Kosovo-based nail artist Vala Shasivari takes us into the fascinating realm of avant-garde nails, her work, and the process of creating the editorial look featured on ShilpaAhuja.com’s July 2023 digital magazine cover.
Nails: Vala Shasivari (@vala.shasivari.nails), Photo: Genc Fona (@gencfona.photography), Hair: Hana Arllati (@hanaarllati), Makeup: Nora Kelmendi (@makeupbynorki), Model: Leorita Haxhijaj (@leoritahaxhijajj), Accessory stylist: Lena Fona Neziri, Retouch: Dea Tafarshiku (@retouchbydea)
My Journey as a Nail Artist
To me, my work is like therapy. I have always loved nail art. When I was a teenager I used to paint my nails and do art on them with a toothpick.
I studied at nail academies in Switzerland and Belgium, and after 18 years in the nail art industry, I’m lucky enough to have worked on a vast variety of projects, magazine features, and educating the next generation of nail artists.
As my experience grew in the industry, I saw that there are a lot of products that are very difficult to be operated with and hard to learn to work with them. So instead I launched my own line of nail products including my academy’s updated training curricula in 2019, where new nail artists can have a chance to be educated through very high standards and get access to a very qualitative set of nail product lines and techniques!
My Work: The Process
How I go about creating new nail art is an interesting process. I first gather my supplies, I start preparing nails, then I add primer and base, then I go with a builder gel, after I file the builder for the nail shape, I go for the design of the idea, then finish with the top coat. In the end, I treat cuticles with nourishing oil.
It takes me 1.5 hours to 2 hours to do an average nail art. I use a variety of tools. In fact, I use anything I can find, for example, sometimes I use silicon for cake art.
The thing that inspires me most is my clients and also my team. And the best thing I like about my work? Of course the extreme nail art. However, deadlines are the most challenging part of my work.
Nail Art Goals
Standing out in the crowd through nail art is important for me, in fact, it is for any artist. It’s essential to be as original as possible so that part of you can be seen in your work of art. I’d love to try new and different types of nail art looks. I don’t know what the future of the nail art industry will bring, but I will definitely try to do them all.
Editorial, couture nails, or avant-garde nails are a way to express yourself through nail art. It’s not practical for real life or everyday wearing, In fact, clients have basic requirements except when they have an event or special occasion. However, avant-garde nail art is all about making nails a medium for your artistic expression.
Avant-garde nail art actually started as a revolutionary approach to nail art in magazine editorials and music videos. They push the boundaries of creativity and challenge traditional norms. These designs often incorporate unconventional materials, innovative techniques, and abstract concepts, resulting in captivating and thought-provoking nail art.
The popularity of nail couture stems from the desire to express individuality, showcase artistic skills, and break away from the mainstream. Avant-garde nails offer a platform for nail artists to experiment, inspire, and provoke conversations about beauty, art, and self-expression. They represent a powerful form of wearable art that captivates and sparks intrigue in the fashion world.
There are so many new trends to try in the world of nail art, which are further popularized through social media. Nail trends also change according to season, for example, this season chrome nails are very trendy.
Even though the world of avant-garde nails is still just for photo shoots, runways, red carpets, and celebrity music videos, there is a growing interest in them among people outside the industry too. In my opinion, this is because people like to see different and beautiful things.
I hope that my work inspires young artists.
About the Nail Art Industry
The popularity of manicures and nail art is nothing new. However, it is a fast-growing industry. The nail industry, including nail products, salons, and nail care is estimated to be valued at US $12 to 19 billion as of 2023. In my opinion, the future of the nail art industry looks even brighter. Seeing how fast technology is growing, maybe in the future robots may be working on nail art.
I have been working in this industry since 2004 and yes, I have seen a lot of improvement in the industry, which has really made our work easier.
Story behind ShilpaAhuja.com July 2023 Cover
I work on extravagant art with more passion, mainly I discuss the ideas with my team, after we decide on the theme, each of us continues to make it the best possible.
This was our first extravagant job and it was very expensive. the name of this work is EXTRAVANGARD.
The idea came during the time of the pandemic, I had time to research on the internet and experiment at home with non-salon conditions, this work is after several attempts of when and what to do differently, all the practice work was done on my nails. I worked with hard build gel for lengthening the nails, then the decoration that finalized it was made with acrylic powder and an airbrush machine. And finally, with some ornaments of mine that I had available, this work took me two weeks to finalize.
My art was completed by the wonderful team that worked alongside me. The model is Leorita Haxhijaj. At the time we did the photo shoot, she had just finished high school. She is a very bold girl and now she is a model on international fashion shows. The team also consists of Photographer: Genc Fona, Accessory stylist: Lena Fona Neziri, Makeup artist: Nora Kelmendi, Hair Stylist: Hana Arllati, and Photo editor: Dea Tafarshiku.
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