Up Close and Personal – Melanie DePietro

Up Close and Personal – Melanie DePietro

Scranton native Melanie DePietro is an art instructor at Eclectic City Studio in Scranton. Eclectic City Studio, owned by designer Jeff D’Angelo, features four artists, including DePietro, each of whom teach workshops in their niche. She found a home to display and teach art there after D’Angelo discovered her artwork online. DiPietro teaches glass painting and also is the designer, artist and founder of Painted Wine Glasses by Melanie. She lives in Scranton with her husband, Scott; children, Nicholas, 20; Colette, 16; Maximilian, 9; and Scotty, 7; and their dog, Jolie.

Meet Melanie DePietro…

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
A: I am 43 years old. I’m a mom of four, sometimes six. My husband and I have six kids, two his, two mine and two ours. We have a big family. The youngest is 7, and the oldest is 20. I was born and raised in Scranton. I graduated from West Scranton High School. I went to the University of Scranton for a few years and eventually graduated from Wilkes University. My bachelor’s degree is in psychology; however, I have a minor and focus in studio art and art history.

Q: How did you end up doing art after studying psychology?
A: I’ve liked art my whole life. I’ve been painting and drawing since I was a little girl. I went into the psychology field because my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I got interested in that field and started researching that. I was a stay-at-home mom for about seven years. I can’t just stay at home; I always have to do things. It was during that time that I went back to school and finished my degree at Wilkes. I just finished my degree in 2016. I started doing art and creating again. A good friend of mine, she and I wanted to do a fundaraiser. She said painting on glass was really big. I just got really into it and became obsessed. I posted a few pictures on my Facebook page, and it just took off from there. Jeff D’Angelo saw my page and said he needed some people to paint in his studio. He paints and stencils giant props. Working with him has enabled me to network a lot and meet a lot of new people. I’ve been able to get into the Eclectic City Studio and work with other great artists.

Q: What types of designs do you paint on glasses?
A: I do a range of things. Dog portraits, cat portraits. I’ve recently done a llama and a goat. Some people want something commemorative. I can do lettering by hand. Some people like glitter. Sometimes people will give me a picture and tell me what they want.

Q: What message do you hope to spread by doing art?
A: A lot of people will ask me to paint their dog that just passed away. Anybody can get a picture and have it printed on a glass. When you get an artist to paint your pet, it’s coming from them, it’s unique, and it’s their perspective of what the animal looks like. People really go for that.

Q: What types of art classes do you teach?
A: I’ve been teaching art workshops for about two years. We do paint and sip, usually BYOB or BYOW. Classes are anywhere between 10 to 60 people. A lot of the paint nights are fundraisers. It’s a nice, fun way to get people together and do creative things. A lot of times, people will get intimidated. I’ll show them the glass, and they say, “I can’t paint that.” I break it down step-by-step and show them how.

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?

A: I feel like I am putting on a performance when I teach, but I’m sharing my talent and breaking it down. I love when people come in and feel challenged. They are intimidated about it at first. They walk out with a big smile and say, “Look what you helped me do.” Everyone’s piece will be similar but different in its own way, and you want it like that because it’s your own. Being able to create, share and teach something I love has made me feel like I’ve finally achieved my dream.

Q: What artists are you inspired by?
A: I am inspired by the classics. I don’t know if it inspires my style of the way I paint, but I have a deep respect for Monet, Michelangelo, da Vinci. I just love the classic style.

Q: Can you describe your lifestyle outside of art?
A: My kids are in soccer. My one son plays guitar. There is always someone playing music in the house. My daughter plays basketball. It is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes it’s difficult to fit my part-time art in there, but I prioritize it and make time for it. Doing art is my time, and I love to do it.

Q: What other hobbies and interests do you have?
A: We have a boat at the lake, so we like to do boating. I love the beach; we try to go every year. We try to do family things.

Q: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
A: I have a lucky apron that I wear to teach my art classes. I found it at a yard sale. It has a picture of Michelangelo’s “David” on it. I kind of use it as an ice breaker at the beginning of classes. I censored it with a little leaf. Another thing is that one of my weird talents is I can look at colors and I know right off the bat what to mix to recreate the color with paint. I absolutely love the artist Prince. I’ve loved him since the fourth grade. I was about 9 years old when my Prince obsession started. I often listen to his music while I paint.

