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Pre-Challenge #2: Simple Black-and-White

Posted June 12, 2013


Our 18 remaining semifinalists were tasked with creating a simple black-and-white design and uploading a video tutorial of the design to YouTube.

This challenge specifics were:

1. Create a SHORT (1 to 2 minute) video tutorial of a simple black-and-white design on a single tip using any medium(s). You can only use BLACK and WHITE. No other colors are to be used in your design. Make sure to also take a high-res photo of your final image.

2. Post your video to your YouTube page and make sure to tag it with #NextTopNailArtistTop18.

3. Tweet a link to your video using the custom hashtag #NextTopNailArtistTop18.

4. Take a photo of your final image and upload it to Instagram with the same custom hashtag #NextTopNailArtistTop18.

Contestant #1: Alecia Mounixay (Wilmington, NC)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheWhiteKoi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thewhitekoi/


My user name is The White Koi, along with my website. The platinum (or white) koi fish represents prosperity in business. The legend of the koi fish goes like this (I wrote this myself):

Through determination, dedication, and without fear, the last brave koi fought its way through the deathly currents, up the rushing waterfall, and over the golden gates to become the wise and powerful dragon.

Also tattooed on my foot, the koi fish represents my hardships in life I have accomplished and have yet to fight. I have hope that in the end it will all pay off, and I will become the beautiful dragon. :)

Contestant #2: Ashley Gregory (Chicago, IL)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ashley_g_nails
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ashley_g_nails


My entry is a “Spectator” style shoe, popular in the entire 20th century, but really adopted by the swing dancers and rockabilly kids, which I personally love. I’ve never seen a true Spectator nail before, and I thought it would be a great use of black and white, and a relatively engaging theme for a tutorial.

Contestant #3: Britney Tokyo (Los Angeles, CA)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritneyTOKYO
Instagram: http://instagram.com/britneytokyo/



I thought a lot about the theme “simple black and white.”  But since this is a video challenge, what I wanted to do popped into my head! I decided to pick a simple design that’s entertaining yet easy to copy in the short amount of time of two minutes. It was my first time posting something on YouTube, and I did my best of making and editing it on my own since this video will be representing me. Although the colors are black and white, the natural movement of the water gives it a summer feel, and I believe people who love to use nail polish will love this!  This technique is from a while ago, but I was able to make it look fresh and new!

Contestant #4: Christian Mans (Mission Viejo, CA)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeweledNails
Instagram: http://instagram.com/jewelednails


Gothic Romanticism: This piece is inspired by the late 18th and 19th century literary movement that combines Gothic and Romanticism to create a dark love story. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, but a piece of art becomes endless in description with imagination as its fuel.

It starts with a gloomy and foggy setting created by marbling black and white gels to create a backdrop for our dark, yet thrilling love story. The purity of white and appeal of black is drawn together with a “peacock” technique of gels that blend two separate colors together to form a beautiful collaboration. However, every relationship has its dark moments and becomes airbrushed with black, random feuds. From the ashes of their broken love, rises white flowers blossoming as they overcome and prevail this chaotic love tale.

Hope that wasn’t  too deep ;) But art always creates a story, and I love to show that.

Contestant #5: Harold Sims (Omaha, NE)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/buddysimsnails
Instagram: http://instagram.com/buddysimsnails/


I chose to go with a slightly darker design, on the verge of scary, with a hint of femininity and a bit of a wow factor with the birds.  Though it may look a bit sinister, the birds show beauty and light in this organic design. I took the word simple to heart as I wanted others to be able to recreate this design, making it their own with added details or elements to change the setting to their liking.  I stuck to a strict two minute video with as many elements and tips as possible.

Contestant #6: Jane Weiner (Asbury Park, NJ)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/thatjanedesigns
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thatjanedesigns


Whenever I hear “black & white,” my mind instantly goes to pen & ink illustrations. So I decided to base my design on the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. His drawings were so iconic but also so simple and elegant.

Contestant #7: Jennifer Giovannetti (Saskatchewan, Canada)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennifer_398
Instagram: http://instagram.com/nailsbyjen_Regina_sk


For the design I wanted to do something simple as requested but something that would also give a cool effect.  I used the method of opposite colors on top of each other to give a cool look while managing to use the simple geometric shape of a square.  I hope it is good enough to make it to the next round.

Contestant #8: Julie Ventura (Union City, NJ)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieNailArtist
Instagram: http://instagram.com/juliev37


My design was inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” I had been watching it and thought, “What a great idea for a black and white nail!”

