Slow Henna Part 7

How do you know you are not practicing slow henna?

Slow henna is a phenomena that requires the artist to slow down and re-enjoy the art of henna.  With the pressure of getting through people at a festival, or getting done with all the aunties at the wedding party, henna artists forget to appreciate the actual art of henna.  While it may be difficult at the beginning to slow down your henna, it is well worth the results.  

However, you may not even know that you are not practicing slow henna.  Here are a few symptoms of too fast henna.  

When you feel tired all the time after doing henna instead of feeling positive and refreshed.  It’s like you are working like a machine to produce as many pieces as you can, but you cannot do this with henna.  The art of henna takes a lot out of person, not only physically, but mentally as well.  As a practicing henna artist, you have to deal with not only maintaining your professionalism, but also keeping an eye on your lineup, supplies, line clarity, instructions, and aftercare, just to name a few. This sub-conscious multitasking can take a lot out of a person. 

Another symptom of too fast henna is not engaging with each person fully.  With a long line up, or with people hanging over your shoulders waiting for their turn, it can be stressful and can take away from the artist.  So instead of slowing down your art, you feel the need to speed it up to get through as many people as you can. So instead of bothering to ask the person’s name, you may just go through the gestures and your standard script instead of spending a few moments to recognize that a human is sitting in front of you to give them a piece of art on their body, which they will wear for several days or weeks. 

Fast henna all the time will also lead to you not enjoying the art form as much as you did before. With a constant fast pace in henna, you will begin to lose your artistic touch and will start piping out the same product from the production line, instead of individually, thought out, and positively intended designs.  And if you start to become a henna factory, you start to get tired and bored.  Instead, focus on slowing your henna down just a little bit and go back to enjoying the art form.  You are not a machine, you cannot produce the same thing over and over again.  That makes the art of henna mundane and still. 

Instead of getting tired, not engaging and not enjoying the art of henna, it is important as an artist to go back to the roots of henna and slow down.  So the next time you are in a high stress, long line, “need to hurry up” situation, take a minute to remember the following:

The art of henna should be enjoyed.

You are an artist and will create unique pieces for each person

You intend to enjoy this art form to the fullest

You will work as best as you can to accomplish what is needed, without sacrificing your physical or mental health, and without making henna lose its value and appreciation.  

Practice slow henna!