Q: Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape you into who you are today?
A: When I was a single mom for a while, it was very difficult. It was challenging. I always wanted to do something that was for me to try and (get) a little extra spending money. I was proud to be able to develop something that came from me. It didn’t come from anybody else. I was able to show my children that if there is something that you like to do, just do it.

Photos by Emma Black

Up Close & Personal – Krista Kalamity

Up Close & Personal – Krista Kalamity

Krista Kalamity is a face and body artist who owns and operates Transmogrification Station. A native of Peckville, she graduated from Scranton High School and lives in Scranton with her son, Casper, 15, and flame point Siamese cat, Spaceghost.

Meet Krista Kalamity…

How did you get into art?
In grade school, the art teachers at Valley View were amazing. I’ve always loved colors and the fact that I can have an imagination. Cartoons were always my favorite thing. When I found out I could watch cartoons on TV and draw them at the same time, I thought that was amazing. Probably my start came from watching cartoons.

What other types of art do you enjoy?
I love watercolor. I’m not the best at it, but I have a lot of fun with the different colors you can come up with and blending one color into another. I also love chalk art. I was working at the Keys on Penn Avenue. There is a chalk board on the wall, and every week I would do up the menu with different designs. I also do embroidery and sewing. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was younger, so I kind of dabble into a lot of different things.

Of all the arts you’ve tried, how did you end up as a face and body painter?
In high school, I would always draw on my hands and arms. One thing I always wanted to do was get into tattooing. I never had the money for an apprenticeship, because to get a really good person teaching you is a couple thousand dollars. My mentor, her name is Rachel; I met her about 10 years ago. She was doing face painting. We ended up just clicking, and she asked me if I wanted to do face painting. It was the next best thing to tattooing, plus, unlike tattooing where you have to be 18 or older, little kids can get it done too.

How did you come up with your business name, Transmogrification Station?
I was trying to come up with a magical, shape-shifting type of persona. I asked some friends. My buddy Rob came up with Transmogrification Station. There was an old comic from Calvin and Hobbes where he’d go into a cardboard box that was called a transmogrifier. He’d walk in and turn into something else. Even though it’s a mouthful, it’s fun to hear kids say. It definitely fit what I was going for.

What is Transmogrification Station’s motto?
My motto is “face painting and body art for all kids at heart.” Young or old, anybody can do it.

What is your favorite part about your job?
All the different things I can come up with. I had a party a few weeks ago at Nay Aug Park. There was an old man sitting in my chair, and he told stories about Nay Aug and how he used to live here. He said he wanted a frog leaping over his head with lily pads and the sun. The things people come up with on a whim, I can paint. I love being able to put someone’s idea and thought on their skin in a way they can see it.

If you could give advice to an up-and-coming face and body artist, what would you say?
If you see my setup, all the paint that I have is for the skin. It’s makeup that’s made for your skin. There are some artists who do amazing work but use sharpies. You can break out. Some people use acrylics that have metals. You never want to use acrylics. You want something that’s going to be safe, especially with kids, who can break out so easily. If anybody wants to get into it, spend the money on the right stuff.

What inspires your designs?
A lot of different cartoon artists and other face painters inspire me. The face-painting community is great. We’re all about sharing designs. If somebody comes up with a design that’s quick for a kid who doesn’t want to sit still, we’re allowed to use it as long as we credit them.

What are some misconceptions about body paint?
I think a huge misconception in the body art world is that you don’t have to be completely, physically fit. You don’t have to have the biggest breasts or tightest butt, and it still makes you feel good about yourself no matter what. Another big thing is people think, “Oh, you’re nude. You’re such a terrible person for posing nude.” It should be about the art aspect, not what you’re looking at underneath. We just want to have fun and show off what we’re capable of as artists without people thinking it’s a sexual thing.

You put in so much time to art, but it is temporary. Why do you enjoy that aspect, i.e. body art, which comes off in the shower, and chalk art, which washes away.
I’ve thought about this so many times. The thing that drew me to being a tattoo artist, when I was younger, was that my art would be on somebody for the rest of their life. That’s an honor to come up with a piece for somebody. Through the years as I really thought about it, there are so many people who regret getting a tattoo even though they were so set on it. I kind of like doing something that’s temporary. It’s in the moment; it’s right here and now. I’ve painted on my legs so many times. I can wash it off and start again. One week they’ll think something looks awesome and it’s so cool, but the next week they’ll think something else is more awesome.

