Zeina Zebian, Dubai based artist and designer has taken her love for shoes to another level by elevating her creativity and design experience into sculptural art pieces.
Zeina is a Lebanese who was born in Dubai and was brought up in the Emirates. Growing up, she spent many summers in Vienna, which influenced her artistic side by visiting many museums and old European Palaces. Traveling and exploring is one of her passions.
After completing one year of Fashion Design, Zeina graduated with a BA in Marketing and Advertising. In 1998, she was amongst the first graduating batch from the American University in Dubai. She then started a successful career in advertising with multinational companies and International agencies like Grey and BBDO/OMD as Senior Media Planner.
Zeina’s life was influenced by her dad, a successful businessman, as well as by her artistic mother. Design is in her blood as her great grandfather was a shoe designer working from his own atelier in Beirut. His wife was a hat designer and their daughter, Zeina’s grandmother, designed and handcrafted coats.
Zeina and her husband Tarek enjoy travelling and adventurous experiences, her favourite being bungee jumping and skydiving. They moved to New Zealand started a family there, becoming proud parents of Elisa and Aref.
Due to her mother’s illness, Zeina moved back to Dubai to be by her side. Over the years, she supported her mother through numerous challenges, accompanying her during extensive treatments in Germany, Beirut, and Dubai. The 14-year journey with her mum battling cancer influenced Zeina and contributed to her growth, mental and spiritual awareness.
Starting from 2000, Zeina continued her journey of spiritual awareness though learning many modalities, like Reiki, Breath work, and Access consciousness. Her favourite course was Self Revitalising, as it directed towards self-healing and discovery. She follows an alternative holistic approach and is a strong believer in Homeopathy and natural healing.
Throughout these years, Zeina felt that she neglected her artistic side and revisited her childhood dream of art and designing SHOES!!! Since the age
of two, she mastered walking in her mom’s high heals, and that vivid memory kept on ‘haunting’ her.
Following her dream, Zeina signed up for few art courses, her favourite being Art Journaling and a Shoe Design Short course with London College of Fashion. It was the best gift she gave herself, awakening her creativity and artistic talents.
On joining a clay-scultpturing course, Zeina decided to handcraft art pieces in the form of shoes, inspired by different stages of her Journey and personal development. She created three sculptures from the heart:
Her First Sculpture, “Polarity” is inspired by Rene Magritte after visiting his museum in Brussels. Zeina is a big fan of surreal art and her piece reflected masculinity vs. femininity and white (purity) vs. Black. The shoe base is feminine and the heel was the pipe represents the Masculine. The piece was intentionally left unfinished, as this is an ongoing battle of our world! It also represents her experience as a woman and her experiential journey as a mother.
Zeina’s 2nd sculpture, “Grounding” is inspired by her beautiful Mother. The piece features leaves surrounding and hugging the feet to enhance unity and earthly connection. The colour of the leaves red, yellow and orange are inspired by autumn, which are also colours of the first 3 chakras or energy centres. The color gold is associated with higher ideals, wisdom, and enlightenment. It inspires knowledge, spirituality, and deep understanding of self. The OM sign is present inside the sculpture.
This piece represents Zeina’s experience of landing into real life, marriage, work, pregnancy, children, and facing fears. It is dedicated to her beautiful mother who taught her strength, endurance, courage, and love for life and family.
Zeina’s 3rd sculpture is “Hermes”, messenger of God in Greek religion and Mythology. He is considered a god of transitions and boundaries. The colours represent Greece and its blue sea and ancient gold. Hermes is always seen carrying a Caduceus, which is the staff entwined by two serpents and wearing Talaria, his winged sandals.
This sculpture represents Zeina’s journey of healing, forgiveness and harmony. The snakes represent the triggered fear felt by Zeina after an accident that killed her beloved dog. Bella, her pet chihuahua, received the deadly snakebite meant for Zeina. This act of loyalty and love, along with the triggered fear of snakes, led her into another soul-searching
journey. The message of the sculpture is learning to accept loss, to understand death, and to move forward. The wings of the sculpture represent the liberating experience of her overcoming those fears, and finding forgiveness in her heart. She believes in the need to coexist in harmony and peace with animals.
Zeina is now pursuing her childhood dream, by merging her spiritual development with her creative entrepreneurship of shoe art. She is combining her love for art and design, into her sculptures and shoes. Her sculptures ideally serve as decorative art pieces and yet evoke new ideas for innovative shoe lines amongst creative designers. Zeina is contemplating and searching for the possibility of conceptualizing her art into wearable statement shoes.