Catherine Wong aka Nail Queen
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I live in Singapore. I majored in economics and management in university, and I’ve worked in a corporate environment for a good number of years before taking on a fulltime career as a professional nail instructor and nail artist after finding it more fulfilling than a desk bound job. That is how unpredictable life can be but I love every moment of my career. It’s a dream job that takes me places, make new friends all the time and do what I love most!
Teaching gives me the freedom to experiment and express myself, to inspire others through my creativity.
You take nail art to a whole new level, did the nails or the art come first?
Art is almost second nature in me, I think I just express it better with nails. It’s wearable and it could also give someone’s nails a total makeover, put a smile on their face.
More than qualified, do you find your extensive education and education experience gives you an edge in the industry?
Most definitely, I can’t stress enough on continuing education, to open your mind to learning new things and most importantly to not be afraid to share.
You’re very well-known in the industry and you’ve written 7 books already with your latest one released this March, the sequel to ‘Nail It’, what aspect of your career do you love the most?
My latest book launching in March is NAILQ Signature. It means a lot to me when people appreciate my work and want to be like me. When I see the excitement in the eyes of those I’ve motivated and inspired with my work. I know how that feels, because I also have my nail idols which I worship and respect a lot.
What kinds of changes have you seen in the nail industry over the years?
There are more emphasis on designs, people are more open to wearing different shapes and colourful nails, and there are definitely more good quality nails in terms of structure and appearance.
Where do you see the Industry in 5 years?
I know for a fact that there are more and more educational classes available, with the internet people from all over the world can share the most up to date information and ideas in the forums, networking sites etc, there are a lot of support to help technicians to improve and advance their skills, so the quality of nails will get better.
This also means that competition will get tougher and techs who do not upgrade themselves will lag behind.
How did the collaboration VivCat come about?
Viv and I hit it off the moment we met and there are a lot of similarities in our personality, business ethics and artistry. We both love to teach and are people-oriented. We definitely complement each other when we present our designing style as she is meticulous and a perfectionist, while I’m more spontaneous and impulsive.
What are some of your favourite nail products?
I love collecting good brushes as it’s the most important tool for nail artist, coloured acrylic because I love 3D work, UV Gel Topcoat as they give a lasting shine without ever getting dulled by solvents and Soak Off Gel polish because the colour doesn’t chip like polish do.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on nail art?
An excellent way to see and share different styles and techniques from all over the world and this makes people want to have them.
How do you use the Internet in conjunction with your nail business?
The best tool for networking, generate interest and keeping in touch with my nail friends all over the world.
Your career has taken you all over the World, how does the nail art differ?
The main difference with nail art all over the world is in the degree of exaggeration. Some like it simple, practical and some like to make a statement. I believe nail art is largely influenced by culture.
What is the one piece of advice you find yourself giving your students over and over again?
Never ever give up if you have the passion for it. Do what you love and love what you do by working smart.
Have any advice for people wanting to specialise in fantasy nails?
To live an artistic life, you must remove the fear of being wrong, think outside the box, work on the details.
All nails aside, what else puts a spring in your step?
Having good mentors and learning the right thing from the beginning, having a supportive family for all the travelling I do and time away from home and being pro-active and self-motivated.
Thanks to Catherine for answering our questions & sharing a little more about herself. Subscribe to her blog to keep uptodate on her latest creative projects.
Stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.