I am disgusted and appalled at the level of bitchiness and bad mouthing about fellow artists.
I have just finished one of Ash Kumar's first henna courses in NYC and found it to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I left the course feeling more motivated and inspired than ever before. He's is an inspiration and a brilliant teacher and I’ve understood henna in a completely different light.
All I have read is negative comment and signs of jealousy. I think we should all respect him for what he has achieved and the platform he has taken henna too.
If anyone is reading these negative comments who wants to learn henna
Should definitely book on and ignore these comments that have no clue about what they are saying. They have not attended the course and obviously these comments come from a place of jealousy.
I came onto this forum thinking I will be learning new things and sharing my passion for henna with likeminded people but all I have found is a group of artist who have nothing better to do than put down fellow artists.
AND YOU CALL THIS A COMMUNITY.
I have just booked onto the Ash Kumar 8day makeup and hair course and cannot wait for another life changing experience. Those who have thought about, just book it.
Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Location: san francisco
Welcome to HennaTribe. That is great to hear about your experience with Ash Kumar!
Up until now, I haven't heard a lot of positive things either (unless they came from his mouth), and because I haven't seen a lot of his work, only the few photos that have been on his website for at least 5 years. I guess I have never been impressed, as the photos on his website are very nicely styled for fashion, but show what I consider to be very sloppy henna. Maybe I'm just OCD. ;)
I have, however, been very impressed with his skill at marketing himself and also for making henna more widely known. It is definitely a household word here in the USA. I do think his arrogance does turn a lot of us off, so that is refreshing to hear that you found him to be a brilliant teacher. I am sure it can't hurt your business to have his name on your website too.
I'm very glad to hear about your positive experience and wish you all the best with your business. Would love to see some photos of your work if you get the chance. :)
Once again, welcome to the Tribe, and thanks for sharing your experience.
Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, Washington
okay, I know this is going to surprise a lot of people, but I took the Ash Kumar class in November -- mostly out of curiosity, because I was feeling stale and needed a kick in the pants, I happened to have the funds at that time and because I thought I would learn something about his marketing.
I DID learn a bit about marketing and strangely enough, even after doing henna for 16 years, I also learned some techniques and tricks that have speeded up my own work. Some of his techniques are counter-intuitive to the way I have always worked, and therefore challenging. It's interesting though, at this point in my life, I am doing less and less festival/large henna events and doing more painting, and yet some of the stuff I learned I have been applying to some of my canvases.
Was it overpriced? Definitely yes.
Was it worth it? A measured Yes. He knows a lot about the industry, he has done his homework on henna chemistry, and he is a very decent artist. I was disappointed that he seemed to not know much about henna history and could not answer a couple of my questions about where he got historical information that I thought was simply wrong. However his historical information lasted all of about 30 seconds, so he wasn't really pushing it.
What was it like? Like being stuck in a room for four days with Tony Robbins only he did henna! :0)
But I would have to say that probably the best thing about taking the class is that I got to question him directly and experience his brand of henna first hand. His henna is grown organically on his own farm in Hyderabad and I have to say I have gotten superior results from it. He uses no fancy mixing techniques, he uses no lemon juice or cajeput, just water & eucalyptus oil (which I questioned, but he answered to my satisfaction). His henna is ready to go in an hour! I didn't believe it, but it seems to work that way. He claims that it is not the recipe which is important, but that he has developed certain organic growing techniques which are different from anyone else's. He also says that he takes great care to remove the stems from the leaf because it is the STEMS that contribute to the demise of henna staining. I have never heard that anywhere before and don't really know how to check on that.
As far as the guy himself, he is helpful, really nice, and very supportive of his students. He is very humble and somewhat self-deprecating and I am a pretty good judge of people - I don't think it was an "act". I was expecting an egomaniac, but he comes across really positive and enthusiastic and spent a lot of individual time with students who were struggling. Like any guru, he seems to be surrounded by fawning staff who go out of their way to fulfill every need. But hey, wouldn't that be nice! I'd love to have a fawning staff too!
He is, however, a really good teacher, and keeps the class moving along, is explicit about techniques and demonstrates them well. It was never boring which, I have to say, has been the case with a lot of the classes I have taken over the years. I took lots of photos and will upload them one of these days.
so ultimately, I am glad I took the course and the Bollywood henna is the most beautiful, smooth, lovely henna I have ever used bar none. I am not that impressed with his other products though and I have no intention of becoming a reseller. I am testing out his glitter now, but honestly, I think Riffat's glitter is better.
What I found really valuable was seeing how his artistic eye, which is actually much more mathematical than I would have guessed, affects his work. And yes, its a bit sloppy at times but I think that a lot of the work he does is fashion work where its the overall impression that counts. He has a really good team of models and photographers working with him
I would say that if you HAVE the money, it's not a waste - but that you can probably learn on your own. If you are in the wedding business, however, I think it is worth it to be a "certified Ash Kumar artist" - it could possibly add to your cachet in some communities, which translates into more money. His techniques if practiced properly, will speed your work up considerably. Since I don't do that many weddings, it's probably not as useful for me, although "now I are one." He is breaking into the US market now, and his name is starting to travel into the Indian/Pakistani communities in this country. For me, I am hoping that what I have learned will help me plan for better photo shoots.
