HennaCon is largely a volunteer event. These instructors generously donate their time, energy, and expertise to support the community and help each and every guest grow as an artist and business person. Our team of instructors are some of the most influential and experienced henna artists in the industry! Listen, learn, observe and enjoy this amazing group of talent that has come together just for YOU!
Surprise Instructors are Darcy Vasudev and Joey Anderson!
Melanie Ooi, Cora Fox, Jamie Sawyer, Olena Wilshanetsky, Tamara Brown, Nimisha Parekh, Himadri Sinha, Dan Rostin,
Krunal Tailor, Deborah Brommer, Prashanta, Leah Reddell,
Victoria Welch, Penni Al Zayer, Catherine Lent,
Wendy Rover, Michelle Schindler
& The Henna Caravan Ladies, Flavia, Jessica and Carissa McQueen
Note: Lineup is subject to change
Darcy Vasudev, Henna Lounge
Henna and Photography - TEAM TEACHING with Melanie Ooi
Darcy Vasudev is one of the most influential artists in her field, with over 15 years as a henna pro, and an international following. Known for her iconic style, Darcy's designs often "go viral" on Pinterest and Instagram.
Darcy specializes in destination wedding mehndi and creative retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Cuba, and Europe.
Her henna artwork has been featured in magazines, news articles and blogs, as well as in the short film, Blank Canvas. Despite all the press, Darcy shies away from the spotlight. She prefers one on one time with her clients. When she's not drawing on people or traveling, she chills in Oakland with her rescued 3 cats, dog, and boyfriend. She's not sure who rescued whom.
Joey Anderson, MehndikaJoeyHenna
England > Las Vegas, Nevada
Magical Henna Vines
Manifesting Abundance in Your Henna World
Joey Anderson discovered henna 7 years ago and has been on an obsessive path of discovery and learning ever since. She has quickly mastered her medium and focuses her time on educating and sharing her love of henna.
Joey is an Instagram Influencer and believes in the power of positivity, spreading joy and henna wherever she goes. She currently resides in Las Vegas with her two adorable pups and is preparing to move to Italy in the spring to join her air-force hubby.
Krunal Tailor, Krunal Tailor Henna Artist
Glam Up Your Life- Think in Color
Krunal Tailor, a Henna Artist based in London (UK) has been developing his unique approach to henna since childhood. Over the past two years he has fully committed to the art form and has been honing in his skillsets as an artist. Specialising in traditional and contemporary Indian bridal designs but not limited to just one school of thought. His inquisitive nature has enabled him to pick up a variety of styles such as Fessi and other modern approaches to the art. He believes henna is an art, it is a passion and is for all.
Melanie Ooi, Blue Lotus Henna
Health for Henna Artists
Booth like a Boss
Photography - TEAM TEACHING
Melanie Ooi has been on the artists journey her entire life- from the comic strips and flip books that she drew as a child, to the oil pastel and photography experiments of high school. She eventually picked up henna after many years of observing it from a distance, and found that she had finally discovered her ideal medium. In 2006 she decided to cultivate her career as a professional artist, bringing her skill to the Portland Saturday Market, and providing her services for parties, events, and private appointments in her exquisite henna parlor.
Melanie’s earlier artistic influences from years of living in Japan and traveling throughout the far East gradually gave way to the design styles she was infused with from journeys through Morocco, Turkey and India. Arabesque and paisley meld with her undying love for Art Nouveau and the deeply instilled design motifs of China and Japan.
This is all brought to life through Melanie’s interaction with her clients, as together they co-create artwork for the skin. Working with henna brings together Melanie’s love of art and the magic she finds in connecting with others.Originally born and raised in New Zealand by a Chinese mother and European father, Melanie has roamed the world since the age of 18 in search of adventure and life experience, eventually finding a place worthy to call home in Portland, Oregon.
