We love nail art – it’s colourful, graphic, and like a fresh sheet of perspex, nails are a great blank canvas for creativity. A good set of painted nails always go well with our jewellery. We blogged a while ago about Emily’s Nail Files, when Emily created a set of Tatty Devine inspired nails. Now we want to introduce you to another new nail girl on the block, Scratch Dollface, who is taking up residence in our Covent Garden store for London Fashion Week. It’s all part of our Secret Vintage Dressing Room.
Scratch Dollface’s real name is Delia. She first got in touch with us on Twitter, then sent us this cute set of Tatty Devine nails:
These are actually pretty tame, though, compared to some of her commissions, which span everything from My Little Pony to ‘boyfriend’ photo nails:
We had to know more about this nail art chameleon. When we meet her, her nails are a simple, nude peach with slivers of black on the tips. For off duty nails, they’re pretty hot.
Hi Delia. Where are you from and how old are you? (If you don’t mind us asking.)
I’m 28 and I’m from Stratford-upon-Avon. Me and my mum always joke that I’m from Shakespeare country, but my family’s Irish so I’ve got the gift of the gab.
How did you get into doing nails?
I’ve always done my own nails and make up with friends. It’s fun for parties. Every Saturday we used to spend our pocket money on nail polish. I was bored with what was out there for nails, though, and I started looking at my clothes and jewellery and experimenting. I researched Japanese nail art. Among my friends, when it came to nails I’d always be first to try something out. I’m brave. I try new things and I don’t care. But I won’t do something for the sake of being wacky. I’ll only do it if I believe it has artistic value. If I was a guy I would definitely be a drag queen. I’m really in love with make up.
How did you step it up a level?
Friends always asked me to do their nails. So many times they said ‘you should do this as a job’. I started doing personal appointments making custom nails, and now I also spend my summer holidays doing nails at the Peaches & Cream salon in Liverpool.
What’s your nail art style?
It’s retro, a bit 80s, a bit nostalgic. Kind of like Tatty Devine! I like things that remind me of childhood. I’ve even been told that my work is too tacky and that nobody would be interested in it – but to those people I say: suck my Swarovski-encrusted toenail! If someone says my work is too tacky I don’t take it as an insult, I’m just glad not to be boring. There’s a place for everything. I can do plain nails, but I also like to express myself. If someone requested a French manicure from me, I’d recommend they go to a nail shop. For a simple French manicure, I always go to a Vietnamese shop. There’s one on every corner, and they do such a good job.
What are your influences?
I love Basso and Brooke, Jeremy Scott, and Tatty Devine. They’re all doing stuff with colour and imagery. That’s where I get my influences, and from 80s music and toys. I love plastics. Plastic is my favourite thing in the world. And then I’ll be influenced by random things like Del Boy’s curtains on Only Fools and Horses. Things that make other people cringe, I love.
What kind of techniques do you like to use?
I’ve developed my own special technique for putting photos on nails. I love piling it up Japanese style, too, with nail wraps, varnish, stickers, rhinestones, 3D shapes and photos. I like using things that aren’t necessarily made for nails. I like writing words on nails, too. You can write anything, and it’s not as permanent as a tattoo. If I find a nice colour, I’ll try it out. I love the colours being sold in H+M and American Apparel. They know the colour trends.
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I’m a high school teacher. I teach Fashion and Textiles to teenagers, so I’m constantly looking at fashion. I’m surrounded by kids cussing each other out with ‘your mama’ jokes, which I end up using on nails [like the ones above]. I’ll write things like ‘SNM’ and ‘KMT’ on my nails, which stand for Say No More and Kiss My Teeth. I test ideas out on my nails by wearing them into school. The kids always say ‘I want you to do my nails’, but as a teacher you have to set professional boundaries. Nails is a cool thing to do in my spare time.
What’s your advice to up and coming nail artists, or anyone young and creative?
I would say don’t be afraid to experiment. Just build up your stuff, and try new things.
And what do you want to do next?
I want to do guys’ nails. Starting with Russell Brand.
Scratch Dollface will be at Tatty Devine Covent Garden this Saturday and Sunday. Book your appointment at the special price of £10 for 45 minutes by calling the store on 020 7836 6825. (And Katy Perry, we know you’re a big Tatty Devine fan. Any chance you could make an appointment for Russell this weekend?)
Find Delia on Twitter @ScratchDollface.