A significant portion of the comments on a recent post accused me of being “jealous” because the blogosphere is filled with talented nail artists who are “self-taught.” Apparently, there’s a widespread misconception that when one enrolls in beauty school for their manicurist course, that we learn how to do nails in that course!
You cannot imagine how hard this makes me laugh. Or rather, how hard it would make me laugh, if I wasn’t so busy shaking my head and then banging it against the wall in frustration.
I know, every so often, I run into another nail tech who reports that they had a great school experience. Were fortunate enough to land in a program with instructors who knew what they were doing, and actually cared about offering quality education and turning out skilled professionals. But let’s face it, the vast-- disappointing majority — of us, found ourselves flailing hopelessly, terrified that we had wasted the money on the schooling and would find ourselves unable to pass our state board exams, let alone hope to see success in a career that most of us were really looking forward to.
Some of us started long before we were even old enough to enroll in a licensing program. Started off polishing our own nails, painting our own nail art, having friends, family, and total strangers compliment us on our talent; ask us to do their nails too. Some of us were smart enough to enroll in a program as soon as they were old enough, some of us put it off for various reasons before we got around to it.
Like I said, some of us were doing our own nails before we made it a career. Some of us, not so much.
Most of us seek out continuing education, mentors, networking support, and online tutorials to help us with new ideas and techniques. And those of us who are lucky enough to achieve a comfortable level of success and find ourselves with a following-- and aren’t threatened by the competition — extend the favor by paying it forward to others who are looking for help with their ideas and techniques.
But I don’t know anyone who does nails who isn’t, ultimately, “self-taught.”