how did you decide to be an artist full-time?

I've always been creating art in the background, but I never thought I could become an artist. After graduating with a business degree and studies in art and queer theory, I went into marketing because it felt like the closest I could get to the real thing. But I couldn't stay away from art for long.

I had been working full-time for a few years and recognized that if I applied the same energy, time, and devotion to painting as I did on my work, being an artist was a real possibility. Along the way, I've had immense support from family, friends, co-workers, and strangers who believed in me and helped me get started.

You can read more here about all the small steps that made up my leap into being an artist full-time.


why zen she?

There's a truth and flow that comes through me when I work, and I wanted that to be reflected in my artist self. I've always felt connected to my Chinese name, 曾晰 (zeng xi), which I help people pronounce by saying "zen she". I realized that is exactly how I feel when I'm making art. And that's how Zen She was born.

Side note: I love how my heritage carries into my English name, Diana Xi Zeng. Diana comes from my Chinese nickname, 点点 (dian dian), which means tiny tiny since I was a preemie. Long live preemies (and everyone else)!


where's your studio?

In my house! My studio is in our living room, visible from the street and all who enter our home. There's a quiet, ever-present force that drives me to create in a space that is constantly open to the world and myself.