Portland based uber talented nail artist Ally Picard, otherwise known as Nailed By Ally is truly one of a kind. The other day I got my nails did, with a simple suggestion to her over email, “why don’t we do Portland themed nails?” A couple hours later she was at my house with her gear and a sketch book full of ideas; Roses, Stump, Blazers, Donuts, Bridges, Food Carts, Coffee, and Bikes. Geez, needless to say, she was inspired.
Before we got started I wanted to ask her a couple of questions about nails, but mostly about Portland, she obliged:
Q: When did you get started?
A: About two years ago. I moved from Brooklyn to Portland a year and a half ago and I was doing it on more and more on myself, getting better and better, then I started looking online for inspiration. My first event I had 10 different designs, one on each of my nails, and people just picked one off of my hand. It blew up from there and I thought, might as well to try to make money doing this…
Q: What do you think of Portland?
A: I love it - the access to nature and quality of life, and I also really love the people, great community and great people surrounding me.
Q: How did you get the idea to be an artist on nails instead of a canvas?
A: I’ve never actually worked with paint and canvas, I’m a photographer, I just started for fun on my own nails with my girlfriends and it grew from there. When I do my own nails now I’ll be like, its good but it still doesn’t match my mood, I’ll have to do them like 3 times before I’m satisfied.
Q: Where do you find inspiration around town?
A: Honestly most comes from online, nail tumblrs or design tumblrs. When I see something I like, half the time I want to put on a nail the other half I want to photograph it.
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out/people watch/look for well dressed folks?
A: Skidmore bluffs, I live on N Mississippi so my porch has become a gathering spot. MRS. At Mississippi Studio is fun, and I like dives like Florida Room. Right now, it’s summer and I just want to hang outside.
Q: Do you have a favorite hue or color for summer to work with?
A: I’m really into blue, a couple new ones I love are called “Victoria’s Blue Eye” by Brucci and “For Audry” by China Glaze, it’s a Tiffany Blue.
Q: You’re mobile, what’s your favorite place to work?
A: The “Tupperware” party kind of theme is fun, someone can host a party, have me do minimum of six or so friends nails then I would probably do hers for free. Having to do nails at a bar can be dark and crowded, it’s hard. I set up at my house and you can make appointments. Sometimes I’ll be on my porch all day when its nice. But keep in mind ALL I DO IS PAINT ON YOUR NAILS! I won’t even take your nail polish off. I’m a nail artist not a not a licensed technician, I always try to make that very clear.
To make appointments with Ally you can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
And check out her tumblr here: http://nailedbyally.tumblr.com/