What is your favorite part about being a mom?
My son, Casper, and art are the two things that keep me going. If I have the worst day, he’ll come over and hug me and say, “Hey mom, what do you need?” He’s one of my best friends. We talk about everything, and we’re super honest with each other. He is a great kid, likes video games, plays music, he sings and does sports. He is very well-rounded.

What other hobbies do you have?
I love to hike and camp. Ever since I was 8 or 10 years old, my parents would take me camping for a week each summer. I played in the river and waterfalls. Nature is a huge thing for me.

Have you had a defining time or moment in your life that helped shape you into who you are today?
Having my son. I used to skip school. I wasn’t a terrible delinquent, but I had my son at a young age of 18. I decided to step into the role. We do so many things together, and he really grounded me. I’m a kid at heart, but I have to be an adult for him.

 

Photos by Emma Black

Up Close & Personal – Jesse Mower

Up Close & Personal – Jesse Mower

Jesse Mower is a Carbondale native and lead vocalist and guitar player for band Static in the Attic. He graduated from Luzerne County Community College with a degree in music technology. He is employed by Gentex Corp., a helmet manufacturer, in Carbondale.

Meet Jesse Mower…

What is your musical background?
In high school, I was in the marching band. I had the cape and all of that. I started on the drums, which I think helped me a lot with rhythm. When I finally started learning guitar, it was easier to get rhythm down. I was 13 when I got my first guitar. I got it from a buddy, and I just kind of sat on it for a long time.

How did you become the vocalist for Static in the Attic?
It was so bad at first. We were trying to get a singer when we were younger. We were around 16 when we started the band. We realized we all suck at singing, but someone had to do it. I just tried to do it. I never really had lessons, but I should have, I think.

How did Static in the Attic form?
We were all in high school together. Our drummer, Jules Borosky, and I would stay after school with the band director. We asked if we could stay after and jam. It was really weird (and) bad at first because it was just guitar and drums, and we didn’t know what we were doing. Eventually we got more buddies to join. We got Tom Murray, who now plays bass. We didn’t get any gigs for a long time because we were little. We played in some bars when we were younger, which was good because we learned how we had to handle ourselves as we got older. Now we are a three-piece (group). We do the power trio thing. We are trying to play more and record stuff.

Have you also performed as a solo artist?
It was all band at first. I never really did any solo stuff, but now I am trying to get into it. I’m very bad at it, too. It’s much easier to sit in front of two people, and I don’t have to do it all. There’s a lot that goes into getting a set list and picking good songs and getting the full-time musician thing going. I think I like the band more. It’s easier to rely on them. I am starting out doing solo gigs.

What is something you’ve learned in your recent time as a solo performer that is different than being in the band?
You can’t guitar solo as much. That was the most depressing part. But the voice is a lot more important too. Instead of doing a guitar solo for a part, I’ll try to sing it. It’s a lot more work on the voice. You have to take a different approach. It’s cool to figure out songs that don’t work acoustic and figure out a way to do it. It doesn’t always work, but it’s fun to try.

Who are your musical inspirations?
I gotta say Jimi Hendricks, just like every guitar player. I was big into Paul Gilbert, who is a shred metal kind of guy. The technical ability always got me. I love those kind of guys. Guthri Govn is another one. Buddy Guy is also my guy.

Can you describe your style as a musician?
It’s deep-rooted, but I like going fast. It’s a bit of a mix. With the band, we aren’t really a blues band. It’s more funk, rock, blues. I played with the Soul Shakers for a while. They were really a blues bands. They did some funk and stuff too. It was cool to be able to play traditional blues. I love the blues rock kind of thing and guitar solos. I love the jam band kind thing too.

What is the band’s style?
The power trio is awesome. Tom will be driving the bus. We do a lot of improvs, which is the best part. It’s cool because him and Jules drive it and I just bounce off them. We always look at each other and dance at each other. The blues part comes from me I think. They were never really into the blues much until we started playing together. Jules is like a rock punk drummer. She does it all. Tom is the oldest; he’s 24, and Jules and I are 22.

Being so young, what part of being a musician do you feel you display extra maturity in?
Jules’ parents are in a band, so we would always practice in her basement. That was cool because we got to learn what to do and what not to do. That was helpful and a big part. It was really great to have someone to help us learn how to act. We do blues jams. The first time I was invited, I took my guitar. People see a kid come on stage and think this kid doesn’t know how to play the blues. It’s cool to get through tests like that and prove yourself. The best thing about being so young is we have so much time to grow.

