How long have you been doing nail art?
I've been doing nails for nearly 3 months, I finished my week-long nail course at the beginning of February and since then, I've become obsessed. LITERALLY!
What inspired you to start?
Well I'm quite a creative person, have always loved drawing as a kid, art all the way through school and last year I graduated from uni with my BA(Hons) in Illustration. When I finished uni I was working as a promo girl and although it was good money, I didn't feel satisfied that I hadn't put my creativity to use, as I knew that would make me happy. I've always loved fashion and hip-hop, in particular trainers which are a huge love of mine! I love the ghetto fabulous image that comes primarily from that culture. What comes with that is hair did, nails did. My mum's a hairdresser and I've always liked the idea of the beauty school route. Nails seemed an almost obvious choice as its fashion/beauty based but I could mix my illustration head with it too, so I saved and saved up my money from work and booked myself onto a technicians course the following month.
What products did you use for the mani and how did you do it?
I did these nails at the beginning of March and they were the third set of acrylics I did. I'm a keen learner when its something I enjoy, so after doing 2 plain sets I then wanted to try out glitter, crushed shell, caviar and all these fun sparkly things I'd heard about. I went on eBay and ordered some and as soon as it arrived I got to it.
I started off applying tips as usual, priming etc and then went on to the acrylic. I had some plain powder mixed up and got some of the charcoal crushed shell and mixed it with the powder so the ratio was about 1:3. I applied the shell just to the tips then built up the plain acrylic over the nail plate just like you would with any other enhancements. Because the shell was quite thick it took a bit of filing the get the tips well blended so I'd actually reccomend not mixing the shell and powder and just applying the pieces of shell one-by-one instead.
For the last bit I used a pearlescent nail-art pen(Supreme) to create the floral pattern in the non-shell section and evenly spaced dots along the smile line to imitate little pearls. I then went in with a metallic bluey/lilac pen(Supreme) to do the centre of the flowers and the extra dots on the smile line. Then finish with a big slick of topcoat(Seche Vite).
What product/tool/supply could you not live without?
My topcoat Seche Vite, without that the designs don't look finished to me! It gives them a lovely glossy, even finish and of course makes your designs last a lot longer.
What trend do you wish would go away?
Its nearly extinct but I still see square, overly-white, thick, clumpy tips sometimes. I'm all about nails looking either creative or natural, and personally I think these are neither.
Who are your favorite artists?
Seriously, there are so many amazing nail artists out there, and I'm discovering that more and more every day. If I had to pick a few faves though, people I look upto; Sophie Harris-Greenslade (The Illustrated Nail) as her work is exceptionally precise and you can tell she has brilliant ideas behind her work. The same goes for Sophy Robson who I admire very much and her work and career is so inspirational. Jenny Longworths' work is really impressive, I love her nails. Oh and Naomi Yasuda (NaomiNailsNYC) - she is my fave stateside nail girl.
What is your favorite nail art technique?
I get engrossed in drawing, so what can I say, it's gotta be messing around with nail-art pens! I love drawing patterns. I wanna try out some marbling too it looks so sick!
What inspires you?
Of course fashion, catwalk, editorial but also, I'm a big fan of street art and graffiti I did my dissertation at uni on it haha. I remember going through London on the train when I was little and seeing all the graff and being like WOW. Ever since I loved it, there are so many different styles to appreciate. I went to Berlin the other year and saw some of Blu's work and in real life I can honestly say, I was in awe at the sheer scale of it, it's amazing. I'm also in love with Miss Van's work, her characters are quirky but so beautiful at the same time.
I'm a bit of an art history nerd, Fauvism is one of my favourite art movements as I love anything bright and colourful and this genre was all about that - like everything's in high contrast. Sometimes its nice to go back to basics and look through some good old fashioned art. I like Henri Matisse or Andre Derains' work and sometimes I'll get even a small idea from it, like an idea for a colour-scheme. Arcitecture too, with different patterns and shapes around us all the time I keep a sketchbook with me so I can note down or doodle anything I see that I like. I think its important to have a vast amount of inspiration, this keeps your work original and fresh!
Thanks Grace! It's so nice to showcase up and coming artists. I can't wait to see what you do next!