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Melanie Ooi has been on the artists journey her entire life- from the comic strips and flip books that she drew as a child, to the oil pastel and photography experiments of high school. She eventually picked up henna after many years of observing it from a distance, and found that she had finally discovered her ideal medium.

Melanie’s earlier artistic influences from years of living in Japan and traveling throughout the far East gradually gave way to the design styles she was infused with from journeys through Morocco, Turkey and India. Arabesque and paisley meld with her undying love for Art Nouveau and the deeply instilled design motifs of China and Japan.

This is all brought to life through Melanie’s interaction with her clients, as together they co-create artwork for the skin. Working with henna brings together Melanie’s love of art and the magic she finds in connecting with others.

Originally born and raised in New Zealand by a Chinese mother and European father, Melanie has roamed the world since the age of 18 in search of adventure and life experience, eventually finding a place worthy to call home in Portland, Oregon. She has completed a bachelors degree in film and television studies and a post-graduate in teaching in New Zealand; acquired her SCUBA dive master qualification in the Bay Islands of Honduras; completed a yoga teaching certificate and most recently her aestheticians license in the States. In 2006 she decided to cultivate her career as a professional artist, bringing her skill to the Portland Saturday Market, and providing her services for parties, events, and private appointments in her exquisite henna parlor in the Buckman neighborhood of SE Portland.

Melanie Ooi

Instructor for Henna Chai 2016
Featured on Buzz Feed India 2016
Instructor for the Henna Intensive and Retreat 2014
Voted Best Booth of Portland Saturday Market 2013
Featured on OPB Art Beat 2010 & 2013