Jack Skellington’s apparel set the mood for the fuzzy black and white background and I just made a generic skull for the centerpiece. I made him cross-eyed to make him seem a little cuter and less scary. :]

I find the techniques in my video are quite simple; there are just many of them.


Contestant #9: Lauren Wireman (Cape Coral, FL)
Twitter: http://twitter.com/WildflowersLW
Instagram: http://instagram.com/wildflowersnailandhairstudio



My inspiration came from within.  I honestly sat down during tropical storm Andrea and made three nails.  One I made from a favorite black and white shirt, one I made attempting to do one-stroke black and white roses (it was pretty cool but I wasn’t feeling it), and this was the last one. I just sat down and this is what happened.  It looks tribal to me! The chevron is a pretty popular nail trend but I decided to twist it on a diagonal for this nail.  Then I decided to fill in with little shapes to make it tribal.

Contestant #10: Lexi Martone (Dix Hills, NY)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/leximartone
Instagram: http://instagram.com/leximartone



For the black and white challenge I was inspired by Moschino’s Spring 2013 collection. They used the contrast of the two colors to create a bold and graphic look. I took the simple shapes used in their clothing and worked them into a nail design. I used gel-polish as a base, and black acrylic paint to create the design.  Although it seems detailed, it is merely the repetition of everyday shapes when broken down.

Contestant #11: Max Nguyen (Lebanon, TN)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maxzero0000
Instagram: http://instagram.com/maxzero0000/



So far, this challenge is my favorite. What inspired me is a Chinese Goddess, kind of like a tattoo. That’s my style, and I challenged myself to do it on a nail.

Contestant #12: Natalie Minerva (Los Angeles, CA)
Natalie is eliminated this round for not meeting the deadline.

Contestant #13: Olga Palylyk (British Columbia, Canada)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gelartnails
Instagram: http://instagram.com/olgapalylyk


Growing up in St Petersburg, Russia (Leningrad, as it was called at the time) I went on many school field-trips to the Hermitage museum. It has an incredible collection of famous works, and I got a pretty good education in art history. This nail I did in the style of French Impressionism that I enjoyed seeing on those trips.

Contestant #14: Ryoko Garcia (Navarre, FL)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nailsbyryoko
Instagram: www.instagram.com/nailsbyryoko


This was a hard project. Simple is hard. I didn’t want to do boring simple, so I decided to do a mixed media and also I got a unique idea for design. Comedy and tragedy masks are used to represent the creative arts: particularly film, theater, and television.  Happy face is a bright side and sad face is a dark side. I thought that’s exactly the match with this black and white theme. The lace is as a curtain of theater and the roses are given at the end of the show.


Contestant #15: Temeka Jackson (Orange, CT)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CustomTnails
Instagram: http://instagram.com/customtnails1


Black & White Swirl: My nail art design was inspired by high fashion couture styles, such as Chanel, fashion designers, and many current styles seen on today’s runways . I chose to create an elegant, simple, but creative look that will catch the eye of any individual. My medium is the pointy nail. This look allows the swirl design to start off small at the top of the nail and evolve into a nice, clean, sharp look. Black and white is one of my most honored colors to work with. It brings a bold but simple elegant and classy ballroom look for any fashionista ready to step out onto the red carpet.


Contestant #16: Tina Alberino (Wesley Chapel, FL)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TinaAlberino
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tinaalberino/


My design is a peacock thing. The design had to be “simple” so I purposefully didn’t include any steps that a novice wouldn’t be able to duplicate easily.

Contestant #17: Victoria Zegarelli (Ronkonkoma, NY)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/nailbarlounge
Instagram: http://instagram.com/nailbarlounge/



I was inspired to do this design because it is prom season and tuxedo nails have always been a popular accent nail choice.  I also wanted to incorporate the newly resurrected style of The Great Gatsby.  Art Deco brings a new touch to a simple favored design.

Contestant #18: Winnie Huang (British Columbia, Canada)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/winnieisawesome
Instagram: http://instagram.com/winnieisawesome/


I have always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt, especially after learning about how they were the first to practice personal beautification in school! Besides the beautiful physical traits, the Scarab Bettle  was worshiped by the Egyptians and was seen as an earthly symbol of a heavenly cycle, rolling the sun across the sky. I used a shading technique to make the beetle appear more “rustic”; I believe it almost looks as if it is an artifact! There are endless possibilities with black and white. I think this is a great way to incorporate both!