Earlier this month I attended a conference for henna in Southern California. I had a great time with my sister for the weekend, I attended classes while she hung out reading and relaxing. I only recently started on my henna journey. I've been practicing for less than a year and like any new creative outlet I find myself thirsty for so much knowledge. I want to make every part of the paste and have complete control over my finished product, I'm no where near that level but I did learn a lot and am excited to keep investing into my henna arts.
One of the classes I think was most helpful was the paste mixing class with Joey Anderson. I use her paste whenever I work on clients because I trust the stain will be the darkest and it's what I learned on. I've made my own paste a couple times but I'm still not totally convinced it will stain as dark as hers. It was great to mix the paste with other attendees to see how thick or thin we should make it and to see what ingredients each person prefers to work with. Our group used lemon juice and an essential oil blend from Henna Caravan.
I liked the smell of this one for sure, I'm usually just a lavender kind of girl but I wouldn't mind branching out and trying new oils.
After our paste making class I also took a Henna Glam breakout session with Joey and we all just sort of drew on our hands with the liquid gel. It's not really henna, because it doesn't stain skin, it's meant to rest on top of the skin and it's water resistant unlike henna paste and stains you can rock this at the pool without worrying about ruining the stain. It's definitely a fun but not everyday product, and after experimenting with it, I purchased a teal, purple and white, glam so that I could do fun accents to my henna work at festivals and such.
Another class I was so excited to try was the syringe class from Hand of Fatima. Her work is utterly amazing and in traditional Moroccan style she only uses a syringe. I'm still learning on the syringe but it's really a fun technique for getting geometric lines and since it uses different hand muscles I feel like it breaks up the routine of using a cone (because when your hand is cramping but you want to keep drawing, you need an alternative).
And while I was in class almost all day, I think the Artist at Work stations are probably one of the coolest components of Henna Con. For those a little less shy than myself you can ask well known henna artist to add to your collection.
And this is a jagua piece by Maaz of hussainmaaz
This gel is straight from the source from FreshJagua. It's not henna it's a gel fro an Amazon fruit and it stains black, you have to wash it off with soap and water unlike henna which you wouldn't want to get wet.
Watching Joey from Mehndika Joey Henna. Super fascinating to watch each artist draw freehand the most beautiful designs. Seriously such a talented group of teachers.
My sister set up a braid trade doing braids on people in exchange for henna. Not going to lie super jealous since she wasn't in class she had more time to mingle.
Can't wait for next year! The dates were just announced for October 12-15 2017 and you know as soon as tickets go on sale I'm getting mine! I'm also looking forward to next year's Henna Huddle in the UK where I'm hoping Husband and I can slip off to for a week without kids and we can jump over to Ireland and Scotland. Anyway that's the plan.
There's also Spring Fling in Oakland and Polar Sling in Minnesota which are also on my list for future events!
I'ts pretty exciting to see where your creative outlets take you. I hope someday I can build a life that allows me to travel with my family and create art along our way.