How did you first get interested in music?
My folks were really big into music. They love concerts. I remember playing “Guitar Hero.” I was really into it. My sister had a little, cheap guitar with missing strings. I wanted to try it. I also watched old rock videos on YouTube. It’s weird being able to have YouTube; it’s like cheating because I don’t have to buy records.

Talent aside, what would you be doing if you weren’t playing music?
I’d probably try to get a studio or work in a studio where I could bring artists in, record bands and make albums for them. I’d also mix their tracks and put them together. I’d like to get into that or maybe cooking.

What other hobbies or interests do you have?
Cooking, but I’m probably not very good at it. I love video games.

If you could perform alongside any musician living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d say Jimi Hendricks so I could steal his mojo. It’s cool to be around other players who you can sponge up what they’re doing and add it to your repertoire.

What is your favorite part about being a performer?
I geek out about all of it. When you have a good crowd and they’re in it, the connection. There’s nothing like looking out and seeing someone who’s so into it. It makes it seem like everyone together is making it happen. If you have a less-enthusiastic crowd, the show is going to be less enthusiastic. Luckily we don’t have too many of those.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I bet a lot of people don’t know I have really long hair, because I wear a hat all the time. My hair would stick to my face and I wouldn’t be able to perform.

Have you have a defining moment or time in your life?
One of the big things that helped me as a musician when I was younger is that so much stuff was gifted to me by friends and family. The amp that I play through was given to me. I am way lucky. I don’t know if I deserved it, but that helped so much. I am just grateful for the music and the stuff and to be able to do it. I can’t wait to be able to give a guitar to someone and help out.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?
We are coming out with a live album soon. It will probably be an EP with five to eight songs. We did a show at Mountain Sky, and it was recorded. We are happy to have some newer stuff, since we’ve grown as a group. It will be our first album as the current three-piece. It will have a lot of new flavors. It’s energetic blues rock. It’s pretty upbeat; there’s a lot of improvisation. That’s why we wanted to do the live thing. Even in the studio, we want to do it live because that’s our mojo. It’s hard to do it piece by piece, and we have so much fun being together. It will hopefully be out by the end of the year.

Photos by Emma Black

Up Close & Personal – Mark Lucchi

Up Close & Personal – Mark Lucchi

Mark Lucchi owns and operates Lucchi Family Wine Cellars in Scranton, but he considers his business to be more of a means to form and maintain friendships and enjoy camaraderie than a money maker. While he credits his loyal customers for helping allow him to do what he loves, he likes to think of them more as family. He also works for the City of Scranton Department of Public Works. He is a 1988 graduate of Scranton Technical High School and studied radiology at Johnson College. He lives in Scranton.

Meet Mark Lucchi…

What is your role at the Department of Public Works?
I do whatever they need me to do. It can be anything from patching potholes to driving a garbage truck, plowing roads, cleaning storm drains — basically we do it all. My official title is pack master operator.

How long have you been making wine?
I’m a third-generation wine maker. As a hobby, I started making my own wine with my dad. I’ve been making wine about 20 years, but my dad is 80 and he’s been making wine with his father since he was about 4 or 5 years old. My dad made wine his whole life, and I always helped him pick grapes. At Christmas dinner, we’d toast, and I said, “Pop, this wine is pretty good.” And he said that was the stuff from the yard.

How did your hobby become a business?
It’s labor-intensive and costly to make wine. We were making wine and giving it away. It began to get very expensive, and we couldn’t just keep giving it away. People liked our product, and we started making wine for other people. In 2013, I licensed my wines through the state Liquor Control Board and federal government. We became a licensed winery. It went from a hobby to a business and, knock on wood, I am blessed.

Can you describe the labor-intensive wine-making process?
Back in the day, with my dad, we hand-picked the grapes then washed them, de-stemmed them, ran them through the grinder — everything was manual. Now we have machinery doing it. Technology has advanced so much that we’re able to eliminate the grinding and pressing of the past. We can get juice shipped in. Our Pennsylvania products we still grind and press. We get five or six people together and go out there, and it’s all about the camaraderie. We’ll go out and just work eight hours.

