My name is Kelly Baptiste and I am what most people would refer to as a nail technician but I prefer the term nail artist. I do nail art. The difference: a nail tech does what they’re taught while a nail artist explores their imagination, goes beyond the borders and draws inspiration from life.
I have been doing nails for over a year professionally and personally since forever. I’m constantly learning as this industry develops rapidly. My clientele journey from as far as Arima, Cunupia and South and have said they become aware of my work via Facebook or Instagram.
Meeting customers’ needs
As a service provider I always try to meet customers’ needs. As such, there have been good and bad times. My worst experience has to be when I was asked to do airbrush nails. With my strength being hand drawn nail art I made a very unsuccessful attempt. Everything was wrong from the malfunction of the airbrush gun to the poor choice of colours.
On a better note it is impossible to rate any job as my best as each set is representative of the client themselves. Sometimes I may spend hours on a piece but what matters is that the client is pleased in the end and that creates a warm feeling of peace and inner joy.
Nail art is my therapy and I take pleasure in doing it. Such that I have received wonderful comments such as “You drew that? I didn’t know people did nails like this in Trinidad,” “A lot of people are doing nails but not doing nails, you know what you’re doing,” and “You’re really good, very creative.”
Nail art documentary
First timers always promise to return. One of the best compliments I have received was from NAILgasm Doc (documentary done capturing the work of the nail artists, nail techs and their work around the world) when they told me via Instagram that they wish they had known about me when they were doing the documentary as my work is amazing.
As in everything else I have also received some negativity. I understand that not everyone has the appreciation for nail art. Nail art is not what is common but what is unique. Anything can be put on nails making them accessories. Nail art is used to reflect someone’s personality. Everyone is different so I take full advantage of their individuality. The art is in the details.
Feeling blessed to live in Trinidad
Nail art in Trinidad is an old thing. However it has been revived over the past few years around the world facilitated by the Japanese. Trinidad is home and will always remain regardless of where I may venture. Despite our flaws I feel blessed to live here as we are much better off than a lot of the developing world.
What I love most though are the freedoms that we enjoy as being a diversified society. Next to that is the food as well as the fact that it’s an island because I love the sea. We are free to express ourselves and one can never get bored as there is always an event, somewhere to go, something to do. We adapt quickly to the latest trends. We are no longer that far behind thanks to globalisation. Therefore I would definitely continue to do nails here although the industry may seem saturated.
Plans to enhance the nail art industry
There is still a market out there with people who do not get their nails done for various reasons from not being sure of what they want to not wanting to use nail extensions. I try to cater to different needs and desires. I also have plans to enhance the industry with the help and cooperation of likewise beauty professionals. I feel as though we are not as respected as we should be.
October 2013 – Issue 6 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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