Support our troops this Memorial Day with these military inspired nail art how to's!
Nail Artist Q&A: "Nailed Down!" with Lee 'Tha Tha Nailgui' Henderson
Welcome to NAILPRO's NAILED DOWN where we “nail down” the details of selected nail design artists from our User Galleries.
This week we visit Kansas City, Missouri.
Meet Lee "Tha Tha Nailgui" Henderson:
Where do you work?
I'm the owner of The Paintbox... A Nail Studio in Kansas City, Missouri.
How would you describe yourself?
I'm a creative individual, a passionate nail artist who's always looking to learn the latest nail technique, but daring to be one of many trendsetters. And I'm a humble businessman who is always seeking new ways to grow.
Tell us about how you got started in the nail industry.
I started in high school. I took a nail kit to school like, daily, and after school I did [nails] in pep club meetings, science club, etc. People always said, "you should go to school." So, after high school I attended cosmetology school for hair and nails but it wasn't for me, at least the the hair part, so I left. Over those [next] years I still did nails and worked a full time job as a customer service rep. Then I received an apprenticeship and here I am. The first time that I actually posted my nail designs on Facebook was in February 2011. I remember that the very first design I did was a leopard print and I loved the feeling of having something different on my nails. That was the beginning of my nail art journey.
What/Who inspires your work?
My inspiration comes from many areas. I look at fabrics and prints, different textiles books, fashion shows etc. I attend art shows and museums. And as for who ... any nail artist. I've seen your [NAILPRO's] artistry. Thank you, for you're my inspiration.
Tool(s) you can't live without?
My Upower-2g e-file courtesy of the ladies at Nail Talk Radio & Kupa, Inc., brushes and a paint palette.
Do you have a favorite technique or style?
I don't have any one that's a favorite technique/style. I am a fan of almost anything nails. But if I had to choose one, it would be abstract artistry because you can never go wrong, and mistakes look better than what you intended to do.
What is your craziest/funniest nail story?
I had come in for a fill after everything was done, and the client went to scrub her hands. While she was gone, I set up for the polish and art, and then I went to the restroom. Well, the client knocked over the polish and made a complete mess. Paint and polish were all over her nails. So we let it dry and added [some] embellishments. Now how crazy is that?
What tip can you offer to other nail technicians?
If you are new to the nail industry, network, network, network. It is one of the most powerful tools, and you meet some amazing techs who share the same gift as you. As for veteran techs, share your ideas and mentor others. Don't think that you are so grand that you can't LEARN more. But my saying is, "DO YOU?" If you believe in the artistry, then others will.
Would you like to be featured in NAILED DOWN? Post images of your nail art to our User Gallery. We'll be highlighting outstanding artists based on those submissions! (minimum six pictures to qualify for consideration) NAILPRO reserves the right to edit submissions for length, grammar and clarity.