Cora Fox, Flowerchild Henna
No Design No Problem
Effective and Meaningful Practice
Intro to Jewelry Style Henna
Cora Fox is a Minnesota native who has over 11 years experience with Henna. After receiving her Bachelors degree in Psychology and working as a Behavior Analyst for 5 years, she decided to take a break and renew focus on art. Cora has been a full time henna artist for 2 years and loves every second of it.
Her art is bright and eclectic, heavily influenced by jewelry and nature. Classically trained as a studio artist, she spent years painting and sketching models. This lends perfectly to her understanding on the human form’s natural structure as well as her passion for Body Henna. Cora is also a veteran of the fair and festival circuit, and is used to traveling around the country working state fairs in fast paced environments. Cora believes in challenging herself to constantly explore and try new things. However, a teacher at heart, she knows that this is where she truly belongs.
Jamie Sawyer, Sacred Space Henna
Elements and Principles of Design
Relax, its Only Henna
Working with permanent body art since 2002. I’ve always been into the many ways art will present itself in my life; often referring to myself as a “creative mind with a lack of vices.” When I was searching for another medium to “play” with, in the summer of 2016, Henna entered the proverbial room. It was love at first sight and has been a passionate affair ever since. Applying basic body art fundamentals and merging popular and traditional styles of tattoo with traditional henna design motifs, I have found a deep calm in the paste.
Olena Wilshanetsky, Anant Design
Mystical Math and Mehndi
Hutsul Motifs for Henna
Olena's journey as a professional artist began, oddly enough, with studying math and physics at university in Washington, D.C. during the 1990s. After returning home to Ohio, she rediscovered the joys of art and specifically henna and began pursuing it as a full-time art and passion. Her influences include her academic background, but they also emphasize her Ukrainian cultural heritage, especially the Hutsul pysanky (batiked easter eggs) and embroidery she was taught as a child by her grandmother. More recent influences of her henna art include the inestimable Catherine Cartwright-Jones, originator of western henna art, Penni Al-Zayer, Darcy Vasudev, Bridget Punsalang, Amelia Dregiewicz-Kinsey, and a host of others.
Olena's philosophy is simple: to stay true to the natural, rich cultural traditions of henna, supported by the best scientific research and safest practices, while promoting and educating about this most delightful of global arts. She uses her mathematical background to create geometrically-inspired pieces, and often includes patterns and motifs researched from pre-Christian designs as executed on historical Ukrainian pysanky. She also pursues a unique shading technique on her drums that has extended her range of color options while staying true to an all-natural recipe. Her devotion to safe practices includes using only the finest natural henna and essential oils, with no exceptions.
Tamara Brown, Opal Moon Henna
SHIELDS UP! Energy and Henna
Symbolism for Meaningful and Cohesive Design
Tamara Brown has been an artist from an early age. She attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and Ohio University’s School of Art, where she studied drawing and photography. In 1998, she found the medium of henna. She became intrigued by the symbolism used and the connection to a millennia-old, chiefly female, tradition. She later added her experience as a Reiki Master to henna design and symbolism studies, drawing while using energy healing techniques. She calls this practice Reiki Infused Intuitive Henna and employs it for clients in the Los Angeles area. Tamara also makes Hennaed Artifacts, paintings, and more adorned with upcycled henna paste. She can be found through www.opalmoonhenna.com.
Nimisha Parekh, MehndiCultr
Eastern, Aztec, & Traditional Henna Designs
Romancing the Lines & Dots with Kolam (Sikku a& Padi)
For over 2 decades, she’s been delighting women and girls from all over the world with some scintillating Henna masterpieces. Be it a bridal henna, a festival creation or a corporate launch, she fails none.
From being an amateur Henna artist, to being the co-founder of MehndiCultr (the world’s maiden Social Enterprise for Empowering women through the fine art of Mehndi), she has endeavored hard to spread cheer and delight amongst all those who’ve met her and had their Henna done by her or her team.
Meet Nimisha, the Mehndi artist extraordinaire from Surat, India, who has strongly and firmly established Surat on the global map when it comes to Henna art innovation and finesse. She pioneered the use of the ancient tribal art form of Warli using Mehndi as a medium and launched a series of magnificent Warli creations in Long Island, New York several years back on an Easter Sunday.
