Artist Spotlight: How I Turned My Passion Into My Career (Featuring Queenie Nguyen)
Posted on January 05 2019
We've had the opportunity to connect with talented nail artists and influencers and we want to start featuring them here on Beyond Polish.To kick off this series, meet Queenie Nguyen, an LA-based nail artist. Her motivation and passion for art has led her to finding success in this industry. This is her story in her own words.
Hi! My name is Queenie Nguyen and I'm currently a nail artist in Beverly Hills, California. I've been working in the nail industry for about ten years. This had started out as a part time job during the last year of my high school after I passed my State Board Exam, and slowly became a stable job throughout college and up until now. I graduated with a degree in Business Marketing and I've been using what I learned in school to market my own work on social media.
I feel very blessed to be working in Los Angeles because of the beautiful weather, but also the diversity. Because of this, I've learned so much about different cultures through clients' stories and they inspire me so much for my art. I love that everyone in LA seems to be so open-minded and accepting.
My goal for the future is to continue pursuing a career in the nail industry and creating more art that hopefully leads me to a more editorial path. I enjoy working on photo shoots and lifestyle events and I would love to continue doing so. The ultimate dream is to travel internationally to work in magazines and editorial.
How I Got My Start in the Nail Industry
My whole family is in the nail business, so I grew up being very inspired by how hard they worked in order to deliver such beautiful art work on clients' nails. I started out with just the basic manicure and pedicure, helping out my aunt's nail salon. Nail art was not a huge deal back then. When I heard nail art, I thought of my aunt's amazing floral airbrush or her awesome hand painted floral art. Mostly floral and tons of stickers on the two big toes or one statement acrylic nail. Most ladies totally get it when I say this was a trend back then. My aunt taught me how to do all these floral designs but I always tried to convince clients to do more funky designs. Looking back at some of the designs I did then, I wish i had all the tools I have now.
In 2015, I was recruited by Olive & June (O&J) and I decided to join them at the end of 2016. Here, I noticed that it was a great environment with the opportunity to explore more nail art options and also being surrounded by so many other talented nail artists that really inspire me. Working at O&J, I discovered my love for editorial work so I assisted them with their photo shoot and lifestyle events. Social media really is a wonderful platform for me to explore more creative ideas and inspirations.
My Inspirations & Motivation
I get inspired by a lot of things, but I especially love modern and contemporary art. I follow a lot of contemporary museums on Instagram accounts and Pinterest, where I find a lot of inspiration. I am also inspired by my editorial work by celebrity nail artists like Steph Stone, Jenna Hipp, Tom Bachik, Jin Soon, and many more. Living in Los Angeles, I also get inspired by a lot of the cool murals around the city.
My motivation comes from my mom. She's a strong woman who believes in achieving what you want if you try hard. Ever since I was little, she's always worked really hard as a single mother to fulfill both parenting roles in raising me. I owe it to her to work just as hard.
My Advice to Aspiring Nail Artists
For those who are interested in venturing into the nail business, my advice is to never give up and always say yes to opportunities. To me, being able to do what I'm passionate about as a job is the greatest gift of all. So follow your dreams and go for it. And if there are opportunities along the way, jump on them and make the best out of it.
In honor of featuring Queenie, we decided to put together a collection of her favorite brands and colors. Inspired by modern & contemporary art, it's your turn to get inspired. Browse Queenie's Favorites now!