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…

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

Add to Google calendar:

Open Studios Oct 27-28

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If you’ve always wanted to get a peek into my creative process, this is your chance! I’m participating in San Francisco Open Studios for the first time. Come by for a peek into my studio space and a cup of tea!

(I probably won’t have a lot of inventory in stock, so if shopping is your goal, come to West Coast Craft instead.)

Zai Divecha Open Studios
Oct 27-28, 11am-6pm
1426 Minnesota St

Click here 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.

WEEKEND 1 | OCTOBER 13-14
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

WEEKEND 2 | OCTOBER 20-21
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

WEEKEND 4 | NOVEMBER 3-4
WESTSIDE/FT. MASON: Fort Mason, Presidio, Richmond, Sunset, West Portal, Ocean View

WEEKEND 5 | NOVEMBER 10-11
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.

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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!

What I Listen to While I'm Working

I was recently interviewed by Various Artists about what I listen to while I work. Various Artists is a neat project that features creatives and the types of music that they listen to at work. Check out the article for a discussion of the role music plays in my work, some of my guilty pleasures, and a link to my go-to playlist. Enjoy!

Elektra Steel is now Zai Divecha

Exciting news! Starting today, I’m retiring the Elektra Steel brand, and will be going by my given name, Zai Divecha. Elektra Steel has been good to me, but I’m ready for a new chapter (at least with regard to the name). Cheers!

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You can find my artwork on Instagram at @zaidivecha. And if you're interested in my cycling adventures, my personal Instagram account is over at @zaiilsa

Photo by Jaclyn Le, one of my fave portrait photographers around. She’s based in SF, and she’s currently accepting bookings!

Kettle Collab with Fellow Products

Introducing my collab with Fellow Products! We’re raffling off this hand-painted Stagg Kettle to raise money for Girls Inc. of Alameda County. This collab fundraiser is in honor of Women’s History Month (aka #BossLadies Month). Raffle tickets are only a few bucks, and you can get them here: go.rallyup.com/fellow. Raffle closes March 31st, 2018.

Here are some behind-the-scenes videos of me working on this piece:

Experiments with Paper Folding

I've been experimenting with paper folding lately! I've been making pleats and pop-ups, working my way through Paul Jackson's beautiful instructional books. I love that it requires precision, it's highly tactile, and it involves a good amount of logic.