Name: Ina Designs
Founder/Owner: Shafina Meghani
Brief Description: Sharing and selling original, hand-drawn artwork that is primarily inspired by, but not limited to, an authentic and unique African theme. Ina Designs uses a wide variety of art mediums and techniques – varying from simple canvases, pillow cases, fabric, wood, clothing, glass, and even walls! The design techniques themselves are also very diverse, but focused mainly on geometric-style designs.
Social Media: Click here to view Ina Designs’ Instagram page
Mission: The mission of Ina Designs is to create as much art that can touch as many people as possible in a positive and beautiful way. Ina Designs aims to not only have art that can be owned and enjoyed, but art that leaves as much of a positive impact on others as possible.
Local location: Toronto, Canada
The Discovery of Ina Designs
This little startup business is the very first one I have chosen to do a review on for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I personally know and grew up with the artist herself! The way the African-inspired artwork resonates in me in a very nostalgic way, the impressive beauty of the simplistic approach the artist takes in creating these unique “less-is-more” designs and the creativity that lies behind the different techniques are all additional aspects of Ina Designs that never fails to impress me.
A lot of the times when choosing to decorate our bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and even bathrooms, some jump straight onto Amazon or pop by the nearest Target to get the cheapest/prettiest decor that matches our ideal theme. Others choose to take it on themselves to create a very DIY-style approach to decorating in order to give it a unique look. However, very few turn to local or smaller artists to support their one-of-a-kind talent and story. What I personally love most about Ina Designs is the purpose behind the art which is to touch and leave a mark on the viewers of the artwork, giving them the opportunity to own their own piece that they personally were positively affected by. As Shafina Meghani, the artist behind Ina Designs, claims:
I cannot stress the importance of having even just a small positive impact on another human being – and that goes for anything.
Upon discovering the hidden talents of this artist, particularly with her being a very close childhood friend of mine, I decided Ina Designs DEFINITELY needed a well-deserved spotlight. The designs are glowing with vibrant talent and originality, and you can always reach out to her through her Instagram page to show your support and love by purchasing an already-existing piece, or even ask for a customised design!
Further Sneak Peek into Ina Design Pieces
As outlined earlier in the introductory description, Ina Designs is not only limited to basic canvas designs but to a endlessly growing variety of mediums and surfaces. With a primary focus on African-inspired art, Ina Designs has a impressive collection of many different geometric-style designs of animals.
Another surface the artist uses for her designs, which I personally absolutely *need* to get a hold of one soon, are the pillowcases. Check out how perfect they look! I would choose these hand-drawn designs over any pillowcase from a fancy store. The gold on the fabric looks so good.
She also uses a lot of wooden surfaces which I find really cool. Check out these two below! I love the simplistic style with lots of negative space for the wood to stand out, further highlighting the whole nature-style effect that is found in pretty much all her pieces. I am not from Toronto, but I’ll definitely be reaching out to her to order a customised New York City skyline as a little personal souvenir from my time here in America <3
In addition to wood, the Ina Designs artist also does customised wall designs that vary from small hand-sized to larger life-sized designs! If you ever feel like having these done at home and live in Toronto, feel free to reach out to her! She has a couple of videos on her Instagram page that show her creating them in time-lapse which is really interesting if you wanna check them out 🙂
Last but not least, here are a few examples of her clothing designs, which I would say are my absolute favourites. I can’t wait to get myself a couple hoodies and shirts with these designs! I love the colour choices too, I am personally someone who loves to wear earth-toned and simple colours. The designs themselves are also very well placed and maintain the whole simplistic minimalism style of the artist that is evident in all her work!
Let’s Hear From the Artist
“Ina Designs was originally composed of several different pieces of artwork inspired by Uganda – my country of origin. It started with a doodling on a piece of paper and then realising that those doodles may have some potential! These pieces would reflect similarly to the patterns deriving from African art/culture. The primary focus was on a variety of animals, however one may notice that elephants appear quite a bit in my artwork. They are exceptionally large and smart creatures. With an aggressive but also gentle nature, the paradoxical essence of an elephant relates to my artwork and its ability to stretch and transform vigorously.
I tend to stir away from limiting InaDesigns to a certain theme. Much like my mind, my art is messy and explorative. In this journey so far I have decided to go from creating simple art pieces, to drawing on walls and then to creating designs for clothing (I like to enhance the simplicity in those designs and see people wear it). With that approach, I wouldn’t say I like my art to be focused on a certain group of people but rather the more the merrier!”
Ina Designs is definitely one-of-a-kind and being inspired from African art and culture, particularly Uganda, this young artist’s designs leave a beautiful and rare mark on me – which is exactly what she strives for! Additionally, her Canadian and Indian-Filipino ethnic background also adds a unique cultural and artistic touch to her designs. I would highly recommend checking out her phenomenal work and supporting her journey as she is definitely an artist with impeccable talent and potential.