Maker Spotlight: Nina Eve Zeininger

Maker Spotlight: Nina Eve Zeininger

Nina Eve Zeininger is a photographer, printmaker, and book artist based in the Bay Area. She's taught tons of classes at San Francisco Center for the Book using upcycled materials, and it could even be said that this whole cereal crafting endeavor was inspired by Nina! In 2011, she led a workshop at the first Craftcation (a craft business conference/vacation, of course), teaching attendees how to make books from, you guessed it, Attune Foods cereal boxes. Her work combines traditional bookmaking techniques with modern design that adds up to, as she puts it, "paper goods infused with sarcasm." We're honored to have her share some of her own inspirations with us today.

Tell us a little about your crafty life.

I came into the craft world sort of by accident. Growing up I wanted to be a marine biologist, so I could talk to dolphins, of course. In high school, I changed my mind and decided I was going to be a photographer. In art school, the photo world frowned on the crafty side of things, it was all about Art with a capital A. While I was in school, photo departments were switching from analog to digital. This just wasn't hands-on enough for me, so I gravitated towards the printmaking department and through that discovered bookmaking which let me be a lot more hands-on and crafty.

How do you incorporate upcycled items into your work?

I just really hate wasting things. Even when making projects from new materials, I try to devise a variety of projects that get smaller in scale so that I can use as much of that material as possible. My upcycling began when I realized how marvelous beer packaging is. I love the product design by so many different breweries and I hated seeing my friends throw 6-pack containers in the recycle bin. So I began breaking down the boxes and, after a few mock-ups, developed a French Link Stitch journal that with beer packaging covers. I have since utilized other food packaging including, of course, Attune Foods cereal boxes. I also use magazine and old dictionary pages as wrapping paper and last spring I made a series of pinwheels from an orphaned encyclopedia.

How does making things make you feel?

It's really hard to describe the feeling but making things is my most favorite thing in the world. I wouldn't say it's happiness, although making things definitely makes me happy; it's more a sense that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, it's comforting.

Share a special food memory.

What about special food moments? It might be hard to believe but I really don't like cooking. Making things is one thing, but cooking, not my cup of tea. I'm also an extremely picky eater and a vegetarian. I have several friends that like to cook and I love being surprised by what they concoct for me to try. I'll try anything once and sometimes eating is the ultimate adventure.

Who inspires you?

There are so many amazing people out there, I couldn't possible pick just one. I look up to people who are doing their own thing or got to where they are by taking their own route. All of my close friends fall into that category. Also, my friend and colleague from SFCB, Courtney Cerruti. She can make anything out of anything and she even just got a book published. Then, of course, there's my older sister, who was the first one to leave our home town/state. I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have her to look up to.
What are you obsessed with right now?

Well, I never cease to be obsessed with books. Right now I am also very into patterns. All kinds of patterns and how they go together, clash, how they are made.

Talk about a challenge that sometimes keeps you from crafting.

Work! Haha. I'm in the position that I think a lot of young people my age are in, where what I want to do just doesn't pay the rent (or the student loan bills). I work in food service, at one job I'm a line cook, lead bartender at another. They are great jobs, I get to be active and make things happen and I work with great people, but there is no such thing as regular hours or a 40 hour work weeks. This leaves me with little time for crafting, but I always find a way to squeeze something in, even if it's just folding some book pages or making a few gift tags while the laundry goes.
Visit Nina's online shop, Neon Sprinkles Studio, her blog, Things I Make and Find, or check her teaching schedule to find out what skills she'll be sharing next!

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About Us

At Attune Foods, we believe what matters most is what's inside. We make our foods from simple ingredients, simply made like Uncle Sam cereal, Erewhon organic cereals and grahams or our attune probiotic chocolate bars. Attune Foods commits to bringing you food that helps you feel good and that you can feel good about eating with your family.