The Dominican henna artist, Shantall Alam took the social media with storm with her beautiful henna designs!
Her henna designs went viral sooner than she had expected. The henna artist rose to fame with her pregnant belly henna art for expecting mothers.
Talking to us in an interview, Shantall told us that henna art is her passion. Ever since the young age of 15, she has dreamed of becoming a henna artist, if only she had enough resources for it at the time. Ten years later, she feels accomplished with her surreal success.
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She said, “As a 15 year old, I wanted to learn so much, read as much as I can and at least tried to draw the beautiful designs that brides had on Bollywood movies.”
Alam told us about how she was introduced to henna. She said, “I started with henna tattoos around 2009, just for fun. Since my mother is a painter and my house is an art school/ art gallery. I have been interested in Arts all my life”
Around December 2013, she started doing henna again for her classmate. With time, more people starting showing interested in the tattoos. Her little business started officially in 2014.
This henna guru uses completely natural ingredients; most of her henna is brought from Rajasthan, India and Jagua Ink from Brazil. Although, tattoo is considered a taboo in her country, she was empowered by the positive response from her customers.
Alam added, “It was actually a very warm welcome since tattoos are a taboo in my country. And it’s not very common to see people with visible tattoos in their bodies.”
“So it made me happy, and it surprised me as well to see so many people interested in this beautiful art and technique.”
The skilled henna artist realized her passion for the art while watching the movie, “Mistress of Spices”. She was overwhelmed with excitement when she personally saw henna for the very first time in 2009, at a festival in Lebanon.
Miss Alam shares her feelings as: “I was never in contact with henna, since there are not many Indians in my country. And in 2009 I went to Lebanon to study Arabic, and there was a woman doing henna art in a Festival so I was like ‘Why not ?’.”
“I wanted to do something like this, to make people happy with my art, to learn more. And from that moment on, my little research started.”
During the interview, Shantall mentioned her low self-esteem as the biggest hurdle she had to face before starting her own business. Self-doubt was a huge problem for her, she would worry if her work will be applauded.
“It was a bit difficult, not to get clients, but for me to stop being shy, and show the world what I could do. I was nervous of people’s reaction, what if they didn’t like it? what if I did it wrong? I practiced for years, before receiving my first client.”
She, later, became the key to a big event in a middle eastern restaurant in her city and attended forty people at the event.
The event gave her a chance to socialize, share stories and make new friends through her talent. She was extremely happy to be able to publicize her talent.
Shantall mostly does Indian designs, the Moroccan and Khaleeji ones are also in demand. She briefed us about her business, including her designs and the services that she is currently offering to people:
“I work in Punta Cana with Indian Weddings doing bridals and henna parties, and in Santo Domingo, pregnancy designs, back designs, hands, feet, all. At the same time, I teach people about natural henna.”
“Since black henna and pre-made cones are available in the market and that affects true henna artists so much with their work.”
As an architecture student, she considers her passion a part-time thing. Though, she does include her designs everywhere, be it drawings or textile. She also told us that she will be starting her own henna powder brand.
Miss Alam said: “I am soon going to offer my own brand of henna powder, made in Rajasthan. It will be the first natural henna powder with Spanish label in Latin America.”
“And in a way, I wish to travel to more cities to teach people about henna. So I created my own designs along the way as well.”