And in HennaCon 2017, she gave the world its first glimpse into the Southern Indian Art form of Sikku Kolam. Numerous awards and recognitions later, she decided to learn the science behind the art and this yearning for learning led her to qualify for ICNHA. Nimisha has been a frequent contributor to art journals, events and festivals across the world. She keeps her learning hat always on and is also a keen student of Indian traditional art forms. This quest of hers has been taking her to many art masters and gurus in various corners of the country. She invests time to learn the traditions behind the art and innovates Mehndi designs around these traditions to not only offer visual delight to her clients but also offer designs that have a deep meaning.
Himadri Sinha, MehndiCultr
Branding 101 for the Henna Artist
Monuments, Statues & Indian Palaces - An inspiration for the Henna Artist
Himadri is a HennaPreneur and the CEO & co-founder of MehndiCultr. He’s also the co-founder & Managing Partner of Oranje Training, the leading-edge Learning & Development Company with footprints in 21 countries. A training evangelist, social entrepreneur and a gifted conceptual thinker, Himadri has over 20 years’ experience as a highly regarded Branding Consultant, Speaker, Consultant, Strategic Planner, and as a mentor and coach to CEO's, entrepreneurial individuals and groups. Himadri’s keen interest in art, especially henna art led to the making of MehndiCultr which is a beacon of development and professional growth to over 500 artists (and counting).
Many Fortune 500 Companies and scores of start-ups and entrepreneurs have used Himadri’s services to train their decision makers.
Himadri has been certified on many management and leadership platforms from the best-in-the-business globally. He is;
• Globally Certified Stress Management Coach from Townsend International, Australia
• Silva Graduate from Silva Institute, USA
• Certified PQ & PA Coach from Vervago, USA
• Certified Coach for High-End People Skills Workshop for Microsoft, Asia-Pacific
• Trained to Deliver the Consultative Selling Skills Workshop by Door Intnl, Holland
• Certified Transactional Analysis Coach
Deborah Brommer, D Brommer Art
Floral Themes in Henna
ICNHA study session (TBC)
I first learned about Henna in 1999 when my sister was living in Morocco's Atlas mountains for 3 years as a Peace Corps volunteer and on my multiple visits to see her I became enthralled with Henna. Shortly thereafter I began my body art business! (My dad was happy to see I was actually using my Fine Art Degree!)
I quickly became a part of the henna community and began spreading the love for this beautiful traditional art wherever I could, moving from Columbus, Ohio, to the southwest in Phoenix Arizona, and now to Los Angeles area of California. As a board member of the ICNHA and a founder of Henna Hub I feel very passionately about spreading the word about the safety, beauty, and traditions of this glorious form of self expression! I have taught henna around the world, at the WBF in Austria, at the Wonder Down Under in Australia, at FABAIC, at FPBA, at LaFete, and at the old Sin City conferences. Since 2008 I have expanded my body art business and I am also a Fine Art Body Painter.
Although I am strongly attached to the geometrics of the Moroccan style to which I was originally exposed, I also love florals and flowing designs, and so my style is a bit all over the place, but it is always clean and tidy, and it always comes from a place of beauty and health and self expression.
Prashanta, Divya Henna
Back to Basics
Sacred Geometry - breakout
Perfecting Paisleys - breakout
Prashanta discovered her love of art at a very early age, encouraged by her grandmother, who was a painter and crafter. After majoring in biology, fine arts, and Asian studies in college, Prashanta worked briefly as a professional medical illustrator, until the emerging trend toward computer-generated illustration prompted her to pursue more “hands on” creative endeavors. With mehndi, she found the perfect blend of artistic expression that is steeped in culture and tradition. Her business name, Divya Henna, serves as a reminder to see the Divine in all things, and to make all of her artistic creations a divine offering.
Leah Reddell, Face Fiesta and Denver Henna
Going Pro- Business 101
Fast Henna for the Teen Scene
Leah has been a body artist since 2003, starting with face and body painting, and then diving into henna in 2007. Fifteen years later, over half of her business is from henna, and she loves the balance of all types of body art in her life and work!
