I am an artist in every way. I do nails, makeup, and I paint. I married an artist, so we encourage creativity in each other. I don’t have a favorite color. You can usually tell what mood or frame of mind I’m in by what color I favor at the time. Art is a means of release, emotional support, expression and a display of who I am on the inside. Art is always the inner workings of the artist, their emotions and the fantasy they create in their mind. That’s what I try to do on a daily basis while loving on my clients and treating them like they’re the greatest gift in the world. I focus more on art and properly maintained nails. Nail art is cute but art is the main objective. I offer my clients an experience when they come to Graffiti Nail Bar. Art is everywhere in my salon — on walls, on canvases, on my nail bar, and I’m working on painting the floor and chairs. I love a lot of color. When my clients come in I want them to feel fun, I want them to feel free and uninhibited. I take pride in knowing my clients so well that when they come in they can sit down and never have to look at a polish bottle. I make sure I’m very relatable, so I have a wide range of clients. From teachers to housewives and nurses to attorneys, they all connect to me in some sort of way. When they come in its ‘girlfriend’ conversations every time. We are like a family and Graffiti Nail Bar is our home. I’m excited to be able to create with no limitations in this competition!
Week 2: Bio Seaweed Gel
For my 2nd challenge, sponsored by Bio Seaweed Gel, I chose to honor the pretty blue waters of the ocean. First let me say how extremely out of my element I was this week. I’m a painter not a sculptor, so having to sculpt a scene with 3-D objects on nails was very hard for me. I wanted to paint a picture but that wasn’t my challenge, so I began dreaming. When I go to the beach I love to see pretty blue ocean water crashing against the shore line and seaweed washing up in the sand. I’ve seen pictures of beaches in Africa, Asia, and around the Mediterranean that I dream of going to with big huge rocks on the shore and mountains all around. I combined two nails for my shallow seaweed and coral, with pretty blue waving water.
The most breathtaking part of these particular parts of the world I’ve never been to is the majestic creatures that live in those waters. I decided to do the tale of a whale coming out of the water with splashing water all around. I combined two nails for my ocean and whale.
I did want to create something as a tribute to the new collection, and that is my shipwreck nail. I had so much fun seeing this come to life. It started out as a clay-filled mess because I had no clue of how to execute it properly, but it came together finally. I used my electric file to shape the body of it and drill holes in the side. I also used tiny drink straws as a mold for the “sail poles.” I cut them in half and filled them with the gel in the necessary lengths and assembled the pieces with gel. After which, I drilled a hole in the deck of the ship and fit the assembled poles in the hole. I used the same brown gel for my rocks on the boat, and I used acrylic paint for the worn wood effect. Also, I typically see stuff hanging from the wrecked ships like seaweed or hanging cables, so I had the idea to get one of my wipes and rub the ship until the fibers attached themselves and I covered it with gel.
I consider myself pretty talented being experienced in most things nail art, but this challenge was just that, a challenge. I’m usually not bothered by any nail art I’m asked to do, but this worried me. I’m not afraid to say, the challenge won this round, but I didn’t fold under pressure.
Week 1: Young Nails
I have to say, this is much more than an interpretation of my caption through my art. This is my thoughts manifested — it’s my daily life. Art is more than paint on a canvas. It is a thought, a feeling, an emotion. Art is a release of energy and love through any given medium. Fifty percent of art is imagination and that which you imagine is more than a picture — it’s a story. You make people live your story through your art and it’s up to you whether it is a short story or a novel.
This mural represents me; it’s my life and passion. I chose a picture of Erykah Badu because this particular picture is how I see things on a daily basis. We’re not a color. We’re all colors. We’re beautiful jumbled up rainbows. Her hair is a representation of my heritage. I’m a Black American and I’ve somehow been forced to not straighten my hair because it rejects the relaxer, so I’m going to eventually be big and natural, and this is my tribute to my transformation. There always has to be some sort of graffiti, so I thought it was cool that she had writing all through her hair.
“Organized Chaos” is the best way I can describe my very bipolar, multi-personality style. Nothing ever matches, it just fits together. It’s all over the place but it makes a complete statement. Therefore, I have different colors mixed, my fonts are different, and my little characters are celebrating my craziness while paint drips all over them. It’s a beautiful mess, wonderfully imperfect and wildly imaginative. Meanwhile, my favorite spray can image is in one corner and a reminder to myself is in the other. The top right corner has an African symbol for “perseverance,” which is completely unrelated to my idea, but was a very important part of my process.
The only thing I can ever do is be true to me. This mural is that, it is me and I would never be mad for going home after giving everything I had and writing my true story through a paint brush. Welcome to my world.