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Q+A With Essie’s Nail Art Awards Judge Michelle Saunders

Q+A With Essie’s Nail Art Awards Judge Michelle Saunders

02.27.17

By Sigourney Nuñez

Great news for all the procrastinators out there: the deadline to enter The Essie’s Nail Art Awards has been extended! You now have until March 6 to put your artistry skills to the test for a chance to win $20,000 and the opportunity to represent Essie.

To inspire and motivate you to participate in the 2017 Essie’s we reached out to celebrity nail professional Michelle Saunders for some real talk.

michelle saunders

Read our interview below. 

The Essie’s are a really big deal, what words of advice do you have for nail artists who might be too intimated to enter the contest?

Never let fear or intimidation prevent you from trying anything. If you love nail art and want to present it for the contest, don’t let doubt creep in. The worst that could happen is that you’ve learned how to enter a contest!

There are so many great nail artists out there, what can an applicant do to stand out in a crowd?

It’s really easy to look at other people’s nail art to be inspired. But it should end there. Find your own artistic vibe by looking at what you love, whether it’s a walk on the beach, your own backyard or an online art show. You derive broader inspiration from locations.

We always see you create something trendy and wearable, where do you find your inspiration for nail art?

For me, my inspiration begins with color combinations. I match up different tones to begin the process. Sometimes I have six colors all in one piece of nail art. From there, I begin a design, mostly inspired by textiles and architecture.

RELATED: Meet Harli Hall, 1st Essie’s Winner and 2016 Nail Art Ambassadoor

You’re a professional and an artist, but do you ever find yourself ever doubting your work? How do you overcome that?

As an artist, doubting your work is inevitable. But the worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others. Stay within your passion and what helps me with “painter’s block” is to keep practicing. I have a secret; there are so many times where I’ve painted a design on a nail chip and it was so bad that I actually had to get it out of my sight ASAP. Then I say, “Well, that didn’t work” so I start over. This process can take some time, so be patient. I take breaks from painting, go for a walk, listen to music, or grab a coffee. It always helps to get input from a trusted, non-judgmental person.

Participating in the Essie’s means being able to create something under deadline. Under those kind of circumstances, what advice do you have some artist who need to create art under a specific amount of time?

Pick your colors and sketch it out on paper first. Its saves time and gives you some perspective on depth and ratio.

The second-annual nail art contest hosted on YouTube and essie.com featuring an exclusive series of nail art challenges to discover the next great nail artist.

For full contest details, visit the Essie’s rules page.

What advice would you offer a fellow nail artist? Let us know in the comments below!

[Images: Courtesy of Essie]

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