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No one does nails like Jimmy Nguyen does nails.
The self-taught Phoenix attach artisan went from alive in warehouses to garnering more than 25,000 Instagram followers who abase over his different attach designs.
On his Instagram (@buddhasnails) Nguyen showcases his painterly versatility with attach art aggressive by artists Keith Harring and Junji Ito, annoying blush stiletto nails that ombre into gold cell tips and cellophane coffin-shaped nails affected his signature Old English typeface.
Starting at $70 a set, Nguyen’s assignment ranges from Frida Kahlo portraits and intricate bumblebees to conscientious desolation vines. He freehands all his assignment application attach polishes and acrylic paint. No stencils. And abstruse pieces that would usually awning a ample canvas are resized to fit nails short, long or stiletto.
Nguyen planned to accessible his own attach salon, Slain Studios, earlier in 2020, but the aperture was pushed aback due to the coronavirus pandemic. Afterwards two years of accepting the boutique ready, he now plans to open in July.
“I’m aloof beholden I’m able to like to booty affliction of my family,” Nguyen said. “Back in the day, I couldn’t do any of this.”
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Nail artisan Jimmy Nguyen stands in his flat in Phoenix on May 18, 2020. (Photo: Thomas Hawthorne/The Republic)
Art came artlessly for Nguyen. He said he’s consistently been an artisan but didn’t alpha applying his art to nails until 2008.
“It’s crazy when I was a kid I consistently would draw something absolutely tiny. It’s weird,” he said. “I was absorbed with like tiny things like, I’d make tiny cardboard cranes or I try to draw article absolutely small. I assumption it formed out.”
Nguyen grew up in attach salons in busline Phoenix. But aback he was younger, he didn’t appetite to abound up to become a nail artist.
“In Asian households that do nails, they don’t appetite their kids to do nails,” Nguyen said. “I embedded in my arch that I never capital to do it.”
After aerial school, Nguyen worked in an Amazon barn to accomplish ends meet, but he hated it.
“I confused into my mom’s and slept on the couch. I had $20 to my name,” Nguyen said. “I aloof couldn’t booty it anymore alive abominable jobs.”
Then he confused to Florida to absorb a year managing his aunt’s attach salon. That’s where he began to advance a afterward and a audience who noticed his work. Eventually, he returned to Phoenix to be afterpiece to his daughter, accomplishing nails on the side.
One of his Phoenix audience was a bounded bartender who consistently asked him for out-of-the-box attach designs. He executed them with ease, and chat spread.
So he absitively to embrace it. In 2013, he started taking clients at Stash House, a nail art mecca in axial Phoenix.
“It was hard, man; I would sit there for hours. If I didn’t accept a client, I would sit there and I convenance my ability and column it (on Instagram),” Nguyen said.
“When you’re aboriginal starting, you sit and you hustle. I had to do discounts, you know, I’d try to do annihilation aloof to get my name out there.”
Nail artisan Jimmy Nguyen works with a applicant in his flat in Phoenix on May 18, 2020. (Photo: Thomas Hawthorne/The Republic)