It’s official: NAILS’ Nail Art Gallery has been up and running for a full year. (We officially launched last April.) Already there are more than 3,750 members and more than 20,717 photos. That’s a lot of nail art to look at.
If you’re just joining us or have no idea what we’re talking about, go check out the Nail Art Gallery (nailartgallery.nailsmag.com) and see for yourself what nail techs have been enjoying for the last year.
All you have to do is sign up to become a member (it’s free) and create a profile (that’s free too). Then you can start uploading your art (yep, also free). What makes our nail art gallery different than other galleries out there is you can become fans of other artists, comment on or "like" their work, and browse through nail art pictures by keywords. (Looking for Easter-themed nails? Type "Easter" in the search bar and voilà — a bunch of Easter nails. Or maybe you’re interested in gel art. Click on the gel tag, and it pulls up almost 3,000 gel art images. Pretty handy, right?)
You can even upload multiple photos at a time. And there’s no waiting to get the photos or your comments approved — everything goes up real time.
We have a Pro membership (currently $20 per year) that allows you to upload as many photos as you want (the free version only allows for 50 photos). Pros also get to upload salon photos and information, get featured on other pages of www.NailsMag.com, and sometimes get featured in the pages of NAILS Magazine.
In honor of Nail Art Gallery’s one-year anniversary, we celebrate six Pro members and their work.
Colleen Ramsey: lilladyred
Colleen Ramsey, of Salon Cosabella in McKinney, Texas, turned her love of photography into a nail art training tool for herself. Combing over each picture, looking for flaws, and taking notes on needed changes helped Ramsey continually improve her skills. "Shooting nail art isn’t always the easiest thing to do but I found taking many shots of the same set from different directions, heights, and lighting helps as one of the pictures will capture the true feel of the nails. Also having more than one shot will guarantee that the only shot you have of them isn’t blurry," she says.
"Remember to have fun and be excited about art. The passion and excitement you feel inside for what you’re doing transfers to the nails." Ramsey has been an active member of the Nail Art Gallery since it launched and has almost 200 photos in her gallery to date. "I look forward to being an active member for many more years to come," she says.
In 2010, Ramsey was invited to a Nubar Cosmetics educator training session and decided to join the team after feeling like she had found the "perfect fit," she says. "Aside from working with an extremely talented group of Nubar educators who share ideas and inspire and support each other, it’s working the shows and classes that keeps me amped," she adds. "I love seeing other techs being inspired and watching the joy and excitement bubble up and burst forth as they realize ‘art’ isn’t a three-letter bad word." Many of Ramsey’s designs are inspired by places she’s visited and nail art trends from other countries, including scrolling (shown above) from Europe. "My scroll work is now a style I get constant requests for," she says. Ramsey also advises techs to dedicate a few minutes each day to try out something new. "If you keep doing it over and over, one day you’ll realize you’ve mastered it and you’ll have clients sporting it all over town for you."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/lilladyred.
Amanda Schison: Outerimages
Amanda Schison, of Outerimages Studio & Academy in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, has been a nail artist for more than 20 years and still finds inspiration from traditional nail art techniques that she learned early in her career. "I incorporate them in today’s wonderful colored gel and acrylic products to give them a modern twist," Schison says. "Everything old comes back in style eventually." She finds the most enjoyment in creating marbleized nails, or "Nanaimo bars" as she likes to call them (after the Canadian tri-layer dessert), using a variety of UV gels and soak-off gel polishes. "With traditional polish and water paints, you will have to work much faster," she adds.
To get the "cheese-caking" effect on a finished nail, she applies the marbleizing effect in the second coat of solid color before curing the nail. "Apply stripes of your favorite colors on top of the uncured gel to help blend the colors nicely as you drag or swirl to create your design. It is always best to create one nail at a time and then cure to avoid bleeding or movement of your design," Schison says. "Always try to apply your colors in an even-sized strip and drag with the same distance straight across the strips to create an evenly distributed effect. The closer or thinner you make your lines, the tighter the effect will be."
In addition to her passion for nail art, Schison has enjoyed being a nail industry educator for the last six years. "It always makes me excited when students get that ‘wow’ moment. Seeing them progress and get excited when they are so proud of their work always makes me feel like I am giving back to the industry," she adds. "My career is quite rewarding."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/outerimages.
Vivian Guzman: Vivian
Vivian Guzman, of Vivian’s Nail Art in New York, was drawn to the nail art profession at a very young age. "When I was a child, my mom used to take me to the nail salon when she had her nails done. I used to be curious and impressed when, out of nowhere, my mom would have ‘new’ long and beautiful nails," Guzman says. "Eventually I started practicing with my friends until the day I decided to do it professionally."
