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Artist Profile: Jes Tong's Nail Art

Jessica Tong has transformed the act of painting nails from a fun and sexy pass time to fine art. Why simply paint your nails one color when you can have works of art right at your finger tips? Tong pushes the boundaries of nail polish and extensions to the next level.

So next time you are impressed by the flashy nails of your local grocer handling you fruits and vegetables at checkout, go look at Jessica’s work to really be blown away. Here is what she has to say about her art.

Where are you from?

I’m from San Francisco, born and raised Cali girl. I came to NYC in 2002 for school and been here ever since.

How did you get into the arts and evolve that into the world of nails?

I guess I’ve always had a taste for creativity and art, for as long as I can remember. I’ve done a lot since I’ve been in NYC, accessories design, handbag design, tech design, PR, Production, retail, none of these things really led me to becoming a Nail Tech. It just happened, I think New York made it happen for me, this is that kind of place where great things can happen for people.

What is your process like in making Nail Art?

Nail sessions usually start with a manicure and I spend that 15 minutes trying to get to know the person. See what she likes, what her style is like, then I tell them what I’m thinking of doing and they are usually always psyched. I’ve met so many amazing people in my chair at Hello Beautiful Salon, so I’m very grateful for that.

Who are your favorite people to do nails for?

People who are psyched are the best. The best feeling come from someone who leaves feeling even more beautiful than when she sat down. It’s a rad feeling.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I’m not trying to sound corny, but I get my inspiration from everywhere. I also get a lot of inspiration from the person/client, their vibe has a lot to do with making the design too.

Words by Taji Ameen and photos by Andrew Boyle.

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