Wear your heart on your hands. There is a difference between pretty nails and nail art. Don’t use that three letter word ‘art’ in vain.
I was first exposed to nail art as a dweeby 12 year old by my little cuteheart childhood friend Greta. Greta had fantastically long and strong nails and used to blow me away with her skills. She’d use different colours and paint insane geometric shapes. Seriously funky not to mention incredibly ahead of her time. I’ve noticed a huge nail art trend over the last few years with bold colours, bling and the popular ‘feature nail’. For me, getting my nails done has always been a treat and purely for aesthetics aaaaannnnddddd lets be real … for being unnecessarily high maintenance. Vanity Projects has completely shifted my perception of nail art. I LOVE WHEN LIFE DOES THAT! So here is a sum up of my Vanity Projects experience.
Vanity Projects is centered around providing a platform for artists to bring their creative talents to a wider audience. AMEN! It’s founder Rita de Alencar Pinto began her Vanity Projects journey in 2009. What began as pop-up events amongst her personal creative circle soon turned into a 3 month installment at MOMA as part of the Confettisystems installation. When MOMA calls ... You know you’re onto something pretty dope. Vanity Projects sponsors nail artists from all over the globe to come and have 3months working out of one of their chairs to hone their skills, meet other working artists in the industry and grow their client base.
That time I went to Vanity Projects
I knew from the vanity projects Instagram that they were clever but it wasn’t until I spoke with the artists and a fellow patron, Natalie that I began to understand the sentiment that can come with this form of canvas.
My angel of the hour was Ayumu. The first thing I noticed was that she was using what wee little pots of paint and tiny paint brushes. I mean seriously miniature! We decided on a beautiful blue grey colour as a gel base then a metallic silver for the geometric art we’d decide on when the time came. As she was working away on the base I was shamelessly eavesdropping on the lady next to me briefing her artist on her concept for her session. She was having a 2.5 hour session and it became clear to me that during this session they were going to create a unique one of a kind mural that would reflect where Natalie was at spiritually and mentally in life. I introduced myself. She shared her story and now I will share with you.
That time Natalie told me a story
Natalie was going through a rough time. The poem ‘With April Rain brings May Flowers’ is a poem she turns to, to remind her that persevering through the storm is shitty but you will come out the other side blooming. You need the rain to enjoy the shine. The negative to appreciate the positive. She explained to the artist she wanted to have nails on her left hand dedicated to clouds, storms and rain drops, then her right hand contrasting with floral arrangements, sunshine and popping colour. Bloom. The light at the end of the tunnel. Her thumbs were to be dedicated to the pilgrimage. I was in shock. What the actual fuck? This is like a tattoo for noncommittal / indecisive people! AKA me! For Natalie – this “nail art” is an every day reminder of what she’s going through… a mantra.
That time Natalie told me another story…
She told me she used to be over 200pounds and informed me of the term ‘ONEderland’. I had no idea what that meant.
Basically – for a person severely overweight, “onederland” is when that first number on the scales flicks from 200pounds to 199 pounds. When Natalie reached this goal she booked herself into Vanity Projects and they curated an incredible mural on her fingers. An Alice in wonderland themed spread which reminded her throughout her days of the dream she made come true for herself. I was struck by sentiment. That to me is art. Hearing Natalie and her artist talk about nails in such a conceptual way was so foreign but so inspiring to me.
Vanity and self expression blending into one melting pot of beauty. Genius. Beauty can be vain but Vanity Projects is so much more than pretty nails. It’s self expression and art and beauty rolled into one. Respect.
My nails are below with a little description.
Sagittarius my star sign.
Infinity symbol to remind myself of the infinite possibilities : “Dwell in the possibilities” is an Emily Dicksenson quote I love.
The curves symoblise going with the flow … rolling with the ebs and flows, ups and downs of life. Relaxing into the rhythm of life and not fighting it.
The arrows symbolize my path. Ever changing directions but reminding me that it’s always right. No matter which direction I find myself heading I will learn and grow. Therefore it will be perfect.
Heartbeat: 1) My health. I am grateful for my health. For the machine that keeps blood pumping and oxygen flowing. 2) Reminding me to let this heart of mine to be open and welcoming.
Brooklyn bridge. That NY trip was a very poignant chapter in my life. I road that rail across the Brooklyn bridge everyday whilst I was there.