Students and I.V. residents wanting to decorate their bodies with something less permanent than an “I Love Mom” tattoo now have one more place to get inked in Isla Vista.
Beachside Body Art, a new student-run business specializing in henna designs, is the brainchild of second-year dramatic art major Jessica Chernicki. The new business specializes in traditional Indian, tribal, Asian, flash-type and custom designs, according to Chernicki.
Chernicki, a native of Yuba City, California, said she started “slinging” henna when she was 15, and has been practicing the art professionally since the age of 16.
“I had a friend who came back from a wedding and had had her hands done,” she said. “I’d always wanted to be a tattoo artist.”
Chernicki said henna body art was originally used for traditional Indian and middle-eastern ceremonies.
“For some people it’s a temporary tattoo,” she said. “But it’s usually applied for ceremonial reasons – kind of the ceremonial equivalent to the American white dress.”
Chernicki said she uses only natural ingredients – which she mixes herself – for her designs. Henna tattoos come from the powdered leaves of the henna plant, which is mixed into a paste with lemon juice and essential oils to create a reddish-brown dye. The dye is then applied to the skin in a way that is, according to Chernicki, similar to icing a cake.
Based on the complexity of each henna design, prices for body art at Beachside range from $5 for small designs to $85 for larger, more intricate patterns. Chernicki said prices for henna body art are typically twice as expensive.
“I’m notorious for under-pricing my work,” she said.
Beachside Body Art is located inside the Sweet Jane clothing store at 6529 Trigo Rd. and is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Sweet Jane, which has been open since last October, sells women’s clothing, jewelry and costumes.