photo credit: Norma Sofia Nixon
photo credit: Ariane Jonassen
At the roots, a trained painter and photographer (Concordia Universty), Lili Sweet (founder of Zen Henna Montreal) has dabbed in just about every art form. She presently ows 3 successful businesses: Zen Henna Montreal, Lili Sweet Photography (Newborn, baby & pregnancy fine art) & Trattoria de Lili (Vegetarian & gluten free meals delivered to your door in the montreal area)
Lili had her first exhibit at age 5. «I grew up in the apartment above from my father's first bookstore (then: ''Librairie Le Goeland'', Now ''Librairie d'Outremont''), dad had a free spirit and would loosely babysit me while at work. I would spend endless days in the basement of the bookstore which was much of a treasure cave. I’d gather old pieces of wood and paint over them with supplies I found on the spot. Weeks past by until my dad ran down to find about a dozen pieces covered in bright art. Soon customers would ask to visit the art cave and some would purchase a piece for a few dollars...»
At 15 she acquires her own darkroom and finds a new passion for photography.
More mature painting work forms in her 20’'s with exhibits: ''Tied Up'' in 97 and ''Puff Art'' in 1999 which received rave reviews. In between, Sweet freelances as an illustrator and a photographer. A few years later, she is asked to work as a private chef… a successful endeavor that leads her to open ''Trattoria de Lili'' in 2004.
After training for several years as a Jazz and Rock singer, Sweet starts musical project ''Rosekill'' in 1998 (''Rocked! Shocked! Thrilled!'' 2000, Raucous Records), followed by ''The Nocturnals'' in 2002 and ''Flesh'' (''Resurrection'', Raucous Records 2004).
Always in a search for love and light, Lili decides to leave the limelight filled with ego and questions the direction her path has taken. She finds happiness on a quest for genuineness, connection and grace. Self-love, practice of compassion, non-judgment and meditation become key.
All through her own healing process and as Lili's sensitivity and state of connectedness grows she finds interest in the study of Crystal Therapy, Reiki and Intuitive Healing while pursuing the arts (painting, photography and now henna!).
Mehndi (another word for henna, also called Mehendi or Mehandi) feels like a natural stepping stone in Lili's journey. Combining her developed artistic aptitudes, a spiritual approach and the social setting that she thrives in, this seems to come naturally to Sweet.
It is both the traditional passed on Mehndi traditions and at the same time a more modern approach that she applies.