Do you ever wonder why?Do you ever visit the competition area at the shows and watch the bent heads of nail technicians working away, trying their best to produce that perfect smile lines. Do you see the wonderful colours applied to extra long talons, feathers and curled wires unfurling from the finger tips of painted ladies. Rows and rows of black and white uniforms, all working away, trying to create perfection in just two and half hours. Do you take one look, and then leave, shaking your head, thinking ‘I could never do that’.
Understanding a little bit more about the competition circuit might just change your mind. Why would you enter? And how would you start planning your entry? One day you might stop, nod your head and say to your self, ‘I would love to do that’. Your creative juices are stirring inside and your inner child is jumping up and down on your stomach yelling YES YES YES, goading you to give it a go.
Think outside the box
The fantasy and photographic category in the competitions are for me the most fun, it allows me to think out side the box and look around at just what life has to offer for my canvas, to create a story in real life, and then sit back and watch as others interpret my work and identify with the plot.
If you are thinking of entering the fantasy category you must first understand the rules, and find out exactly what it is the judges are looking for. If you don’t understand the information, then find some one who does, contact people who have entered in the past or judged, don’t be afraid to ask.
Then you want to start planning your idea. Sketch out a design, draw the different variables and take photos of your inspiration. One of the hardest things to do when entering a competition like this is to come up with something original, this could seem an impossibility, as most of the idea’s nature provides us, have been used, try putting your own spin on an idea, think of a different way to present it. Look at what man has created, within films and television, you might find new inspiration. Always keep your eyes open, you never know where the next idea might be hiding
A model look!
Models play an important part in your entry, her look is as important as the design. When you tell your story you don’t want to distract your judge, your model must compliment your idea, and become part of the fantasy you want to symbolize. For example, a competition entry called ‘ Fire’ needed someone with a sultry look, long hair which could be coloured, shaped and mould into flames, The outfit was PVC and skin tight, so the model needed be able to carry the look with attitude. Her skin colour had to be dark or tanned, as if she had spent a lot of time in a hot place. You can imagine I wouldn’t have had the same response if I had chosen a blonde haired blue eyed, pale skinned waif. Melissa my model needed to look dirty and sexy, she had to portray an inner danger, sometimes associated with fire. My tale began with one of natures most powerful elements, showing that it could be both destructive and beautiful at the same time.
Create a tantalizing tale
When you are entering a fantasy class, you want to create a complete picture, and tell a tantalizing tale, Think of everything, from the hair right down to the toes. Each nail; from front to back has to deliver it own little chapter within this great novel. Each finger must be unique, an individual work of art, showing the judge something different every time. Use different materials in unusual ways, flowing from finger tip to finger tip.
Photographic category is my favorite; the camera becomes another tool helping me to create an illusion. Using the lenses is like using another paint brush and with today’s technology you can really create fantastical images to blow your mind. A professional photographer will help you achieve the final image, but it is import you communicate with him fully so that he understands the brief. Find some one who has previous experience with close ups and still life. Rent a studio and taking your own photos, would also be a less expensive option or visit your local college and ask the photographic department to help. The students are always looking for projects, this will
give them valuable experience working with a client and together you can produce some great images for both your portfolios.
Create an impression.Thinking outside the box is a must, but you can take your ideas a little further with photography. Your look will still tell a story, but unlike fantasy each nail needs to flow and your designs have to compliment and imitate each other. Create a fantasy with your pictures rather than be one. If you think of it as the cover of a book, you have only one chance to create an emotion in the person looking at your image, with one look that person holding the photo will be transported into your mind and understand what you are trying to say. With the Fantasy class you can touch things and turn them and the inspiration will develop, with an image you rely entirely on the person looking at your picture without words or movement.
I find the best way to come up with a scheme is to start thinking of an emotion, choose this feeling and then find a look which might best represent it. Never be afraid to follow your instincts and allow them to take you on this creative journey, you never know where it might lead
Keep a record.When you enter either of these categories, it helps to create a portfolio of your creation, not only for your self but you will need this as part of your entry into the competition. Detail your journey and use images to show how your creation has developed, be as creative with your portfolio as you have with your model or photograph. This will show how you came about your idea how it was made and the materials, props and products used. Because you may not get a chance to speak to the judge, he or she will also be interested in how you demonstrate your idea. You should detail, step by step, the structure and design of the individual nails as well as providing the source of your inspiration.
I wish you luck on your adventure into the world of fantasy, the thing to remember above everything else is to have fun, because believe me it will show in the final product.
Let your inner child out...
...show the world your creative side.