Canvas on the cuticle

Canvas on the cuticle

Nidhi’s hobbies are a colourful spectrum that range from painting to paper quilling. However, most of her time is spent experimenting with paint on nails.  Her bond with hues is an iconic one and once these cute visual treats are on her nails, they don’t fail to grab eyeballs.

Nidhi’s foray into nail art started three years ago, when a few ‘Angry Birds’ found their way on to her nails. They were painted by her friend, who was a nail artist.

Inspired by this form of art, Nidhi learnt the techniques herself by following certain online tutorials and videos and networking with nail art groups abroad.

She chooses her themes from situations and events around her, picks up motifs and splashes them on her fingers. Be it the Argentinian or German flags during the FIFA World Cup in 2014, shadows, bats and broken window panes for Halloween, band members of ‘The Beatles’ or albums of popular bands like ‘Coldplay’, they have all gleamed on her nails.

Her artworks have a fine finish and cut to the chase with just the right amount of colour and consistency. Apart from nail polish, she uses stones and funky fonts as decorative items.   

It’s a nail-biting process of course – finding the right colours and shades, outlining the design on paper, painting a layer and waiting for each one to dry before moving on to the next. Her love for the art blossomed as the affair got messier. She says, “It’s not hard to choose the theme as much as it is to lose patience. I don’t mind the smudges as the art excites me. I enjoy going to beauty and wellness stores and choosing a variety of colours. It’s a fun process.”

Nidhi is as good as her tools. She practises nail art on herself and depending on the complexity, her designs can take upto two weeks to master. She adds, “I have taken from 30 minutes to about two hours to get a design perfect. During holidays, I practise my nail art everyday.” However, the biggest challenge is to tackle space constraints. So she prefers working on broad, manicured nails so that she can experiment with her colours better. 

She says, “It’s tough to work on nails because of the small space but it’s also challenging because of the same reason. It’s also tough to source out the perfect colours. I always have to settle for the closest shade available. It frustrates me that designs on nails don’t look like the original but it can’t be helped. For example, when I practised ‘The Beatles’ theme, it took me a couple of trial rounds before I could perfect it.”

She had a chance to hone her talent in college as she bagged a few prizes at nail art events during fests. Her skills now have a fine polish and her Facebook page is flooded with requests from friends and acquaintances. “I’ve never painted on a stranger’s hand,” she says.

But apart from nail art, Nidhi is deeply passionate about paper-quilling and ‘Do It Yourself’ projects. She loves to work with odds and ends to make earrings, necklaces, 3D dolls, lanterns and phone cases, using items like milk cartons and felt paper. She is currently busy with her studies and finds it hard to stay away from the art. But she is ready to nail it after her exams as she has a bouquet of ideas that she wants to try out, such as sunset designs and carving out the Eiffel Tower.

One of the few nail artists in the City, Nidhi feels that nail art still garners a niche audience, and more competitions at college level would increase awareness about it. Given a chance, she says that she would love to take up nail art professionally and delve into nail reveries all day. 

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