Henna is not an intuitive art. When I first picked up a cone, I was thinking "how hard could this really be?" - little did I know.
It's not to say that henna is mega difficult, but it's definitely a challenging craft to master.
But here's the bottom line...
If you want to draw stunning work like Henna by Divya or whoever it is that you salivate over, you must put in the practice time.
I repeat... YOU MUST PUT IN THE PRACTICE TIME!
Any artist you follow on Instagram who's work you're absolutely fascinated by is a result of years of experience, skill building and practice.
Don't ever compare your 1 year experience in henna to someone else's 10 years. I mean think about it... would a 5 year old child be able to write a story the same way a fresh university graduate would?
The answer is heck no! A 5 year old is lucky enough to even know how to read or write.
But if you're as busy as I am and simply cannot find the time to put in the practice, here are a few things you can do.
1) INCLUDE PRACTICE TIME IN VERY SMALL PORTIONS
I always had this illusion that my henna practice time should look like this: I light a few scented candles, turn some music on and become totally inspired to work for at least an hour or two.
I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG!
Here's the problem with that approach... with my insanely busy schedule, if I have an hour to spare, you better bet I'll either be having down time with the boo, watching Netflix or just catching up on my reading.
So this completely deterred me from practicing at all.
You seriously do not have to dedicate an entire evening to practicing henna. Even if you just practice 5 minutes a day, that would still total to 35 minutes worth of practice every week and that's not bad at all.
Let's multiply that even further - if you're putting in 5 minutes every single day, that's 150 minutes every month.
Do not discredit those 150 minutes. Your time is your greatest asset.
2) DO NOT RELY ON INSPIRATION OR MOTIVATION
*GASP* I know what you're thinking... "Are you crazy Nadine? I'm an artist. Art is all about inspiration."
I know, I know. While that's true, if you really want to make a decent living as a henna artist, if you're solely relying on motivation or inspiration to create henna art then I'm afraid to say, you will reach a dead end here.
I cannot tell you how many times I just didn't feel like doing henna (even though it's a serious passion for me, but I'm human and it happens!).
Instead, you should adopt a different mindset. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth or checking Instagram every few hours (hey, I don't judge!).
Don't wait for the mood to strike. Try to introduce it as a habit in your daily routine and all it needs is just 5 minutes each day.
And heck if you can't do it every day, why not 3 times a week? Or twice a week even? Till you can work your way up.
When you introduce it in small portions, you'll automatically find yourself devoting more time in the future.
3) PENCIL IT IN YOUR SCHEDULE
I live by my iCalendar. I can tell you exactly what I did on any given day for the last 6 years. That's how detailed my calendar is.
And if you're not one of those people that keeps a calendar, I'd advise that you start because it will improve your time management like crazy, especially if you work on several different projects simultaneously like I do (hello busy bee!)
There's something in the power of writing down your intentions. So if you literally write down PRACTICE TIME in your calendar, trust me, you're way more likely to do it.
4) ALWAYS HAVE PRACTICE CONES READY
I get super lazy when I don't have a batch of henna cones ready when the inspiration hits for me to draw henna.
What can I say? Us humans are procrastinators by nature.
But if you're constantly stocked up on henna cones, that's one less excuse laying around.
It's just like wanting to go to the gym but you realize that your iPod is out of battery. So what do you do? You skip the gym. I mean are you seriously going to the gym without music in your ear buds?
But if you're always prepared, you'll find that the motivation to sit down and practice time becomes something you're looking forward to.
And here's a little trick. When you come to mix a henna batch for your clients, be sure to have a few extra cones and put it away in your freezer. That way, you won't have to worry about having to make henna from scratch when you're ready to practice.
If you want clients fighting over you or don't constantly negotiate pricing, then your henna work has to be absolutely impeccable. And how can that be done? If you're constantly practicing.
Only clients who see value in your work will be happy to pay whatever your charges are rather than trying to bargain it down.
You should also be patient my darlings. Don't compare your work to someone who's been doing it for years and years. It's not a testament to your work or designs. The only person you should compare yourself to is your past self, ok?