Establishing my Henna Style




Establishing a henna style is something that I have struggled with for many years. It took me a really long time to figure out what my style was and it wasn't until the recent years when I decided that because I've determined my style, this would be the only type of henna that I would offer to my clients. That meant that I had some clients who wouldn't book me because they didn't like my style, but I figured out that I can't make everyone happy if I want to stay happy.

One of the first things that I did when I wanted to establish my own style was to figure out what types of designs I really liked. I went through the collections of photos that I have, of all my previous year's work and I tried to notice any patterns or similarities in designs through the months and years. I came to find out that I had a deep love and desire of doing grid fillers for designs. Once I had that figured out I knew I wanted to incorporate grids in any type of design that I would do. The next similarity that I found in a lot of my work was incorporation of shaded in, non-symmetrical, organic flowers. Instead of trying to go with this more modern trendy tattoo looking peonies or roses, I really did like the Arabic style flowers that I had spent so many years applying. So this became my second go to motif. I also analyzed the rest of my photos to figure out some other motifs that I was really attracted to and that I really enjoyed doing. I came up with leaves with fine spine fillers and lots and lots of paisley's. Although I personally was attracted to peacocks, I found that I wasn't really good at applying them nor did I actually apply them for henna clients. So I decided to keep my peacock motif personal and to myself.

One thing that I did notice was I absolutely hated doing some of the trendy designs that had gone viral. I disliked the placement or the types of motifs that were there, but I nonetheless applied them for my client because that was their request.

Now that I had figured out some main motifs and fillers that I really enjoy doing, I looked through and analyzed all of my pins and saved designs that are really bold and stuck out to me. One common thing with these designs was the layout of this design. So then I started doing a similar layout for my applications. It turned out that clients really enjoyed this layout, I really enjoyed the layout, and the layouts that I was coming up with wear bold enough for a really beautiful design, yet comfortable for any type of person. In order to determine my layout I started doing rough sketches of different layouts. I came up with about five layouts that really resonated with me. And in my design books I started playing around with those particular layouts for clients to see. One thing that I did offer earlier on to my client was the ability to change out some of the designs in a design book that I had created. This allowed them to change out the florals or the fillers and make it more personal to them. This is a little bit tedious at first, but as I started drawing more and more designs for bridal clients, I figured out that I had so many design collections to share. I eventually got to the point where I was taking in all of my drawing designs and my Bridal clients were choosing from my designs and my photos instead of something that they liked from Instagram or Pinterest. Sure, I did have the few people who wanted a certain motif or design element within their own Bridal henna, But I made sure to let them know that no matter what style or design they wanted, I would still be applying their design in my own style with a twist.

The time it took in determining my own style, which I call contemporary bold arabic style, was the span of a few years. It took me this long personally to come up with my own style for many reasons.
1- I didn't sit down to hone in on my skills and figure out my own style.
2- I was trying to cater to too many different types of people and offer too many different styles of henna. 3- I was still experimental in my head designing and wasn't sure about which layouts to go for.
4-I hadn't really narrowed down my ideal client. It took me a while to come up with up my ideal client and when I did, it was much easier for me to market and book clients.

The thing with henna is that it is ever-evolving. Art is always evolving, and as a person, you grow and change. Have you developed your own henna style?