Thursday, 25 September 2008

Creative Thinking

Once you have learned the craft of nails and earning a living, should you continue to develop yourself and your skills to create some truly amazing work?” Working on bettering yourself and your skills is the first step to being a successful technician, start today with these six simple steps.

Step 1 - Nail Technicians are Creative People!
The next time you think "I can never come up with good ideas," remember this; there is a countless number of useful ideas and innovative thoughts in all of us. You are brilliant, yes this is a fact and it is your life that makes you brilliant. Your life is unique, full of obstacles and inspiration. Take some time to remember every situation you have encountered, every problem you have faced, and the countless solutions and creative ways you have come up with to solve them. However creativity is not only about finding solutions to problems or thinking up different ways to do things.

Step 2 - Look at things in a new perspective
I use problem solving as an example to help you realize that creative thinking requires us to look at things from new perspectives.
We all have some level of creativity within us and you can teach yourself to be more creative. Using this creativity in your work, to improve our business and enjoy the freedom it brings.
Step 3 -Positive thinking
Creativity is a state of mind. Telling yourself or others "I'm not very creative," or "I can never come up with new or clever ideas," destroys that state of mind. Creative thinking requires positive thinking. Don’t mistake creativity with artistic licence, these two things are very different, and you don’t need to be artistic to be creative. Remember, it is about looking at things with a new perspective and find a solution to a particular problem. If we look at designing nails, it is not about finding a design; we use ‘inspiration’ for that, but more about interpretation the design and finding a creative way to dilute it and use it.
Step 4 -Inspiration is critical to creative thought. Without sudden flashes of inspiration, we might never arrive at creative solutions to difficult problems. Without the fresh insight that intuition grants us, we might never see the bigger picture.What we see, hear, feel, taste, and touch -- influence our state of mind. A positive atmosphere contributes to a positive and creative state of mind. Surround yourself with inspirational props, use magazines, junk mail, cereal boxes, wrapping paper and birthday cards to name a few to generate ideas. Besides what we see or hear, the scents, textures, and tastes experienced during our creative thinking time contribute to our creativity. Collecting whatever materials inspire you and give you ideas is a step towards finding a creative solution.
You need to store these ideas, and the brain is not the place to do it, image it is a huge filing system, if you’re actively trying to retrieve stored inspirational memories with you’re not able to come up with new ideas. Whether it's a folder, a notebook, or an entire file cabinet, keep clippings, thumbnail sketches, junk mail, photos, and anything else that inspires you or gives you ideas. Don't just file it and forget it - go through the file get in the habit of making notes, outlines, sketches, or doodles. Jot down or record all your thoughts, no matter how bizarre or where ever you are, some of your best ideas come just before falling asleep. Keep a notebook at your bedside, in your hand bag, even in the loo so you will always be ready to write down ideas.
Step 5 -Have a goal
While positive thinking allows your mind to accept new ideas and creative thoughts, using an effective thinking method can help direct your thoughts toward specific goals. Daydreaming, relaxation, and free association allow the mind to come up with new or unusual ideas or idea fragments. Having a goal for your creative thinking will prevent those random thoughts and ideas which may not be particularly useful.
In my first class I talk about the five steps to develop your design, and how important it is to decide your topic, find a subject which you want to recreate, for example ‘seaside’, ‘wedding flowers’ or ‘hot tropics’. Once you have your title you can find inspirational images to support it, and develop your creative solution. Working more effectively will prevent your mind running away with unrelated thoughts.
Step 6 -Practise & Discipline
Science has speculated that we are using 10% of our brain capacity and expanding your brain and mind will accelerate your creative potential. Everyone has natural creative talent and this can be enhanced by stimulating the mind.
Your sensory input gets stored in memory. By giving your mind fresh inputs each day, your memories get triggered and combined with the new input. Sometimes you will get ideas or gain new perspectives. Creativity takes practice. Your creativity is there within you, but you must make a habit of using it. Through imagination and creativity, using what we think and how we think to determine our quality of life is a powerful tool, and as Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Sir Francis Bacon is famous for saying “knowledge is power”?
Every thought we have is a creative thought. The question isn't whether we are creative or not. The question is whether we are aware of our powers of creativity and are able to expand and use them purposefully.

Nails & Styling by Sam Biddle; Photography - Stuart Dibben; Models - Vicki Smith & Jorden Biddle
This article was published in Scratch magazine September 2008

Monday, 8 September 2008

Nail Professional of the Year 2008

Wow what an amazing evening, all the excitement and tension in one room filled with sparkling dresses and Dicky bows. As I look around the room I am amazing at the amount of people who have come together on this special evening to recognize and honour the best the industry have to offer.

The walls twinkle as tiny fairy lights blink in tune to the pumping music and each of the finalists are reviewed with a summery of not more than 30 words! Then the winner is called out to a resounding applause. Cheers from the various groups remind us of the support offered in a room full of strangers...we all feel the same, the tension builds as the categories are crossed off one by one. Then it is here Nail professional of the year, John is squeezing my hand, Victoria has her eyes closed and Mum winks at me..... I am not sure why I did this now, and I really don't want to find out who will receive this title any more.

Claire Durtnall - Holland from East Bourne, East Sussex, walks up to the stage to receive her trophy, and I am really thrilled for her I know how she must be feeling... well done Claire. I am so honoured to be one of those finalists and I know how those other 6 women are feeling within their groups of friends and supporters, I also know that this has happened to us all for a reason, we are brought to this place to learn and grow and the next time we enter and win we will appreciate it so much more.

If I am honest I am disappointed but I am also very very proud to have been invited and been part of a great evening. I have enjoyed the company of some amazing achievers and have taken this experience as a resounding success. I want to thank my gorgeous husband and amazing mother for being there and Victoria Smith and Andrew for supporting me all the way, you will never know how much that meant Vic. Amber Gibbons, Jane Cook, John Hardwick and the team from Grafton's arrived within mins of the awards being over to is nice to see the support that we some times take for granted, and realize that the people around us are there guiding us on each step of our journey. For the many emails and text messages from everyone wishing me well......I am also very very grateful.

So do I put my self through all this again, do I continue competing in this arena......? You tell me.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Nail Professional of the Year 2008

The Brit Beauty awards are tonight and I am sat here waiting to leave for London. I have to keep asking my self if I am nervous....I feel calm and collected but as each second disappears and brings 7.00 closer, I recognize the same old churning in my stomach, like the washing machine tumbling the wet clothes in the kitchen, my stomach is spinning my nerves.

Should I be nervous? John seems to think I am always a winner in his biased supportive way, my mother smiles and tells me that what ever happens it is meant to be and I will learn and grow either way, and my kids just wish me good luck as they ride out the driveway to play with their friends. Don't they know how much self doubt I have to battle with.

I know I seems confident I have entered so many competitions and each time feel completely at ease having nothing to loose. Today should be no different it is not the end of all things, but if I am honest with myself it would be nice to be NAIL PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR!

The competition is amazing and there is some grate candidates, so I feel proud and honoured to be up against them. I would like to say to anyone else who is sitting waiting for a judgement of sorts I wish you love and light....and luck!