She has trained with many amazing artists, and she has attending and taught at multiple face and body art conferences (FPBA, FABAIC, La Fete, and Polar Sling Spring) since 2005.
She loves how henna is always a growing and changing art form — there is ALWAYS more to learn!
Victoria Welch, Blurberrybuzz
Minneapolis St Paul, Minnesota
Fast & Furious in 3-5 Elements
Tone in binary color: An Art Theory Exploration in Henna
I first saw henna in 1996. It was beautiful, amazing and fascinating. I purposed to learn all I could about this art form. I spent ten years, studying, learning, practicing and gaining experience. In 2006, I made henna my profession. I began a career doing something I am passionate about. I'm known for my crisp clean line work and dense floral designs packed with a variety of elements. You can find me all over the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota bringing beauty to everyday life, one henna design at a time.
The Henna Faerie, Penni Al Zayer
New Plymouth, Ohio
Persian-style Figural Art
Celebrate Curves with Art Nouveau
Capturing the Likeness: Realistic Portraits
Penni AlZayer, The Henna Faerie, began a journey that has greatly enriched and changed the course of her life - first in Fes, Morocco, then during 15 years living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She is notorious for the short attention span that drives to keep things fresh by constantly evolving as an artist, and is seriously addicted to doing henna on drums when human canvas isn't immediately available,. When Penni isn't working at area festivals and events, she directs a variety of performance art projects. The Henna Faerie welcomes private clients to a sweet little vardo/studio adjacent to the whimsical woodland home she shares with her husband in Ohio's scenic Hocking Hills, just minutes from the region’s caves, waterfalls and hiking trails which are a constant source of inspiration.
Catherine Lent, Catherine Lent Design
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Catherine Lent was struck speechless by a magazine spread of wedding mehndi at the age of 7 or 8, and then promptly forgot all about it until seeing a tube of henna paste for sale when she was 15. After an initial love affair was thwarted by lousy product availability and really limited local access to books on the subject of henna, she waited for the internet to enable her passion to be rekindled. As an adult, Catherine started her working life teaching high school English, and in 2002 motherhood pulled her toward home, where she started a calligraphy and design business. Several years into the life of her daughter and her art business, her henna hobby emerged from the background and began to take center stage. Today, Catherine still practices calligraphy, marbling, and other arts, but henna design is the largest part of her creative expression and work year-round.
Wendy Rover, Roving Horse Henna
Artist At Work Station with themed casual workshops to be held at predetermined times on the patio
In 1993 I attended a henna workshop at an arts and retreat center, where I was also teaching about plant spirit medicine. I loved that henna was a plant, a paint, a medicine, was associated with women’s mysteries, magic, protection, and community and had a thousands of years history of use across many regions and cultures. By 2002 I was teaching High-school art full time and henna was a regular activity in my life. I shared it with friends, family, and my high-school students- everyone who would let me. Since moving to Oregon and starting Roving Horse Henna in 2005 I have focused on building my business, stretching the concepts of western fusion design, and exploring the use of henna body art in collaborative concept centered fine art photography. Participating in the connection that henna forges between plant and person, past and present, between cultures, between one another is the highlight of my work.
Michelle Schindler, An Affair to Remember
Detroit area, Michigan
Teaching: Freehand Glitter Mehndi, HennaGlam (aka white henna) Featured Demo's at the "Artist at Work" Station
I started in the body art business roughly ten years ago and have not looked back since!
My sister was called over to a friends house who received a henna kit as a gift. Her friend can't draw even a stick. I know, I've seen her stick!
My sister liked the henna so much she went to order more henna for herself. While searching the net and looking for henna products we discovered Henna Caravan and a brand new product with glue and glitter. We ordered it and when it arrived, covered each other with glitter and I've been covered in glitter ever since. Then one day we were at a festival and saw someone doing henna and face painting and thought,"Oh geez. That's awful. We can do better than that!"
