I got the idea from a friend of mine who had her back painted for her wedding. She first encountered henna at an Indian friend's wedding. Her friend told her that it was traditional in India to have henna decoration for special occasions.
I'm not all that traditional, but I liked the idea of marking an event with body art. I chose my back out of the idea of having something protective, "getting my back", as it were. It wasn't important to me to have it visible to other people - I just wanted to know it was there.
Choosing a design was simple. I've had this book about tattoos and body art for years, which included some abstract linear designs by Ed Hardy before he became known for his more "flash" type work. I'd always loved those, and wanted something similar.
Finding an artist wasn't difficult either. A club mate's daughter has her own henna and body art business, and was happy to look at the images I sent her and invent from there. I think she did a fantastic job!
Would I do it again? Absolutely - the process (laying down in a quiet, incense-scented room while she applied the henna) was quite relaxing, and I loved the results!
Turned out to be good luck in a way as well - I got my first national medal this year!
Does anyone else ever adorn themselves or engage in special rituals for big competitions?