So its been a while since my last blog post.... SORRY!!!...but this one is a goody, honest!!
I have had the most amazing weekend of my life, not only have I spent the weekend with the most gracious, beautiful, kind, warm hearted, friendly bunch of ladies and gents but I also came home with some bling!!!!..what could be better?!?
When I started out on my journey to become a nail professional just 3 and a half years ago I had a dream. That dream was to be good enough and brave enough to win a nail competition. Any competition would do (or so I thought at the time) one that would test my abilities and test me against my peers but I never really believed that that would happen.... I mean... me!... in a nail competition!... it seemed like it would be years before I would even pluck up the courage to enter even the village fate never mind a proper nail competition!!!
My self esteem has never been great and the thought of standing in front of judges and having them critique my work just frightened me to death but then one day I met a bunch of people who were set to rock my world.
I have written about my Inspired family on many occasion, my crew, my safe zone all headed up by Queen B herself Sam Biddle. The last time we were all together a plan was hatched... what if we were to train for a competition together?! and what if we were mentored by the best of the best nail art educator in the world... would we then have the courage to enter into a competition??? Well there was only one way to find out and that was to set the plan in motion!
So off we set out with our competition training under our belts and a sketch pad in our hands along with our mentor by our proverbial side. We all worked tirelessly to come up with ideas... which turned into a plan... which turned into a sketch... which turned into bonafide pieces of art to be entered into....wait for it....NAILYMPIA LONDON!!!!!
Oh we couldn't just enter a small regional competition, or even a national competition!? Oh no, we had to enter the worlds largest nail professional competition with entrants from all over the world descending on London to compete for some of the most prized trophies in the nail industry!... No pressure then!!!
We rose to the challenge and produced some amazing work, the type of work I personally am very proud of. My categories were Fantasy Overall Look which consisted of a full set of 10 tips sculpted into a fantasy forest theme... the premise of my theme was my model (and friend of 24 years...though after I made her dress up in tight leather look pants and a set of antlers, I'm not sure she still wants my friendship ;) haha) was Guiselda, the fantasy forest guardian who looked over all of the creatures in the forest ensuring peace was maintained between the light and dark, the good and evil. To ensure the overall look was exactly how I pictured it I also made my models outfit and the whole process took approximately 3 months of painstaking but very enjoyable work.
Here is Nicky in the judging line up.
Next up was my Multi Media Boxed entry which I based on the American Native Indian belief in Totem animals, the belief that through life spirit animals guide you. I am quite a spiritual person and I have always been drawn to this belief and the meanings of the spirit totem. I was running out of time and so this piece was completed in 7 days flat, in hindsight I wish I had scheduled my time a little better to spend more time on this piece however I was happy with the overall look.
My third category was Reality Nail Art which was a live competition... 45 minutes to complete 3 nail tips in relation to 3 inspiration pictures. Now... 45 minutes seems like a lot of time to complete 3 nail art tips however when you are on the competition floor, believe me those 45 minutes evaporate into nothing very quickly... suffice to say... I panicked!!!!...hahaha.
Once the competition floor closed, next up was the awards ceremony!!....Now I had never been to an awards ceremony before, this being my first competition so I wasn't sure of what to expect but I had my Inspired family with me, we were all there to support each other and the ceremony started.
I stood at the back of the room simply because I thought I didn't have a cat in hell's chance of placing so I resigned myself to stand there and enjoy the atmosphere, to support the winners and clap as their names were called... always hoping my team mates names would be called.
Patiently we waited for our categories to be called... Media Boxed Set category came around and none of my team mates were called and so we clapped and congratulated the winners.
Next up came Reality Nail Art... once again none of my team mates names were called and once again we clapped the winners and congratulated them.
Then came Fantasy Complete Look Division 1....third place was announced, once again, not a team mate. second place was announced and we all erupted into spontaneous uproar as our team mate Marie Ashton's name was called... we all whooped and clapped our hardest as Marie made her way up to the podium for her medal..... and then.... in first place.....did I just hear that right???!!! I turned to my side and my model Nicky was cheering and clapping and only then did I realise.....they called my name!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my god the emotion just erupted in me and as I started to walk to the podium I felt a mix of elation, disbelief and gratitude....it was truly an amazing feeling standing up there on the 1st place podium with my medal around my neck and my certificate in my hand. I composed myself and walked back to my Inspired family who were all waiting to congratulate myself and Marie.
Then is was the turn for Division 2 and before we could even come back down..... Keron's name was called for 3rd place in division 2....and again we all erupted with cheers and whistles.
Keron walked back to the team and we all had our photographs taken and lots of hugs and congratulations all around.
I managed to compose myself and thought that our awards had been awarded and that was it, but at the end of the Art based awards section I heard my name called again for the award of "Art Winner of Winners"!!!!
Complete disbelief as I once again made my way up to the podium....I won't repeat what I said to Alex who was handing out the medals but suffice to say, my dad would slap the back of my legs for such profanities!
All in all our little band of team mates scooped a whopping 6 awards, most of us were first time attendees to the competition floor but I can guarantee we will be back there again next year.
I feel like I have been on a journey, one that I will never forget and one that I want to travel again and again with my Inspired family to push myself further and grow my skills and my career.... so watch this space!!!
My parting comments to you if you are reading this blog and feeling that you will never be able to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and try something that you have never done before but have always dreamt of....then don't think about it....jump in feet first and just do it!!!
Live life and dream big....you never know, your dreams may just come true!.....mine did!