When asked about her favorite part of working with henna, artist Karyn Alzayer states, “I love the personal connection… there’s not a lot of places to go where someone holds your hand and creates something special.”

Alzayer began working with henna over a decade ago, inspired by her mother-in-law who worked as a professional henna artist in the Middle East. After working as a teacher, she decided to pursue her art as a career, using henna as a medium, but also including acrylic paints and fiber art. These mediums influence each other, as Alzayer’s creativity has led her to utilize the henna cone tool to complete projects outside of henna.

The experiences Alzayer had as a teacher have stayed with her. She states “when I’m teaching I am able to do so with heart…  and guide people in a healthy and enjoyable way.” Her time working as a teacher also inspires her activism, holding steadfast in the belief that we should speak up when something is wrong. “Sometimes the right piece of art can be a wrecking ball,” she explains.

In addition to her incredible artistry and devoted activism, Alzayer is a pillar of her community. She says “It’s so important for arts to be at the table, because the arts build trust. When people trust each other, then we have a community.”