10 Mini Canvases: Nail Art’s Apotheosis


 “Never trust a man who expects you to have long, perfectly manicured nails.”
This was the wise advice imparted to me by a friend, as a gentle precursor to “never trust anyone who expects you to be anything”. Still, ‘perfectly manicured’ is a relative term. Mostly, it’s about having 10 mini canvases for nail doodles.  Plus, it’s a bit like doing discreet cosplay, but just for the fingertips.
These are tips from someone who has limited patience, refuses to invest in expensive products and is intimidated by people who do this kind of thing professionally.
• Top coat is the best.
• For complex things, try doodling them on paper first. Then, try doodling them with your non-dominant hand (unless you’re ambidextrous in which case, so much envy).
• If your design is too tricky, find a way to simplify it. Rather than drawing the thing itself, draw an aspect of the thing.
-Example: Movie Loki is pretty much omnipresent at the moment, and impressive as it might be to have 10 miniature Hiddles-replicas on the end of one’s fingers, it would be a) not really feasible without having to resort to decals and a whole bunch of faff and b) actually a bit creepy. Still, the colour scheme of green, gold and black is doable. Use a fine brush or dotter pen to make a zipper pattern, and you’ve got a nod to the character. Then, use your dominant hand to have a pop at a sort of head/helmet outline (and then practise your best scowl for when people use the word ‘fangirl’ at you as a pejorative).
Loki nails (click for bigger)
Loki nails (click for bigger)
• A simple design (like a ghost) can be striking and fairly quick to do. (Ghost pun courtesy of iguanabones’ bootiful comics.)
-The basic idea is a splodge of white on a black background, dragged into a sort of tail. For the eyes, blob two bits of black and there you have a cute ghost.
Ghost nails (click for bigger!)
Ghost nails (click for bigger!)
• If you have a thing that you are really into (like, say, a comic) and it could easily fill ten separate designs, then go for it. Be prepared for it to take ages. Then, when it’s all done, be prepared for people to look at your nails and say “I don’t get it?” until you feel obliged to try and introduce them to Gillen & McKelvie’s current Young Avengers run.
Young Avengers nails (click for bigger!)
Young Avengers nails (click for bigger!)
• Or just do Batman nails. Everyone knows Batman.
Batman nails! EVERYONE LOVES BATMAN. Click for bigger.
Batman nails! EVERYONE LOVES BATMAN. Click for bigger.
• Get a decent camera, or a friend who will take decent pictures of your manicures for you, because trying to take hand selfies on a cameraphone is rubbish.
• Never trust anyone who thinks your nails are any less than awesome.

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