I am from Saskatchewan, Canada. The prairies are known for crops and cattle, but I’ll throw a hay bail with some stilettos any day! I have been doing nails for just a little over a year. I absolutely love crazy nails that are complete with hand painting, 3-D, and Swarovskis! I believe that nails are a way to express ourselves so whatever you feel like doing on your nails or wearing, don’t let anyone’s words get to you. Always be unapologetically yourself!
Week 9: Gel II
After extensive research I found that the story of the Volcanic goddess Pele is very important to the Hawaiian culture. It is believed that Pele created the Hawaiian islands after a monumental fight with her sister Namaka the goddess of the sea. It is said that Pele has a very bad temper and this is why the volcanoes erupt. I found amazing images on the internet of the Volcanic goddess coming out of the volcano and this is what I chose to depict. Once again I know that my piece leans to the darker side, however, this is due to the ominous stories of Pele, the goddess of fire, volcanoes and the creator of Hawaii.I painted the 10 nails and sealed with matte top coat. I created the body of Pele step by step. I started with the volcano base using Extreme White and the Sculpting Solution so that the colours over top would really pop. I then built the torso, arms and chest, face, curing in between each step so that it would hold its shape. The hair and the fire was pressed very thin and provided more texture. I coloured the body with various shades of yellow, orange and red, then covered in black. I gently chipped the black away in a cracking pattern with an efile. I added a smoky/hazy texture. I hope that you like my interpretation of Hawaii complete with the goddess of volcanoes!
Week 8: KUPA
This challenge was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed carving! My interpretation of this challenge is inspired by ancient and modern triptychs. I love the folding reveal element of the ancient (even though we could not use hinges as an embellishment), but also love the modern 3-D elements of the triptych, particularly from the artist Lorna Barnshaw, an artist who is establishing herself for her 3-D prints of human faces and triptych form. When doing research, an article describes a triptych as a fun expression of our inner thoughts and that the whole is greater than the parts. Since this idea came to me in a dream, I thought this was quite fitting.
I love peacocks, I think they are very majestic and mysterious, and in China they are a symbol of divine beauty and immortality. They are often depicted in ancient paintings next to emperors, pagodas, cherry blossoms, mountains, and water. I wanted to create a whole story and make an ancient Chinese painting come to life with its moveable components. These moveable aspects also play on the challenge’s name because my piece is in fact NOT set in stone or “fixed” into place. I wanted this piece to be a reflection of my out there style while keeping it classy. I tried to combine ancient and modern ideas of a triptych, while putting my own aesthetic on it.
Week 7: En Vogue
The lyrics spoke to me about fashion, and since Madonna is known for her iconic and risqué fashion, people are always talking about it. I wanted to create a cohesive set that showed many of Madonna’s looks. I have never sculpted an extreme shape with gel before, but the En Vogue sculpting resins had amazing strength and flexibility, they proved to be quite easy to work with. The Clear Modelling Resin has a thick viscosity and stays where it is put! This product was used in many parts of my design. I did this set to be risqué, eye-catching and to push my limits even more all while trying to edit myself, keep the piece cohesive and clean, and staying true to my crazy aesthetic. Like Madonna, this set pushes the boundaries.
Week 6: NSI
For this week’s challenge I wanted to capture the only thing I truly knew and have experienced as a carnival, and that’s the travelling carnival that travels around North America. This carnival consists of rides, food, and games! My mom and I went every single year, and these are some of the memories that I hold dear. This carnival is a collection of my memories as a child. There had to be multiple moveable and “magical” elements, because as a child, the world is full of magic and wonder! The cotton candy spins, the fireworks glow, the food is interchangeable, the games mimic the actual games, and the ride rotates.
Here’s a little breakdown of my set: I used to love to get balloon animals made by the clowns at the carnival. The duck and fishing games are my absolute favourite to this very day. The tea cup ride is one of the only ones that I don’t mind and that doesn’t freak me out. The teddy bear is a replica of my original teddy, that I cherished all of my childhood, and lastly fireworks, they are so gorgeous and we don’t get to see them often, only during events, such as when the carnival comes to town.
This challenge was so much fun and really pushed my engineering skills and resourcefulness. I really wanted to focus on my realistic 3-D/4-D to really make this set come to life.
Week 5: EzFlow
I love landscapes, history, and travel so this challenge was a lot of fun! With my innate love of Asian culture, it was an obvious choice for me. However, my selection goes deeper than my love of Asian culture. Here’s a fun fact: I can speak and write Mandarin. I used to compete in National Mandarin competitions as well. I was to travel to China to study, but I accepted my social work position and had to forfeit my trip. However, by researching hours and hours and watching many documentaries for this challenge I learned so much about the history of the Great Wall and many interesting facts that made this challenge very fulfilling.
I find beauty in nature and absolutely love all of the seasons. I really wanted to capture the vastness and worn look of this Wall as it stands today, in its beautiful disarray. I wanted to show how it carries on for miles and miles, throughout many different kinds of terrain, and since the Wall took many years to complete, it was built through many many seasons before completion. Also, I tried to do flatter more abstract 3-D nail art, rather than extreme 3-D/4-D that I would have typically done. This may look quite simple, but in order to keep it flat but still have that dimension was a big challenge. Each brick was individually cut, layered, and shaded to create depth and an old and worn look. The Great Wall comes in various colors from grey to off-white, to red. I wanted to incorporate all of these colors into my wall. This was achieved using white, Voodoo, Smart Tart, and Luminous Lilac. In order to achieve the various shades I made my own mixes using multiple EZFlow acrylic colors. I wanted to use as many of the colors that EZFlow gifted us, but not in an overwhelming way. I wanted it to flow, just like the ever winding Great Wall. It was built so pieces overlap to give the illusion that they are attached when aligned, but each nail is still individual.
