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What inspires your work?
I draw a lot of inspiration from stories, be it ancient narratives or something that I have experienced myself. I love stories that are funny or a bit weird. I translate those ideas into products so that other people can also experience the stories. With my magnetic woodlands wallpaper, I wanted to create something that allowed users to tell their own tales using the magnetic characters, buildings and dry-wipe speech bubbles.
Using solvent-free inks, Zeng hand-makes and screen-prints these soft toy bears ...
What are some of your favorite design trends at the moment?
I’ve noticed that people love to make their own things and like to buy kits which they can then put together. I’m a big fan of kits or DIY tricks I read on various blogs myself. When they actually work, it's fantastic, and when they fail they become another item in the closet that you will feel bad throwing away for another few years.
Do you still draw by hand, or is everything digital in your studio?
I mostly draw my designs by hand first and then manipulate them digitally. There are still a lot of advantages with drawing by hand. For example, you can use a huge variety of mark-making tools; the colors mix more randomly, and I feel that I have a better control over my drawings when I draw by hand. On the other hand, drawing digitally with a tablet allows you to manipulate the image more easily to change its shape, touch up on areas, create different colorways and repeat patterns.
The most important thing on your work desk is ...
A series of colorful plastic mini animals on top of my computer. They look like they are on a march on my computer. I have them there because they make me laugh when I get into my studio in the morning. Also, they remind me when my computer needs dusting.
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