For this post, I wanted to take you behind the scenes of a Digit-al Dozen challenge. This may be a one-off, but if you like it, it may be a recurring post.
Digit-al Dozen challenges tend to come in 2 sizes - ooh that's exciting, and OMG I'm f***ed. This month's theme has definitely been in the latter category. The theme is Fairytales, and I remember feeling slightly hysterical when it was chosen. Fairytales? Freakin' fairytales?
As you know, I am not a great drawing person. I can do patterns, shapes, some easy things, but not PiggieLuv kind of stuff, and the hardest thing with this theme has been how to translate something that seems as if it can only be done with real drawing talent, into simple, decent nail art.
For this post, I'm going to take you into the heart of my DD process. It always starts with a brain dump, usually as soon as the last DD challenge is over. I grab my notebook and start writing ideas. For this theme, I had a lot of help from Beth, bless her. Here's the initial list -
From this point, some ideas will jump out at me more than others - others will need more work. For the ones that need more work, I usually head straight for Google and type in things related to our theme. For this theme, Googling "fairytales" was no help at all, and just brought up endless book covers - but not of INDIVIDUAL fairy tales, cos that would have been helpful. So for this challenge, I ended up Googling for a LIST of fairytales, and read them - yes - until I saw ones I thought I could translate.
Yeh, usually it's not this difficult! Usually I have some stamping plates, or really clear ideas, but I went into this theme with only 1 really clear idea - Three Little Pigs. Then, as I went to bed on Wednesday, and wriggled about, it reminded me of The Princess and the Pea. And golly gosh, I had 2 manis. Wow, 2. (We're talking less than a week before the challenge starts - I usually have some DONE by now.)
Once I have settled on my idea, I decide how each nail needs to look, and "sketch" it out. DD is pretty much the only time I do this, but I know other nail artists do it more frequently. Here's my sketch of Princess and the Pea, with a photo of the finished mani -
For the Three Little Pigs, I had a clear idea. Here's the sketch -
but I couldn't get the pigs right -
When I did the mani, everything was PERFECT .... until I added the flipping pigs. It looked ridiculous, but I hated this theme so much by then, that I didn't care! (BAD Crumpet).
Cinderella was Friday night's idea, and Rapunzel was Saturday's decision. It was an idea that had been sitting there since the beginning, but seemed too obvious. Yeh, I need manis, obvious will do!
So what to do for the 5th. Shit. I am out of ideas. I toy with the Elves and the Shoemaker. I am determined to stick to the theme of fairytales and not pollute it with Disney. I look for more ideas.
I toy with 2 more ideas. My very first was to do a mani based on the myth of true love, how fairytales set us up for a life of romantic disappointment. The second is to do a kind of skittle, with talismanic objects from famous fairy tales - apples, crowns, spinning wheels. But that feels like a cop out too.
So finally, I decide to symbolise my relief at the end of this hideous challenge, and just fairy tale it up a bit! I choose to write the words The End (thank god!) in the middle of my mani, and bookend it with a heart, for true fairy tale love, and the letters HEA for Happily Ever After. The base is a soft pastel splodge, and the top coat is Fairy Dust (ha! I'm so funny). Ironically, it's my favourite mani of them all.
This is also the first time I have struggled to pick my running order, lol. Usually we post our best mani on Monday, but my best one has to come last, and I'm not really sure how proud I am of the others, so I might have to stick with the order I did them in.
So now that the week of Fairy Tale horror is over, how do I feel? Well, like I usually do, that I wish I could have a do-over! I was determined to be true to the theme, but I loved the abstract nature of some of the other manis, and that would definitely have suited my style better.
As for YOU, well, we're not talking anymore. Your favourite mani of the week? The 3 bloody pigs!! Harrumph!!