Ultimately Ash's success is probably due to who he knew, his indefatigable energy, and the niche market he worked himself into. He does NOT trash other henna businesses at all, in fact he makes a big point of complimenting others.
That's all I have to say about the subject except that I think I was the only non-Indian in the class and I met some really lovely and talented ladies, some of whom I hope to tap into their wedding makeup/photography talents at some point.
It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I did it. _________________ "If you're not out looking for trouble, you're not alive!" - Alexis Zorba
Joined: 06 Sep 2004
Location: New York City
Wow, Kree, thanks for this report. Itts great to hear this from someone I know, admire and have seen work. I'm surprised that as someone I look up to so much as a henna artist would take a henna class. That's an ego-check for me!
It's really interesting to hear about his class first hand and I can definitely appreciate what you got out of the class. Sounds pretty cool.
It's also good to hear your impressions of him as a person. It's a shame that his marketing sells him a certain way. I guess that's the name of the game. We all try to project our best qualities in order to sell product/services.
Thanks again for sharing; you definitely gave me a different perspective on the subject. This is especially important since he's now an artist in my NYC market. _________________ KENZI
super fresh Moroccan and organic Raj henna and supplies
Moroccan henna book: http://tinyurl.com/24ffmyh
I'm a twit: @kenzihenna @moorhenna
Yes I am new to the "forum" but have been following along for a very long time. Apologies if I came across harsh but I felt as though there have been so many negative comments made about Ash Kumar over the years and there was never anyone who defended him or his work. Honestly speaking....it was beginning to sound like jealousy and envy. Why not celebrate each other and help each other in the "craft".
I have been telling everyone I know...new artists/experienced artists to take the course. There is always something we can learn :-)
Re: Ash Kumar Henna.... I too feel that after trying many other henna products his henna is the best! I have been a die hard Jamila fan until I started using his products. Im happy with the glitters and my clients love the transfers :-)
Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Location: seattle, wa
Hennaguru, if you are indeed following this forum frequently enough, you will have seen that we DO celebrate and help each other here, quite freely and frequently. You did come off very harsh by accusing the entire forum of a transgression when, in fact, you were likely only responding to a few comments (hence a few individuals). The absence of defense is more likely due to the lack of knowing any different (it certainly was on my part). Now that Kree has taken his course, I can now say I personally know someone who has met him but before that, I had nothing to go on but the experience of those I knew on the internet. I don't make a habit of forming hard and fast opinions of anyone without my own experience.
I hope that the excessively polite responses to your very impolite post in this thread have shown you that you not only grossly misjudged this forum but also jumped the gun in a most egregious manner. Seriously, it is all fine and good to be passionate about something. But introducing yourself to a forum by scolding and lumping everyone into one perceived issue is hardly the way to make yourself welcome. You would have likely been more effective had you simply shared your positive experience instead of admonishing others.
I am happy to partake in positive conversation with you as long as you are willing to play nice in the sandbox. So, maybe you would like to regroup, take a breath and start again?
Edited to correct minor error _________________ Maya
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
Last edited by ajna henna on Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:18 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Location: san francisco
Kree, thanks so much for sharing your impressions of the AK class. It really makes a huge difference, as you are a respected artist in the field, and to hear the actual details and specifics of what made the course worthwhile for you. I found your description to be extremely helpful. Thanks again. I'd love to chat with you more about it sometime. _________________ Gallery: http://www.hennalounge.com
am i the only dork in the room who up til now- wasnt really aware of him at all? now i feel like a slacker- i see the name everywhere but i totally space over it... now i wanna take his class. kree makes it sound super fun.
may be kree should teach a class....
im just throwing it out there.... _________________ Life is a banquet and most of these suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
check out Kismet Henna on Facebook! (please)
Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, Washington
hey kenzi - I took a henna class from you! :0)
seriously, i do believe that there is always something to learn from someone else and I like working with different folks. It enhances my work and helps me see the thought behind the artist's work.
dagmar, I do teach advanced classes just not very often. I may be teaching one in May. But honestly, you probably don't need it - you ought to just meet up with me and have a hennathon one of these days! _________________ "If you're not out looking for trouble, you're not alive!" - Alexis Zorba
ahh. kree. oh kind and glorious kree. i read that like 5 times ~ over and over- basking in your acceptance. and then i laughed my ass off.
woman- there are BOOKS you could teach me.
anytime you wanna henna- im there. if i have to walk. (not really- my feet hurt and my back is getting old. id take the bus. but you get the point.) _________________ Life is a banquet and most of these suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
check out Kismet Henna on Facebook! (please)
Joined: 03 Nov 2004
Location: Somewhere near London / U.K
Kree, I think it's wonderful that you did this course. As henna artists or any artist, to stop us getting into a rut with our work we should constantly be seeking out new ideas, techniques etc. Every artist has a different way of apply henna, seeing designs flow and even if you've been doing henna for years, you never stop learning.
That's why all the forums, henna conventions, net-working etc are so good.
I've personally attended 4 henna course over the years and from each one I took away valuable tips and techniques. Ash's course was one I've had on my mind for years but the price is a bit too much.
PS> I interviewed Ash years ago for Erika's on-line henna magazine. The title was 'Depth behind the Dazzle'
I'll put this up on Flickr or Face Book so you can all read it
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum