Quiet Type

I recently participated in the 36 Days of Type, an annual, global design challenge in which illustrators and designers each create and share one letter or number every day for 36 days.

I’ve never taken on this kind of daily challenge before, and it was tough! It forced me to stay on a rigorous schedule of producing and sharing new work every day. It was fast-paced, and there were several days in which I cut it really close to the deadline. It gave me a good excuse to develop new techniques, some of which have already made their way into larger standalone pieces.

Below is a quick snapshot of the entire project, but click here for larger photos of each one. The alphabet is currently on display at Marrow Gallery, and it’ll be up through May 25, 2019.

Architectural Digest

Quick mention about my solo exhibition “White Noise” in Architectural Digest!

Downloadable Phone Background

Here’s a nice, calm geometric pattern you can use as your phone background and lock screen.

To save, open this page from your phone, tap and hold to save the photo, then head to your phone’s settings to change the wallpaper. Enjoy!


Installation at Square

I just finished this 10-foot long installation for Square! I’m so excited to finally share this with you! I’ve been a Square seller since I started my art business in 2015, so it was an honor to create a large piece for their San Francisco Headquarters.

This piece is a balance of order and chaos. Each strip is pleated in a repeating pattern, but the strip size and scale varies randomly across the piece. I actually used a random number generator to randomize the strip order. Humans are notoriously bad at artificially creating random sequences, so I didn’t trust myself to wing it! (The only rule I added in was no repeats — I didn’t want adjacent strips to be identical.) From afar, it reads as organic and textural. Up close, the orderly patterns emerge.

In case you were wondering what 6,000+ folds might look like, this should give you a good sense!

Feature in Luxe Interiors + Design

Luxe Interiors + Design recently did a beautiful spread on me and my work! In it, I talk about what I love about both metal and paper. Check it out!

Mention in ART + DESIGN

Small mention in ART + DESIGN Magazine!

West Coast Craft Winter 2018: Nov 17-18

Looking for a special holiday gift for yourself or for a loved one? I’ll be selling at West Coast Craft for the first time this winter! Mark your calendars…

2018-08 Zai Divecha Paper Pieces-46.jpg

Zai Divecha at West Coast Craft
Nov 17-18, 10am-6pm
Fort Mason Center

Add to Google calendar:

Open Studios Oct 27-28

2018-07 Zai Divecha Studio.jpg

Come by my cozy little studio and get a peek into my process! Come for a cup of tea; stay for a paper-folding demo. This will be a low-key, intimate vibe -- keep me company while I make pieces for the holidays. For those eager to get a head-start on holiday shopping, I'll have a handful of pieces ready to purchase. My studio is dog- and kid-friendly.

My studiomates J·Liston Design and Niki Ulehla will both be showing work as well! 

WHEN: 11am-6pm, Saturday Oct 27 & Sunday Oct 28
WHERE: 1426 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 


CAN'T MAKE IT? I'll also have a booth at West Coast Craft Winter '18 Nov 17-18 at Fort Mason! Come shop then!

PARKING: You can park in any of the spots labeled "ShopFloor" or "Harmonic." There are spots available on both sides of the building (Minnesota St and 26th St). 

FINDING MY STUDIO: Walk in through the giant roll-up garage door. Come up the stairs. My studio is the last one on the right.

MAKE A DAY OF IT: As long as you're in the neighborhood, check out some of my favorite local gems:

- Grab a beer from my friends at Harmonic Brewing!
- Get your caffeine fix at Philz Coffee - Dogpatch Minnesota
- Swing by a dozen galleries at the Minnesota Street Project.
- Try fusion Gujarati food at Besharam.
- Get a pizza or a meatball sub at Long Bridge Pizza Co..
- Savory or sweet pastries at Neighbor Bakehouse.
- Walk your dog to Esprit Park - 20th Street Overpass.
- Shop local makers at The Workshop SF or Industrious Life.
- Go bouldering at Dogpatch Boulders (don't break your ankle there like I did).
- Swing by the Museum of Craft and Design (or at least the gift shop).

Click here to see the Facebook event. Click the button below to add the details to Google calendar:

And if you want to explore the rest of the San Francisco art scene, check out all five weekends of Open Studios! From ArtSpan, the organizing group:

Each weekend, artists in different neighborhoods of San Francisco welcome the public into their studios and exhibit spaces to share their artwork. You can explore bustling group sites and tiny private workspaces. Whether you are shopping for art or seeking to connect with the creative soul of the city, you are welcome to attend.

Here’s the full schedule — I’ll be opening my doors for Weekend 3, October 27-28.