As an avid fan of all types of art, she began by developing her own unique style, which is now incorporated in all of her nail art designs. "You need to find inspiration from the things that give meaning to your life, be it love or nature, and then embody it in your art work," she says. Guzman joined the Nail Art Gallery in October 2010 and considers it to be the "Nail Art Facebook of the Web." "It gives me the opportunity to show my work and also gathers the best nail artists from around the world," she adds. The gallery also provides her with the opportunity to meet other nail techs, socialize with them, and learn from their work, she says. Her current favorite embellishments to create are flowers, and she usually makes them using a combination of two different colors of acrylic.
"Practice makes a teacher, so when you have an idea that you want to turn into a nail design, try, practice, and don’t give up until you master your technique," she adds. "You have to love what you’re doing. In that way, it won’t only be a nail design but also a piece of art." Her last bit of advice to other techs: "Be creative and patient, and pay attention to details."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/vivian.
Marilyn Garcia: mgnailgirl
Marilyn Garcia, of Element Beauty Salon in Caguas, Puerto Rico, makes great efforts to work with her clients to create nails that make them feel both special and unique. "When I do nails, I never forget to do them within a structure that is favorable to the clients’ hands and personalities. When creating the design, I always work with a thin layer of material and then integrate the theme and colors," Garcia says. "I always construct a base of colors and then incorporate the paint colors and embellishments so that when clients return for a fill, they can change the design without actually having to change the nails each time they want a new design."
Her clients represent a variety of demographics and request anything from simple French designs to more elaborate creations that include rhinestones and embellishments. From her days working as a nail salon receptionist during college, Garcia remembers one client’s nail emergency in particular. "My boss told me to fix her nail and from that moment on, I knew that I wanted to become a nail technician," she says. "I’ve been doing nails for the past 20 years and through my experiences, I have learned to challenge myself and set new goals, such as learning new nail techniques and learning how to assist my clients."
As a member of the Nail Art Gallery since July 2010, she enjoys sharing her art and learning from fellow Gallery members. "If you have never competed in a competition, never tried doing stilettos, or never hand-painted a design, then set it as your one goal this year," Garcia says. "Take different classes or seminars and expand your knowledge and goals because it will change your outlook."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/mgnailgirl.
Tara Deck: taraleaesthetic
Tara Deck, of Tara Lea Esthetics in Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada, joined the Nail Art Gallery in April 2010 and showcases more than 250 of her designs on her profile. She has been working with acrylics since the age of 13 and says her favorite aspect of creating nail art is watching her ideas come to life.
Whether from a flat drawing in her design book or from her mind, the reality of a finished product on a client’s nail is what makes her happy. "It’s creating a piece that reflects each individual lady’s personality and preferences," she says. "You can do the same design a hundred times on a hundred different ladies and if you follow each one’s individual preferences for color and boldness, each design will be unique." Even though she has a great deal of experience with acrylics, Deck finds many advantages with gels, including the ability to correct or keep any mistakes made during the design process. "The nice thing about working with gel is that it is a lot more forgiving than acrylic, because it doesn’t cure as you are working with it," she says. "Don’t be afraid to play with your products to see what they can do."
Deck also incorporates a variety of embedded rhinestones and add-ons into her designs, as well as handpainting to achieve clean lines and fine details. "There is a style out there for everyone and if you don’t broaden your own horizons, you will get stuck doing the same thing over and over," she adds. Deck also recommends that techs wear their own work and not suggest an art idea to a client that she would not wear herself. "I have worn every crazy idea I have had so this way, I know that it is functional and easy to wear," she says. "Use anything and everything as a source of inspiration."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/taraleaesthetic.
Gloria Skinner: Gloria83
Gloria Skinner, of Infinite Nail Design in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, didn’t start her career as a nail tech until 2009, one year after having her first child. "I was an aluminum welder before then, and I wanted a job that could express my creativity, allow me to work from home, and still be a mom," Skinner says. "I have always had a passion for nails. I just never really put it upon myself to get my nail tech certification until then."
When creating the actual nail art, Skinner breaks the design into layers, which include a background layer of solid or blended colors, embedded textures to give depth and dimension, and a top layer. "The final touches come in the finishing layer, whether it is outlines done with paint or placing rhinestones, pearls, etc., to complete the look," she says. No matter what type of style clients request, Skinner says as long as her clients are happy, so is she.
Many of her bolder nail art looks have a great amount of depth and detail, something she accomplishes by using one color in particular. "It all comes down to white, especially when working with a dark background. If you want to make a certain color pop, lay down white in the same pattern or stroke of your design before you lay down that particular color in the same manner," Skinner says. "Also make sure to use paints that have a high concentration of pigment for a much bolder effect." Initially, she joined the Nail Art Gallery as a way to share and learn from other nail techs and now has the opportunity to see a whole world of nail art. Skinner says, "It’s an ongoing education, so get as much as you can."
View more at http://nailartgallery.nailsmag.com/gloria83.