When I first starting competing many moons ago, I would only compete in pink-and-white comps. So the first time I competed in an art competition, it wasn't far off from a pink-and-white competition; it was a French Twist in Chicago 2006. For those of you that have never seen this competition, it is a competition-style pink-and-white with a twist, just as the name implies. But I call it an art competition because you get to use some of your artistic abilities to put some flair in it.
The design that I chose was a simple one, but very pretty. I used a white tip (BTW, this is the only competition that anyone can use a white tip in) a pair of shaped craft scissors and a heart-shaped hole punch. I cut the extension edge of the tip at an angle and then punched a hole in the tip, but I saved the piece that came out to embed in clear acrylic at the end of the extension as if it were floating at the end of the nail. It was a simple design, but unique enough to catch the eye of the editor of a magazine and score me my first cover gig. I know I've said this many times before, but if you want to be “seen” in this industry, the competition arena is the place to do it.
I chose that design because at the time, I was still a novice at art competitions (I had already won my veteran status, but I was still learning) and I thought that it was simple enough to complete in the time allotted and still look good. The reason that I say this is because I have seen some amazing art work at competitions, but the competitors had spent so much time on the art aspect of the competition, that they didn't have enough time to finish the nails. And that is a darn shame. Believe me, you better leave time to put a gel top coat on those nails and get them cured. It is a guaranteed elimination if you aren't able to finish the nails.
So, when choosing a design for a French Twist competition, you should look for something that is pretty, like something a bride would want to wear, but simple enough to finish on time because two and half hours is the time allowed for this competition. But above all, have fun with it because the judges (and editors) are always looking for something new and fresh, and if it isn't fun...well then, what is the point?