NORTH/SOMA: Marina, Russian Hill, North Beach, Pacific Heights, Western Addition, Downtown, Tenderloin, MIDMA, SOMA, Hayes Valley, NOPA, Upper & Lower Haight, Buena Vista, Cole Valley

Hunters Point Shipyard

WEEKEND 3 | OCTOBER 27-28 (This is my weekend!)
SOUTH/EAST: Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Bernal Heights, Portola, Excelsior, Balboa Park, Visitacion Valley, Outer Mission, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, Islais Creek

WESTSIDE/FT. MASON: Fort Mason, Presidio, Richmond, Sunset, West Portal, Ocean View

SF CENTRAL: Mission, Castro, Noe Valley, Duboce Triangle

All five weekends are open, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am - 6pm. Click the map below to see the PDF of all participating artists:

Studio Music: Lush // Grit

Here's what I've been listening to the last few months. It's a lot of hypnotic, edgy beats with lush instrumentals and couple sexy vocals thrown in. Enjoy!

Micro Pleats!

Just as an experiment, I replicated one of my larger pieces at half-scale. I halved it again, making an even smaller one. I thought I was done, but my studiomate Emi Grannis, lover all things microscopic, challenged me to half the scale again! Challenge accepted! I did some of the smallest pleats I've ever done. Here's the largest and the smallest ones:

Connections: Open Studio Exhibit

My studiomates and I opened our doors and showed off new work this past weekend. I showed a paper installation that featured projected light effects by Phil Reyneri and Lightform

Work on Display at Farley's Coffee

My absolute favorite local cafe, Farley's Coffee, has my work up on the walls for the month of July! They're a mainstay of the Potrero neighborhood -- they have a lovely parklet right outside, they host an annual pet costume parade for Halloween every year, and they always feature local artists' work on their walls. And they have bomb empanadas and oat milk matchas, too. Go check it out: Farley's Coffee SF 1315 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107.


Red Stitched Accents

I've started incorporating tiny red stitched accents into my paper pieces, and I'm feeling pretty excited about it. It's such a small detail, but on a simple, otherwise monochromatic piece, it can change the feel of it.

Bob Cut Feature

Bob Cut recently did a feature on me! They describe themselves as "a culture platform and magazine that speaks to living, loving, and being in the best city on the west coast." As a Bay Area native, I'm totally honored.

In this deep-dive interview, we discuss the recent name change, my creative influences, and how I feel about metal versus paper. Check out the interview here!

Zai's Annual HIV/AIDS Fundraiser

Every year, I raise money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. I've raised $35,000 for the cause so far, and I'm planning to raise another $3,000 in the next month. In the past, I've raffled off a handful of prizes. This year, I'm switching it up a bit by guaranteeing a prize to everyone who donates a given amount! 

Here's how it works:

  1. Decide which reward below you'd like to "purchase"
  2. Donate that amount here with a credit card: http://tofighthiv.org/goto/zai2018
  3. I'll send you a separate invoice for the shipping cost
  4. I'll ship you your reward!

Additionally, everyone who donates any amount under $50 will get one ticket in a raffle to win a small pleated paper piece or an enamel pin. Thus, everyone has a shot at winning something, no matter how small the donation. 

Fine print: I'm capping my fundraiser at $3,000. Once I hit $3,000, you can still donate, but I can't guarantee any rewards. 100% of the donated money goes to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, two organizations that are doing critical, life-saving work to support people in my community. The shipping fees go to me, just to cover my shipping costs. 

$50 (plus shipping): One enamel pin

$100 (plus shipping): One small pleated paper piece

$200 (plus shipping): One medium pleated paper piece

$300 (plus shipping): One large pleated paper piece

$500 (plus shipping): Large pleated paper piece + I will bike up the infamous Quadbuster hill an additional time

Under $50: One ticket in raffle to win a small pleated paper piece or an enamel pin

Some backstory:

This June, I'll be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle for my seventh year in a row. AIDS/LifeCycle, for those of you who have never met me, is a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from SF to LA. It's a massive fundraiser that supports the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, two organizations that are doing critical, life-saving work to curb the AIDS epidemic in California. This video about the ride will make you laugh, cry, and want to sign up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoxJ6G5OKTg

I participate in AIDS/LifeCycle every year for a number of reasons. I first got involved because the focus of my master's thesis research was HIV/AIDS, STIs, and sexual and reproductive health, and I wanted to find ways to support the cause outside of academia. I fell in love with AIDS/LifeCycle, and I kept coming back for more.

This will be my seventh year in a row participating in AIDS/LifeCycle. Prior to this year, I've personally raised $35,000 for the cause, and for two of those years, I was founder and captain of the Box Team, which raised over $130,000 while I was in charge. I'm currently a training ride leader for AIDS/LifeCycle, and spend most of my weekends leading rides and supporting people new to the community.

I ride because I have friends who have have been touched by HIV or AIDS, and I see that the fight isn't over. I ride because the federal government still refuses to fund effective harm-reduction programs like clean needle exchanges -- which means that we rely on private donations to keep these services afloat. I ride because I love the AIDS/LifeCycle community -- including everyone who has ever donated! -- and what we can accomplish together!