Yesterday was the Passport to India event at the Nelson Atkins. I was honored to be asked to go and teach and talk about henna again.
This is an incredible event!
I was not doing henna so I actually got to talk to people, which is very unusual. Typically my head is down, I am working and I usually miss everything going on around me.
I met so many amazing people. So many who were interested in trying the art form.
My reply to anyone wanting to play with henna is, DO IT!
I am always extremely honest when it comes to henna as a business, there is no money in it in the Midwest. If you think henna would be a good way to earn some money, it really is not. I earn enough to cover my expenses, pay taxes and help with groceries in the summer.
I do henna because I love it! Because it makes people happy. It gives me a place in a society that I normally would not fit into.
I know it look like I have a website and blogs and a facebook and blah blah blah business. ... but it really is not. It is my heart.
The last several years many people have contacted me trying to exploit my knowledge and skill to make them money. It has left me quite jaded.
I am super protective of henna. It really is like a child to me. I am deeply connected to it and people who see it as a money maker piss me off. There is no other way to phrase it, it pisses me off!
BUT, the people that have passion for it, the people that are interested because it pulls at them in that mysterious way only henna can; I have endless time for those people!
Yesterday I had a room full of people and a couple of girls and their mom sat down. Mom told them to use the provided markers to "draw a nice little flower, do it nice, make it look good." Wha what?
Henna is not about aesthetics. Did she have any idea how many years of practice it takes to draw a "nice flower."
I flipped my hand over and showed the girls the henna scribbles I have from my daughter. Right now I am covered in fine detailed bridal henna.... and it means nothing to me. But, where my son tipped my fingers, where my daughter scribbled on my fingers. THAT is my favorite henna! THAT is what it is about!
That mom was rather perturbed. I told her kids that a nice designs means little compared to the heart and intention you put into a design, but oh well. Little old rebel me, bad influence. Ya know, corrupting the youth with creativity. Hmmmmmmm. I like that!
KC Henna Corrupting the youth with Creativity. I see a new motto in my future.
Anyhow. I met so many wonderful people. It was such a great time. I dearly hope I am invited back!
The room leaders hung up my practice work on the walls, which is just crazy to me! Funny to think my artwork hung in the Nelson Atkins. *phloof mind blown.* (even if it was only for a few hours, in a classroom, for an event.... it still counts right? Ha ha)
It was amazing to see people taking pictures of my practice sheets and all of the compliments. It was so wild. I am still processing it.
I am still unsure how to convey my deep appreciation for all of the compliments. It is so foreign to me. In my eyes my work it still the scribbles of a new henna artist. It is hard for me to digest it is something. :)
Thank you to everyone that came out. Thank you to the Nelson Atkins and the India Association of Kansas City for hosting.
Thank you guys so much.