people look at my art, I like to think that they leave behind their own lives for a bit and get absorbed in the colorful settings and stories of my characters.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Storytelling through imagery has always been a very universal way of communicating ideas and expressions across the world and now social media has bridged that gap even more.

Thanks to social media, artists are more empowered, aware and able to participate in national and international issues that affect the world. I think in that way, artists have a more influential role in these times.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can see my portfolio at my website:
www.sehreensartlab.com

My custom products and merchandise is available at:
www.etsy.com/shop/sehreensartlab

My Instagram is relatively new but I am very active on it. Follow me for regular updates at:
Instagram.com/sehreensartlab

Lastly, if you happen to be at the Louisville SuperCon, Cincinnati Comic Expo or Indiana Comic Con, come to say hi to me in the artist alley!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
My personal photo was shot by: Hani Naqvi, All product photography: Sehreen Shahzad

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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