“Henna art in high demand” Jen of ‘Jen’s Henna’

16 Mar

The kind of crafts I love, are ones that are both inexpensive and bring people together – two things that epitomise the ancient art of henna tattooing.

hand henna, henna tattooing,

Once used in ancient Egypt and India to adorn brides with elaborate floral patterns and motifs, it’s now more widely used amongst men and women at times of celebration.

The sciencey bit: Henna leaves alone won’t stain the skin. It’s only once the leaves have been sifted in to a powder, treated with a mild acid and worked in to a paste that it can form an almost instant stain upon contact with skin – growing darker the longer it is left.

I spoke to a talented young lady who’s busy sharing her passion for henna tattoing in both London and Cambridge! Jen of ‘Jen’s Henna‘ told me about how she got started, and  increasing interest and demand for henna at kids parties, hen do’s and for brides to be.

1. Tell us about how you got in to the art of henna?

I’ve been interested in henna since I was young – I remember once occasion when I was on a beach on holiday and saw someone doing amazing designs, I thought, I’ve got to learn to do that! I’ve always loved drawing patterns and so henna feels like quite a natural interest. I got hold of a henna kit when I was 17 and started practicing on myself and on friends. I’m completely self-taught, and so it was only after graduating from University and wondering what to do next that I started doing henna for money.

interview picture me

2. What’s your proudest henna project to date?

It’s hard to pinpoint a particular project but some the work I’m most proud of has come from when customers have brought their own ideas and asked me to translate them into henna art. I feel most confident doing my own designs, but some of my best work comes from being challenged to create something completely new.

interview picture 2

3. What inspires your work?

My work is inspired by henna designs from all around the world. Different countries and areas of the world have their own styles and I try to learn from all of these.  I particularly like the floral and paisley designs of India and Pakistan, as well as the straight and symmetrical patterns of Morocco and North Africa. I take influence from as many different sources as possible, but I don’t stick to traditional styles. I try to concentrate on developing my own style based on what I think looks good when the paste comes off.

4. Three words that sum up your personal style?

Bold, contemporary, eclectic.

interview picture 6

5. Is the awareness and love of henna broadening?

Yes, people are really mad about henna right now. It can get a bit crazy, I often have people ringing me at night saying they need henna right now! I get all kinds of customers wanting henna for different events and reasons. I’ve recently had enquiries about doing henna for weddings, Eid celebrations, press events, photo shoots and music videos. You really never know where you will be going next.

6. Your three top tips for people who want to get involved in Henna design…

  • First you need to get the feel of how to apply the henna. Aim for neat and even lines, this takes practice. The more practice the better.
  • Then search for inspiration. Try to copy a few designs and work out what styles you feel most confident with.
  • Lastly, start creating your own designs in a sketch pad. Try and develop your own style that you feel comfortable with, and once you feel comfortable, continue to challenge yourself with new techniques and styles.

interview picture 1

 

The kits offered on Jen’s henna website are a great intro for those who fancy trying their hand at henna. They also make a great gift for an artistic friend!

Check out all Jen’s latest henna designs via the Jen’s henna Facebook page or check out Jen’s daily henna inspiration on Twitter.

henna tattooing, henna for men, jen's henna,

Men’s henna design

leg henna design, henna tattooing, jen's henna,

Leg henna design

Cambridge, Cambridge canal, jen's henna,

Jen’s Cambridge canal surroundings

cambridge canal, jen's henna,

Jen’s Cambridge canal surroundings

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