Josje Schuiling


Hi there! I am Josje, the henna artist of Toko Mehndi. Let me introduce myself to you. I was born in 1988 in a medium sized town in the Netherlands amongst a creative but unstructured family. Growing up I quickly found my own structure in drawing. It didn’t take long before I confiscated the closet underneath our staircase. This was, from then on, my own little creative space where I spend most of my childhood drawing and building stuff. Also in school, whenever I had finished my mathematics assignments, or rather before that, I spend my time drawing. So it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that after secondary school I applied for art academy.
Only, also I should mention that besides being good at drawing, I was also pretty good at not fitting in. So I quit art academy even before the end of the first year. Which, sadly, also didn’t come as a surprise. I then started working in a store, tried another studies, quit that studies too, started working in a restaurant, started another studies, quit again, started working in a bar…  
This is almost thirteen years ago and a lot happened in these years in between. Among those ‘things that happened’ is me exploring other countries; travelling the world. It was during one of those travels that I had an interesting encounter with a henna artist. Someone you’d probably all know now, but to me, was just another traveller at that moment. (I might tell you that story this April in Hungary if you’re interested 😉 ) Shortly after this encounter I picked up the art of henna myself. And because the patterns I came across in henna art were so similar to the patterns that I used to draw it didn’t take long: within a year Toko Mehndi was born.