I remember meeting this mama in 2012 who asked for
"some kind of a whale mother and baby included in the design, and maybe prayer flags or flowers."
I arrived at her home in Boulder and as she reclined on her couch I adorned her. Her daughter was there and I gave her a little whale on her hand as well. It was really fun! I filled in the whale with henna for a minute or two then wiped it away - that's why it's a different color. They returned to my studio a few days later to get the photos of the peaking henna.
I have adorned many women with whales (mostly pregnant women), but I think my first request for a whale came during my first year of doing henna on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was 2004 and one of the mamas I helped out (as a part time nanny) requested a whale on her belly. I'll always remember those special times in Hawaii, watching the whales.... I swam most days with many different creatures, but I only ever saw whales from the shore. Drawing them is difficult! I had found a book from the artist Wyland with all these sea creatures as "simple" line art and I was working with those designs. It was a lot more complicated than I originally thought.
Hawaii was whereI bought my first henna kit, way back in 2003, and mixed up my first batch of all natural henna. The smell of the eucalyptus essential oil is one that I instantly fell in love with. I remember that rush of KNOWING that I'd finally found my medium, and it was only a matter of time before I mastered this craft, because I was dedicated to learning. That first year I must have had a henna tattoo on me somewhere, all the time. Often on my forehead because, oddly enough, it stained really well there. There was something so magical about that time... it was where I really got in touch with my feminine side - I finally had the courage to embrace it!