And so here we are now, it was like a snowball rolling down the hill, just gradually getting bigger and bigger all on it's own. I get so excited just before an event. I love my job and meeting new people and my having my creativity challenged.
Anna Stuckless, Rovinghorse Henna
Anna, a Portland native grew up in her mothers henna booth. Over the years she has taken over management of the 'front of booth' and runs the team at Roving Horse Henna. In addition she frequently travels to California to assist Henna Caravan with large event management and assists with floor management at HennaCon.
You'll meet Anna at HennaCon2018 where she may be running a workshop on booth manager training, passing out baskets of henna cones or wrangling the group to stay on schedule!
Flavia McQueen, Henna Caravan
Teaching: Cone Rolling
Flavia began HennaCon 11 years ago as a girls weekend to celebrate the end of a crazy summer festival season with a few henna girlfriends. The weekend has grown over the years to include friends, family, and strangers who have become friends!
HennaCon has outgrown our backyard and moved to a hotel, and then another larger hotel but we strive to keep that laid back, celebratory feel.
During the week Flavia manages the online store and packs up orders for Henna Caravan when she's not chasing her grand babies.
Carissa McQueen, Henna Caravan
Carissa has been a lead artist with Henna Caravan since her sister, Jessica, forced a cone in her hand at a busy festival over a decade ago.
Henna has complimented her life and travels and taken her to Cambodia to train at risk women in the ancient art. She manages the professional development at Henna Caravan, is spear heading our philanthropy donations, and has implemented our brand new eCommerce Website all while coordinating the logistics and instructors for HennaCon 2018
Jessica McQueen, Henna Caravan
Teaching: Jagua, Bootcamp Basics, Henna Mixology
Jessica founded Henna Caravan in 1997 while she attended art college. After finding an old National Geographic magazine with a full spread of Middle Eastern female body modification including henna she was fascinated by it and went on a mission to find more about henna and it's history. There were just 3 hits on Google for henna in 1995! Two years and hundreds of hours of research and trial and error she had a solid recipe and a contact at an Indian henna farm.
Festivals and private appointments were her main focus but over the years that has slowly shifted to operating a full fledged body art supply company and organizing Henna Con along side her artist appointments.
HennaCon is proud to join with ICNHA to offer the certification live and in person at HennaCon! There is a fee of $25 for the exam certification and listing on the ICNHA website (the fee is $45 to take the exam online)
The International Certification for Natural Henna Arts (ICNHA) is a volunteer peer assessment for henna artists to certify they use only natural, chemical free henna and understand the cultural and traditional uses of henna.
The objective of this examination is to test and certify a henna artist’s understanding of the fundamental principles of henna, skin, hygiene, safety, culture and traditions. If an artist knows these principles, the artist can more effectively serve a diverse clientele safely, effectively, and sensitively.
Henna is a beautiful and safe art form, but when used improperly with the use of chemical dyes and questionable mixing procedures, it can be harmful and disfiguring. We only want to insure the safety of the client and artist by ensuring our artists know the best and safest ways to employ their art form.
Dan Rostin, iliyakis
Teaching: Explorations into Drawing, hot playing with markers everyday will make you a better artist.
We are sad to announce that Veronica and Mark will not be able to join us in person this year due to enhanced Visa restrictions. We've been diligently working together but have run out of options.
They will be joining us in spirit and will be greatly missed this year.
Veronica Krasovska, VeronicaLilu
Veronica began working with henna as a hobby in 2012 and was one of the very first artists to work with henna/mehndi in the Ukraine. She created a unique jewelry style using traditional Indian elements, symmetry and negative space.
Mark Samuels, Henna Threads
Henna Threads® began as a tribute of love to Rushay Angeliqué through a self-taught island-born creative. Based in Kingston, Jamaica and 8 years in, Mark is well known for an eclectic mix of North African and Middle Eastern styles using, strictly natural, self-made henna and jagua combinations. Henna Threads® never produces the exact work twice so you can always expect a fresh design with an ever evolving blend of the traditional and modern.