What does it mean to do the wine-making around your friends and family?
I am blessed. My parents are 80 years old and relatively still healthy. My dad instilled a very good work ethic in me. It’s a laughing and joking atmosphere. Even though it’s a lot of labor, when our friends come over and enjoy a glass of wine, that pays for itself right there. We get buddies who come over and help us out, and I have employees who give us a hand. We are really family-oriented. Unfortunately I never got to meet my grandfather Mario. You can find my dad, Robert and my mom, Mary, they come with me to events (to vend). My mom will be out, and someone will say “Hey, Mrs. Lucchi, how are you doing?” She doesn’t know them, but they say, “We’ve seen you at the farmer’s market or festival, and we bought wine from you.” Sometimes people we don’t know will come in and have a glass of wine or two, and by the time they leave, they feel like family. My greatest reward is when people send us a nice review or positive feedback. We strive to treat everybody with respect.

You mentioned there is a great camaraderie among not only you and your family and employees but also among other local wine makers?
We buy local as much as we can and we support each other, even the wineries here. Sal Maiolatessi is one of my dear friends. We just all sat down in February and formed Lackawanna Wine Trail with the local wineries. When I was going through the licensing process, Sal was helping me constantly because he already did it. Now, a buddy of mine is opening a winery in Taylor, and I’m helping him. We all work together. Everybody thinks it’s a competition, but we all have our own niche. We’re constantly on the phone with each other. If there’s an event or someone is organizing a bus trip, we help each other out. I don’t know how the other small businesses are, but this is very unique, and that’s what I love about it. We all go to these festivals and work together. If somebody hears of something going on that could benefit all of us, we reach out to each other. Nobody wants to see anybody hurt.

Some of your wines have creative names. Where do the names come from?
We’ll be down in the wine cellar like mad scientists blending wines together. We come up with different names. Sweet Mary Rose is a Concord Catawba. I named that after my mom. Her name is Mary Rose, and it’s a sweet wine, so we call it Sweet Mary Rose. We have a lot of fun with these wines. A lot of people get a kick out of our names, like the Sexy Sisters wine, (which) is a Niagara Cayuga that blends two sister grapes. Another is Sweet Trouble. It’s sweet, and if you drink enough, it’s going to get you in trouble. People love that, and we interact with them and joke with them at the festivals. They laugh at all the names, and we love to have fun with them.

What is your favorite wine either to make or drink, and why?
It’s funny, I still drink beer. I never really drank wine until 20 years ago. I guess my palette has changed. Seventy-five percent of the wines we sell are sweet; now I enjoy drier wines. I like a nice pinot noir. That’s one of my favorites.

Outside of the business, what are your hobbies or interests?
I enjoy hunting and anything involving nature. Whether it’s walking by Nay Aug gorge and sitting by the falls, I just love the tranquility and peacefulness, or boating at Lake Wallenpaupack. I don’t have the time like I used to. Right now, hunting season is starting, but it’s also harvest season. I work full-time, and this is easily a full-time job too. I love anything by the water or outdoors. I ice fish a bit during the winter. The winter months are a little slower in the wine industry, so I get out with my guys and go ice fishing. One thing with the wine, it dictates to you when it’s ready. You can’t say, “Oh, I’ll get it next week.”

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m petrified of heights. On ladders and roofs, I get crazy. As big as I am, I’m a little baby when it comes to heights.

Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape you into who you are today?
I lost a dear friend. We all think we’re going to live forever, but life can change in the drop of a dime. I get up every day and thank God that I’m able to get out of bed. That opened my eyes. I try to do something good every day for somebody else, whether it’s buying somebody a coffee at the drive-through or telling someone they look nice today. I always say if we all took our own problems and threw them in a pile and saw everybody else’s, we’d want our own back.

Photos by Emma Black

Up Close & Personal – Diksha Dosaya

Up Close & Personal – Diksha Dosaya

Diksha Dosaya, a henna tattoo artist who owns Heena Tattoo in Dunmore, brings aspects of her native Indian culture to Scranton. She and her sisters have practiced the art of henna together for as long as she can remember. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Rajasthan in India. Dosaya moved to the United States from India 10 years ago when her husband, Dr. Rajiv Bansal, started his residency following medical school. They have a 3-year-old son, Vihaan, and live in Dunmore.

Meet Diksha Dosaya…

Can you talk about the traditional aspect of henna?
It’s very auspicious. If there is a wedding or festival, we have to put it on. It’s very lucky. Before marriage, you have to put on henna tattoos. They say that if the color of henna gets dark, your husband loves you; that’s just a saying. We grew up doing henna tattoos at home in India. It’s natural and comes from henna plant. We bring the leaves, dry them and make a light green powder. We put water, lemon and a little sugar in the paste to make the color a little darker, then you have to let it sit 12 to 24 hours. We make cones and put the henna paste in it, then seal it. Then you can make your own designs.

