Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I thought it would be a fun and useful exercise to look back over the Disney-centric manicures I entered in the now-completed 31 Day Nail Art Challenge to see what worked, what didn’t and how I can make life easier on myself the next time I enter one of these month-long nail art challenges (and here’s hoping I learn any lessons quickly, because I’m taking part in two in October on Instagram. No one ever said I like to make things easy on myself.)
The main lesson I’m taking away from this experience is that unlike the last month-long challenge I participated in, I was actually able to keep pace with this one. I credit that with a blessed reprieve from some of the personal silliness that has dominated my life for the past six months, to say nothing of the fact that I didn’t have to travel during this challenge. Because do you know what really doesn’t work very well as a portable hobby? Nail art. Creative nail art. And nail art challenges that call for a mani a day. And so I was perpetually behind and always playing catch-up. So I guess what I’m saying is don’t let pesky things like life get in the way of your nail art challenges? No, I’m kidding – but really, don’t try to travel and keep up with your nail art. Plan ahead and sock a few manis away for a rainy day.
In hindsight, I also think I was able to more easily keep pace with this challenge because I set a fun sub-challenge for myself (31 days of Disney-influenced manicures) that kept me inspired and entertained and gave me a constrained, but still pretty vast, framework within which to mess around. As a result, I tackled all sorts of manicures I’ve toyed around with trying, only to put off until my skill improved. Well, my skill wasn’t going to improve without me actively putting brush to nail, and so with this challenge as my excuse, I finally did, ultimately creating two of my favourite manicures to date (I’ll let you guess, but given my propensity for creepy theme park rides, you already know it’s this one and this one) and surprising myself with some improved detail work I’m not the least bit ashamed of.
I also really loved the opportunity to think outside the Disney box and find challenge-appropriate sub-themes, be they book, movie, character, ride or attraction, that weren’t the most obvious of choices. Sure, there’s nails inspired by Elsa’s gotta-be-everywhere-by-now coronation dress, but there’s also a manicure inspired by a 1954 storybook and a geodesic sphere and an in-the-dark roller coaster! Simply aiming for the unexpected opened up a whole new world of fun possibilities, and kept me coming back with a new manicure every day with pleasure, instead of viewing it as a bit of a creative burden.
I’ll wrap up this wrap-up (in the publishing biz they call it a post-mortem) by taking a look back at a gallery of nine of my favourite designs from the past 31 days. But for a couple of duds (Frankenweenie), I loved nearly every mani I did over the past 31 days, with these nine emerging as my most favouritest. I hope you like them, too. 🙂