OPI Pro Spotlight: @artisannailstudio
With fall in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, October is a thrilling time for nail artists to show off their skills.
There’s no doubt Melissa (@artisannailstudio), an award-winning nail artist and this month’s Pro Spotlight pick, is going to slay aaaalll the client requests: her meticulous designs and character work are magnificent! Keep reading to learn about her journey, including her process for doing elaborate nail art and the spooky season looks she’s eager to create.
OPI: How did you begin your fantastic journey to be the award-winning nail artist you are today?
Melissa:My journey as a nail artist started when I was a little girl. I loved to paint my nails with different colors and patterns. I was always fascinated by art, fashion and colors. How all these elements can be used to express your personality and mood. I decided to pursue my passion and opened Artisan Nail Studio in Florida. There, I learned the basics of nail care, hygiene, various techniques and styles of nail art and designs. I also practiced a lot on myself, my friends, and my family, and received incredible feedback and encouragement from them.
My skills and experience as a nail artist grew as I worked with different clients and their preferences at my salon. It is a valuable learning opportunity for me.
I also continue to learn new trends and innovations in the nail industry by attending expos, classes, reading blogs, and social media. I am always eager to try new things and challenge myself to create unique and beautiful designs. I also participated in several nail art competitions and won some awards and recognition for my work.
One of the most memorable moments of my career was when I was invited to join the nail design team at OPI. I am thrilled at the opportunity to work with such an amazing company, as well as some of the biggest name in the industry. It is an amazing position that has taught me a lot about the art and business of nail design. It has also opened many doors for me and helped establish my reputation as an award-winning nail artist.
Today, I am proud to say that I have achieved my dream of becoming a successful and respected nail artist. I have my own salon where we offer high-quality services and awesome OPI products to my loyal clients. I also share tips, tricks, and tutorials on nail art on my Instagram page. I love what I do and I am always grateful for the support and appreciation that I receive from OPI, my clients and followers. Nail art is not just a hobby or a job for me, it is a passion and a way of life. Thank you for your interest in my story.
OPI: We love all your colorful nail art styles and character work! What techniques do you use to create looks that pop right off the nails?
Melissa: I use various techniques including mixed media and hand-drawn art. Some of the techniques that I use are:
Ombre/Gradient nails: This is a technique where I apply two or more colors on the nails and blend them together to create a smooth transition. I use a sponge or a brush to dab the colors on the nails and create a gradient effect. This technique can create a stunning ombre or rainbow look on the nails.
Stamping nails: This is a technique where I use a metal plate with engraved designs and a stamping tool to transfer the designs onto the nails. I apply nail polish on the plate, scrape off the excess, and press the stamping tool on the plate to pick up the design. Then, I press the stamping tool on the nail to transfer the design. This technique can create intricate and detailed patterns on the nails.
3D nails: This is a technique where I use acrylic or gel to sculpt and shape 3D objects on the nails. I use a brush or a dotting tool to apply and mold the product on the nails and create 3D shapes such as flowers, bows, fruits, animals, etc. This technique can create realistic and eye-catching 3D effects on the nails.
These are some of the techniques that I use to create my nail art styles and character work.
OPI : Now that it's October, what Halloween and Fall looks are you most looking forward to creating for you clients?
MELISSA: October is one of my favorite months because it allows me to unleash my creativity and imagination with my designs. Some of the looks that I look forward to creating are:
Spooky nails: This is a look where I use black, orange, purple, and green colors to create spooky and scary designs on the nails. Popular designs incudes: pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, bats, skulls, etc. This look is perfect for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.
Autumn nails: This is a look where I use warm and cozy colors to create autumn-inspired designs on the nails. I love drawing: leaves, acorns, apples, mushrooms, etc. This look is ideal for enjoying the fall season and its activities.
Glow-in-the-dark nails: This is a look where I use special nail polish that glows in the dark to create fun and eye-catching designs on the nails. These can be stars, moons, fireflies, lanterns, etc. This look is great for adding some sparkle and magic to the night.
I love spooky season!
OPI: What is the most fulfilling part about being an OPI Educator?
MELISSA: OPI is a leading brand of professional nail care products that offer high-quality and innovative products, services, and education to nail professionals and consumers. As an OPI Educator, I have the privilege and responsibility of teaching and inspiring other nail professionals and enthusiasts about the latest trends, techniques, and products in the nail industry.
The most fulfilling part about being an OPI Educator is seeing the growth and improvement to my aspiring nail students. I love to share my passion and knowledge of nail art with them and help them achieve their goals and dreams. I enjoy seeing their creativity and confidence blossom as they learn new skills and express themselves through their nails. The feedback and appreciation that I receive from them inspire me to keep learning and improving myself.
Being an OPI Educator is not only a job but also a joy for me. I am proud to be part of a global community of nail professionals who are dedicated to excellence, innovation, and education. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others through my work.
