How did you get into nail art?
I first saw nail art being created a couple of years ago, when I was in my second year of uni. Wah Nails had just opened and I just thought it was the best thing ever. Because I was in Bristol I thought I'd get a nail art pen for myself and try it out.
What qualifications does being a nail artist require?
No qualifications, just creativity! If you have ideas for original designs and a reasonably steady hand, that's all you need. Qualifications may help at a later stage if you're serious about making it into a career, but to be honest it's the nail art that I'm interested in, not the 'nail technician' side of things. Your portfolio of nail art is the proof of your abilities. Make sure you take pictures of nails you paint! Check mine out http://boomnails.blogspot.co.uk/
Have you painted any famous fingertips?
A few! I painted Eliza Doolittle's nails way back when I first started. I've also done nails for the very lovely Mz.Bratt, and for Tanya Lacey a couple of times. I painted Cara Delavigne's nails at an event I was at, and I assisted a fantastic nail artist called Rebecca Jade Wilson on Rita Ora's R.I.P video shoot.
Do you use any special equipment besides nail polishes and pens?
Just nail art pens really and a really good topcoat (Seche Vite). Different nail artists have their own individual styles, and I guess maybe because of my graphic design background my designs are quite graphic, with thin lines and patterns. For most of my designs I just use polishes and pens. Although sometimes I do enjoy chucking a load of glitter all over a nail!
Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
Everywhere! When I first started I would look to other nail art blogs for inspiration, but stopped doing that as I think it's much better to have your own designs. Inspiration can come from anywhere - art, wallpaper, beautiful clothes from shoots I'm at, fabrics, animals, designers, seasonal events. With some designs, I just make them up as I'm going along.
Any tips for anyone hoping to improve their nail art skills?
Just practice! You will get better the more you paint. There are loads of nail art tutorials online too, so have a look at some of those for a step by step guide.
How did you go from turning your hobby into a brand?
I graduated just over a year ago (in graphic design), and when I moved back to London in July I fully intended to begin my career as a graphic designer. But then I kept being offered work to do with my nail art. By that point I'd already had my blog for a year, and had managed to spread the word of what I do to a small network of people who were in related industries. I decided to just give the nail art a go for a while, ride the nail art wave if you like! The trend was and is still growing, and is showing no sign of slowing down, so I think I'll keep going with this for a while! This year we have even been invited to the Virgin Media Louder lounge V Festival's exclusive back stage area where all the VIP and guest hang out.
What are your go-to nail products or brands?
For nail art pens, I normally use ebay. It's a bit hit and miss, but you can usually find something that works for you. I use so many different brands of nail polish, but some of my favourite brands are Orly, W.I.P, Mac and Revlon. For topcoat, always Seche Vite!
Any tips for nail art fans wanting to turn their hobby into a jobby?
Make sure you take (clear, good) pictures of the nails you paint. People will give you work if they like what you do - pictures act as your portfolio. Say yes to everything you get offered - whether it's a street party, craft fair, or hen party. You might not make great money at first, but the experience painting nails in different settings will help you when you do get a high pressure job.
Do you have a favourite nail design? (We heart your bunting nails!)
Thank you! I still really like the set I did based on African fabrics. Aztec designs are a firm favourite too, and I still really enjoy the designs I did that were all based on Yayoi Kusama's work for the Tate Modern. Her stuff is so colourful and fun, it translates well onto nails.
What makes a good starter kit for budding nail artists?
I'd say just use all the polishes you already have, buy one black and one white nail pen, and a bottle of Seche Vite. You can't go wrong! So much can be achieved with those three ingredients. As you practice, you'll notice if you need to build your kit. For instance some people prefer to use acrylic paints and tiny paintbrushes, but I've always just used nail art pens.
Are there any emerging nail trends we need to know about?
I don't know about the rest of the world, but I love fruit nails. I want pineapples and watermelons on my nails all the time!
You're freelance, so how can we go about getting our nails Boomed?
I take appointments, just email me! I do home or office visits too (in London), if there are five or more girls getting their nails done. I'm also at a bunch of different events like the Virgin Media Louder Lounge at V Festival this weekend. Check out the nail menu on the left!