Week 4: Tammy Taylor Nails
“Ride or die, remember?”
Dom and Letty are my absolute favorite couple. They are so similar to my ex and my love story, but it is their loyalty and commitment that draws the audience in. They may do heists, shoot guns, get into high speed chases, but their love is so strong, and regardless of multiple circumstances, they always come back to each other.
With this design I tried to push myself in many ways, not only with portrait work, but also with refining my design and editing myself. I wanted this piece to be complex and eye-catching but also very refined. I wanted a complex but minimal looking piece. Everything is built with Acrygel or painted with Tammy Taylor’s Gelegance Gel Polish and Gel Art Paint. The only embellishment used is a small piece of chain to make the heart. I absolutely love the car, and the Flawless Finish Top Coat really made it shine! You cannot hide those shine lines. I needed to ensure that the car was dent free because I don’t think it would fly to say this car is after the car crash scenes.
Like Dom and Letty I am not into mushy gushy love, but their story will always be near and dear to my heart, and I hope that my depiction has stolen your heart.
Week 3: LeChat
This challenge made me think of another passion of mine, helping people with domestic violence situations. I thought that this would be a very accurate representation of people’s perceptions of a relationship versus the reality. I know that this is a very strong subject matter so I did not want to depict these situations in their true gruesome form, but rather portray it in a comic book/ pop art style. This way, I was able to show sensitive images and make an impact but in a more artsy way. The only embellishment that I used was a single Swarovski chaton for the engagement ring. I chose to cut and paint on tips because the effect made it look like an actual comic book page or scene but also added the depth, dimension, and a clear but blurry effect. I wanted this effect, because even when you can see the reality you can never truly see or understand the abuse that these people endure. For people who are not subjected to domestic violence images they may not know how frequently it occurs or that they themselves are in an abusive relationship. The pinky shows emotional abuse, we perceive this woman’s engagement ring is huge and she is extremely happy, when in reality she is called degrading names such as “slut” on a daily basis, not knowing what she did wrong. The ring finger shows a man in an abusive relationship where he is slapped and degraded. Yes, even men experience abuse. The middle shows control, often in an abusive relationship you cannot go out without the abuser, and those that sneak out to see their friends often suffer afterwards. The index, captures the classic view of “I’m sorry it will never happen again” and “You make me do this.” These words are separated purposely to give emphasis. These two phrases are quite common in an abusive relationship, the victim is often made to believe that it is their fault somehow and that they deserve the abuse, which is a mental tactic abusers use. No one deserves to be abused. The thumb captures the hopelessness that people in an abusive relationship feel, that this is their life and they must live like this. There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships but having the knowledge to know that there is help out there is often the first step. I know that I chose a very risqué topic for this challenge but as artists we have the platform to speak out and raise awareness and I hope that this set makes you question, is what you see really someone’s reality?
Week 2: Mia Secret
I am such an animal lover that when we were given the challenge to create a safari themed mani that could include 3-D, I was so excited! This is why after extensive research I found the animals that I really wanted to sculpt but also worked in accordance with the coloured acrylics that we were graciously provided. I must say that these acrylics were very easy to work with! They were very pigmented even when used very wet. I used all the colours except for Honey Lavender.
When I researched what a safari truly is, it is a hunting or sightseeing expedition of wildlife. Well, hunting was definitely out. I believe that the only way to shoot an animal is with a camera. This is why I chose animals that are predominantly hunted for sport. I tried to capture their majestic beauty in their habitats, which is mainly the African jungle. Some animals are more shy than others, these are the ones who are slightly covered by leaves. All of my animals are built and shaded with the acrylic powder. I only used acrylic paint for highlights and top coat for the eyes. Although I do love cartoon animals, I tried to make these look as realistic as possible.
Week 1: Orly
Our style is a refection of us. I wanted to show my love of 3-D/4-D elements on nails that make a statement, and how Japanese culture and art influence me. After reading the challenge, the word “embellishment” made me think of the Kawaii style, however, although we were allowed to use other Orly Gel FX and lacquer colours, I did not want to stray too far from the colour palette that Orly graciously provided. This is why I stayed with a Japanese theme but went with a more traditional style that showed the beauty of the crystal clear nails but also told a story of the richness of the Japanese culture. “Mushin” is a Japanese meditation technique where a clear mind is important for creating art, among other things. It is clearing yourself from your ego and letting yourself go. This set of nails is a reflection of this state. A clear mind (the clear nails), with art being created from and around it, although the ornaments are statement pieces it is the pure clarity that is the main focus that not only enables one to have a peaceful mind but also to create manifestations of what the mind sees. Every element is made out of Orly Builder in a Bottle, Gel FX and/or Lacquer, except for the Swarovskis. I made my own replica of foil by applying Lacquer to backing paper and letting it dry, this is also encapsulated. I also played on the challenge’s name. Each nail you can see clearly, but there is also an element on each that you cannot see as it is mythological. The mythological beings that I chose to include are ones that are very recognizable in Japanese culture and art: the Tatsu (Dragon), the Hou-oh (Phoenix), the Golden Koi Fish, the Oni with a Katana (Demon Ogre), and the Hotei (the laughing Buddha). There are also various Japanese symbols such as Sakura blossoms and petals, koi fish, a Maneki-Neko (good luck cat figurine), and a pearl that I made using Orly Gel FX colours and a little white chrome to add sheen. This pearl in combination with the dragon represents the legend of the Dragon and the Pearl. I hope that you enjoy my Japanese ornamental adorned glass nails and enjoy getting to see me a little clearer.