How have you expanded your henna art?
I was on an H4 visa, so I could not work. I was practicing because this is my hobby, and I love to do this. I enjoy putting henna on my hands and feet, especially when I get bored. In 2014, I got my visa so I could work. Some of my friends have a yoga studio (and) asked me to come do henna for their clients. I also take appointments to do henna.

What made you want to grow Indian culture in Scranton?
I like it here. I like the people. They are so nice and know so many things about India. They know about henna tattoos. When people see me, some say my henna is very nice and ask how I got it. One of my friends arranged to find some clients for me. I went to do the henna, and they were so happy. I love to do the henna, and I want people to know more about it.

What else do you want people to know about henna?
Different types of tattoos are well-known, so why not henna? It is temporary. There is no chemical in it. It comes from natural plants, and if you don’t like the design, it will go away in 15 days. If you want a certain design, then 15 to 20 days later you want a different design, you can change it. I want to show people we can do this type of body art. There are no needles, and it’s pure organic. Henna can also have a cooling and calming effect. In India, (it) can be 110 to 115 degrees, so sometimes people will henna on their feet, hands or head to keep them cool. It’s cheap, and it’s colorful. It smells good, and you can put essential oil in it as you put it on so it will give more of a relaxation effect. When you do live art in front of other people, they will feel more relaxed.

What makes you so passionate about doing henna?
I like to do different designs for different people. There are so many various designs with different variations, such as a sun or star. I like to do whatever people like. I love when I am able to do the design they want. That is what gives me a reason to do it. When people come back for a second time, after liking it the first time, that feels good, too.

Is henna art meditative for you to do?
Yes. I feel so peaceful and calm when I’m doing this. I am in my own world. It feels like I’m back in my home country. Sometimes you miss your family, friends or things, so when I’m doing this I feel like I’m back there.

Do you do any other types of art?
Sometimes I’ll practice mandala art, but I’m not that good. It is similar to henna. We do those at festivals. We have a festival called Diwali Festival. I do mandala art in my home on the floor.

Your 3-year-old son has taken an interest in doing henna as well. What is it like blending Indian and American cultures in his upbringing?
He is starting to do henna. Sometimes he grabs the cone and does henna with me. He is bilingual. He knows Hindi and English. We teach him our native language. Outside here, he speaks English. We’re trying to teach him all the traditions. I’m teaching him as much as I can, because when he goes back to India, he will need to know the traditions.

What else in addition to a design on their skin can people take away from getting henna done? Is there a spiritual meaning?
Applying henna can be a deeply moving and communicative experience for both the receiver and the artist. It opens a spiritual connection where a gifted blessing can be received. I want to give them the message that this is an art. It’s also auspicious and will bring you good luck, and good things will come their way. Any time anything good happens in India, they put henna on.

You are working with a start-up business called Om Indian Handy Crafts. What is that?
There are a few women who make bags and do embroidery and decorate the bags to make them look good. I sell them at some yoga studios to help them. In India, not many women are working, so I can help. I started this small business in 2014. I got the stuff from there, I sell it here. I go to fairs and hope to show people how pretty they are. Both that and the henna are connected to India. I like that I can bring a little bit of India here.

What other hobbies and interests do you have?
I love to spend time with my husband and my son. We travel a lot. We traveled before him as well. My son likes to travel. We went to Disney World last year. I also like gardening. I have a little vegetable garden at home. Those are my two main hobbies.

Have you had a moment or time in your life that helped shape you into who you are today?
I came here in 2008, and I got sick in 2009. I was very sick for two years. My parents didn’t have visas, so they could not visit me, and my husband was so busy doing his residency. I was alone at home in a different country. That time made me so strong that now I feel like I can overcome anything. Health is wealth, and if health is down, you feel so down. That was my turning point, and mentally I am much stronger now.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
I would like to thank my husband and my mom and my sisters back in India. They have always been great support in my life. One of my sisters came last year to visit me. Even though they are in India, my mom and sisters and I talk every day. I miss them a lot. I do like it here, because now I have a family and the community is great. I also get to do my hobby as well.

 

To see more of Dosaya’s designs and art or schedule an appointment visit her Facebook Page Heena Tattoo

 

Photos by Emma Black