OPI: You are a published, award winning, educating, celebrity nail artist! What has been the most memorable moment in your nail career thus far?
MELISSA: I have had many memorable moments in my nail career. One of the most unforgettable ones has to be when I won the Next Top Nail Artist All Star Competition from OPI in 2020.
NTNA is my favorite competition of all time. I was thrilled to have competed with such talented and amazing nail artists from around the world. I created custom nail designs for the competition, inspired by OPI Spring 2020 Mexico City collection. It was a challenging and rewarding competition that pushed my skills to the limit. Everyone at OPI was very kind and appreciative of my work. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget.
OPI: What's your process when creating elaborate characters and art for your nail designs?
MELISSA: I usually follow these steps:
Research: I do some research on the theme, style, and inspiration of the design that I want to create. I look for images, articles, or videos that help me get ideas and some visual references. For one competition, I even visited my local zoo to get my inner animal inspiration.
Sketch: I sketch rough drafts on paper. Pencil sketching helps me fill the outlines, shapes, and details of my project. I also experiment with different colors and effects to see what works best.
Prepare: I'll then prepare the tools and organize the materials that I need to create the design. I use various types of nail polish, brushes, dotting tools, props, gems, etc. to achieve the desired look and quality. I also make sure that the nails are clean, dry, and shaped before applying any nail polish.
Create and finish: I usually create the design by applying the polish and other materials on my nails. I follow the sketches that I made earlier and use the brushes and dotting tools to paint the characters and art. I also add some items or gems to enhance the design and make it more realistic and attractive.
OPI: What's your favorite OPI shade to use on clients?
MELISSA: OPI has a wide range of colors and collections for every occasion, mood, and season. I love to experiment with different colors and shades to create a unique look for my clients. However, if I have to choose one color that I use the most and love the most, it would be Big Apple Red.
Big Apple Red is a timeless red color that is part of the OPI Classics Collection. It's a bright and bold red that can make any nail look glamorous and elegant. It is also a versatile color that can match any skin tone, outfit, or style. I use Big Apple Red for various occasions, such as weddings, parties, holidays, or everyday wear. I also use it as a base color for many of my nail designs, such as flowers, hearts, stripes, dots, etc. Big Apple Red is a color that never goes out of fashion and always makes a statement.
Big Apple Red is not only my favorite OPI color to use on clients, but also on myself. I love how it makes my nails look. It always boosts my confidence and mood when I wear it. It's a color that I always have in my salon and in my personal collection.
OPI: You are so talented at creating different kinds of designs. Do you see any upcoming trends this season?
MELISSA: I'm always searching for new trends and inspiration. Here are some designs that I think will be popular this holiday season: Iridescent Chrome: This trend is all about adding a touch of shine to your nails without going overboard. You can use chrome over opaque or sheer base shades, giving your nails a glossy, healthy appearance. This look is perfect for any occasion, from casual to elegant. Barely-there French: This is a modern twist on the classic French mani. Instead of the usual half-moon shape, paint a very thin and natural white tip on your nails. This gives your hands a chic and expensive look. You can also try reverse French, where you paint a thin line near your cuticles. Nail accents: Have fun with your nails. You can always add texture or sparkle to your nails with rhinestones and glitter. Consider adding OPI matte topcoat to your polish. You can also play with different shapes and patterns, such as dots, stripes, or hand-painted drawings.
OPI: Do you have any tips to share with pros to help get ready for the holiday season?
MELISSA: The holiday season is a busy and fun time for nail artists and their clients. It is also a great opportunity to showcase your creativity and skills with nail art and designs. Here are some tips I use to prepare for the holiday season:
Plan ahead: The holiday season is a peak time at our salon for nail appointments, so it is important to plan ahead and manage your schedule efficiently. We use online appointment systems to make it easier for clients to book and confirm their appointments. We also send reminders and confirmations to our clients via text or email to reduce no-shows and cancellations.
Stock up: The holiday season is also a time to stock up on nail supplies and products. You don't want to run out of your essentials, such as base coat, top coat, cuticle oil, nail polish remover, etc. You also want to have a variety of holiday colors and finishes to suit your clients' preferences and requests. Everyone should check out the latest fall and holiday collections and trends from OPI, to get some inspiration and ideas for their holiday art and designs.
Promote: The holiday season is a perfect time to promote nail services and attract new clients. I use Instagram to showcase my work and share tips and tutorials. We also create flyers, brochures, and gift cards to advertise our salon and offer discounts and incentives to clients. We also participate in local events and charities to network and build relationships with our community.
Have fun: The holiday season is a time to have fun and enjoy yourself. I decorate my salon with lights, ornaments, and music to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere. We also treat our clients with snacks, drinks, and small gifts to celebrate the season. I use the holidays to express my creativity and personality with my nail designs.
I hope these tips will help everyone get ready for the holiday season!
Be sure to follow Melissa, AKA @artisannailstudio on Instagram.