Photography  By Estorie 

Hey I’m Rayna, thanks for being here! 

Rayna Art + Co is my little nook here in Des Moines, Iowa. My private, by appointment only studio is one of the first South Asian + Women  owned tattoo studios within the USA. 

I have been a professional artist selling original artwork since I was 15. And have spent over half my life creating art  in many mediums. My first love of drawing and painting led me to go to college for art education + graphic design. But I decided college wasn’t for me.  Over the years I worked in several creative jobs and worked in hospitality and food service for over a decade.  

Being adopted from Chennai. India and raised in Iowa since I was 2.I have always found ways to connect with my Indian roots. And practicing henna body art as a kid, eventually pursuing Mehndi full-time in 2016 helped grow my creative career in multiple ways. 

Being a tattoo artist was something I always wanted to do. But not fitting into the mold of a traditional artist in the industry made it tough to get a foot in the door. So I set my focus on growing my henna body art and grew in the industry to be notable within the Midwest and USA. Servicing clients from coast to coast and internationally. In 2018 I was able to get my foot in the door with a tattoo apprenticeship and was in that for almost a year. But did not have the opportunity to work on skin at that time. 

I worked my way through the challenges that the traditional industry brought on as a woman and  poc . And realized that being in my own studio space was the best fit and I'm a completely self taught tattooer on skin. I contribute my fast growth in the industry completely to my dedication as henna body artist primarily. I never would have transitioned as easily without that experience and dedication to body art , even with my prior skill set as a studio artist in traditional mediums  ( drawing, painting, and mixed media ).

I opened my private studio in 2020 and closed temporarily almost immediately due to Covid-19. Because of my incredible clients and support from admirers of my work . I was able to move from 150 sq ft of space into what is now my brick and mortar space in Highland / Oakpark Neighborhood. 

Due to my health I have had many challenges in the last couple of years with 4 surgeries and other medical conditions that have caused setback within my career as a body artist. I’m so incredibly grateful for my patient and kind clients and new faces in the studio that continue to support my work as a full-time artist.  I look forward to getting healthy and creating a good work/life balance for myself moving forward.  

Part of my goal with my space is to welcome all bodies, skin types and humans in to slow down in life. Enjoy our time together collaborating and  sharing an art experience. 

Future goals and plans for my space  include adding in a pottery wheel as I am a beginner potter. And would love to start selling my pottery as a way to create breaks in my body art practice. And have more art to share with those that can’t travel to my studio or want to support my art. Building out a counter space for a place to produce my aftercare balms. And ideally add in some retail shelving in the front of my space. I look forward to being in the space for the next 4 years and hopefully with your support many years to come. Thank you for being here and sharing space and time with me. I look forward to meeting you !