Why I'm an Artist: Part 2
Presenting the second part of our series that profiles our extremely talented artists. We're proud to share their stories, how they stay inspired, and what they love about manicuring. Read more to see how manis and magic go hand-in-hand.

Our studio is designed to transcend any stereotype of a typical nail salon. Taking cues from the hospitality industry, our luxe space is elevated at every turn–from our Bec Brittain lighting sculpture to the marble bar that's perfect for entertaining. But what makes our studio the most special is our dynamic team of talented artists and leaders in the nail industry. Read more to learn about how they get their inspiration, how they approach the client consultation, and how a mani can be a super powerful tool to building confidence. 

Why I'm an Artist: Part 2

What was your journey to becoming an artist?

"I remember being around six or seven growing up in Boston and going to the nail salon with my mother, sister, or aunt. I was so intrigued by the process. It wasn't until years later when I watched the movie "Earth Girls are Easy" with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, who plays a manicurist, that I learned there was more to doing nails than just dotting-tool flowers or 'pinks and whites.' Since then I have been obsessed with nail art." -Maira

"It all started with my sister, who was a cosmetologist. She did hair and makeup, but never really picked up on nails. I always felt I had an artistic side, which led to my discovery of nail art. I practiced at home at a very young age and was determined to establish myself in the nail industry. And that's when I found Paintbox. Being here brings out my most creative qualities with colors, shapes, and different techniques. -Cindy 

"I have always been artsy and creative. When I was younger, I loved to draw. My parents told me they would laugh because I would draw everywhere - in church, in the car, at doctors' appointments. Everywhere. As I got older I got into DIY projects, so nails fell right into that. I would watch YouTube videos and say to myself, 'I can do that. Why pay someone else?' And that's how I started. I began doing my own nails, then close family and friends. I started an Instagram page and posted all of my work, which helped me expand my network and I finally began booking jobs like parties, New York Fashion Week, photoshoots, private sneaker events, etc." -Kelly

"I first started about 10 years ago. I was working three different jobs and going to school, and I wanted to keep myself looking good. So, I was basically self-taught! After a few years I fell in love with making people feel beautiful, and decided that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life." -Michelle N.

"I got my nails done when I was getting ready to go to college. When they started to break I fixed them myself, painted a few lines, and realized that there's more to this process than just simply painting! I was creating! And I love creating things and exploring art - all kinds and forms. Since that day I knew I was going to do my own nails. Of course I was really messy at first, but then I got better and better." -Elena

Why I'm an Artist: Part 2

What brings you the most fulfillment?

"I like coming to work knowing that the women I work with like to do nails just as much as I do. But what brings me the most fulfillment is seeing the client's face after a finished manicure, and seeing how much joy it brings them." -Tyrie 

"When my birthday was coming up last year, I suggested to one of my most special, loyal clients that she make an appointment and see me on birthday. I figured it'd be a full day at work, and nobody would be around to celebrate with me, so I thought servicing her would make my day. My birthday rolled around, and she showed up to her appointment with an amazing bottle of champagne for me as a gift! I was so touched that I started to tear up." -Anna

"My most special client moment comes from my best friend. I started this nail journey as soon as we found out her mother was terminally ill. While there is nothing on this earth that can replace a parent, I was able to be a source of happiness in a hard time. Having nail designs makes my friend happy, and her manicures have brought her joy for the past two years when finding happiness was very difficult." -Nancina 

Why I'm an Artist: Part 2

In one word, how does a mani make you feel?

"Complete." -Nichole + Julie + Maira + Anna + Chrissy

"Clean." -Diana 

"Flygirl." -Kelly

"Revamped." -Tiffany

"Fancy." -Elena

Why I'm an Artist: Part 2

Where do you get your inspiration from?

"I get my nail and color inspiration from watching a whole lot of HGTV - I'm kind of obsessed. I'm always fascinated with colors and interior design." -Chasity 

"Home and hotel interiors, old shopping catalogs, and of course, the runways - both modern and from the 80s and 90s. I love playing with paint and polish and seeing how each color looks with something unique next to it. Although I'm pretty traditional color-wise in my daily life, I love seeing really unexpected colors together!" -Julie

"I get my nail and color inspiration from visual artists. Fashion, fine art, and popular culture in general are all big inspirations to me. I'm constantly looking at people's nails on the subway and paying close attention to what manicures celebrities are wearing, as well." -Lorryn