Megumi Mizuno Interview – The Creative Art & Nail Extraordinaire
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I have been drawing since I was very little, sometimes with my grandmother who was a water colour painter and had her studio in our house. Then I learned art under George Kikunami, a member of Gutai Art Association for 7 years. I studied environmental design at Uni, moved to the UK and started computer graphics before I moved on to Nails.
Where are you located?
What do you love most about your work?
I’m happy as long as I’m creating something, it doesn’t matter what the medium is. I certainly enjoy the creation process, but I usually loose my interest towards my creations as soon as I finish making them. It sounds funny but I don’t even want to see my projects/competition works anymore once they’re done.
So I have no problem soaking off clients’ nails that I took 3 hours to create. Which is good.
You offer a ‘by appointment only’ service at your London salon, tell us a little about your clients?
More than half of my clients are Japanese at the moment. This is because I decided to target them when I moved to West London. I used work in East London and most of my clients were Asian ladies, it was a big change. I didn’t have many soak off gel clients there, however, I knew I was going to have to deal with lots of soak off gel with various nail art here in London. I researched the nail art that they would like, practiced a lot and tried to stock gel colours and nail art parts.
How did you first become involved in the nail industry?
I never thought of becoming a nail tech when I started the training, I just wanted to learn nails properly to do mine by myself. I had never been to any nail salons either. I was a DIY girl. A hobby turned out to be work, great. Happy days.
What were you doing before?
I’ve been through all sorts of jobs, including a passenger consultant and an assist accountant.
I even did a carpeting job and built a club house in a golf course.
What are the main difference between the UK and Japanese nail market?
Japanese clients are very knowledgeable about nail art, what’s available and what’s on trend. Also, many of them are very keen on soak off gel. Calgel was a big success in Japanese nail market a while ago and there still are Calgel Worshipers. When they say “Calgel”, they mean “Soak Off Gel”. Other nail companies are doing very well there now though. Also, I heard that new nail techs can paint but can’t structure nails, which means they are very good at soak off gel art but not L&P. This tells you how huge the soak off gel market in Japan is. Trang Nguyen said to me “Japanese nail art has gone a funny direction.” This is a very interesting opinion. I should have asked him more about it, I will next time.
You are one of the most versatile nail professionals in the industry, with a multitude of talents that allow you to be active in competitions, participate in exhibitions, shoots & charity events, write and blog regularly, compose video tutorials as well as run a very successful salon. What’s your fav part?
Nail Art Competitions are fun. There are fewer restrictions compared to salon nails. We can play a lot with it.
I’m writing my blog for advertising purposes. Do I like it? I would rather ask someone else to update my blog, Twitter and website for me. I found it difficult to reply to all of the emails asking “how did you do this?” and “what did you use?”, so I made tutorials.
I also love photographic Nail Art works, especially editing the photos afterward. I do enjoy talking to my clients during the treatments, too. All of my clients are lovely. No fav part, I like them all.
What have been some of your highlights of your career so far?
Scratch Magazine front cover last month!
What else would you like to be involved with in the future?
I’m interested in educating nail techs. I’ll be taking PTLLS course hopefully soon, I keep postponing it as I couldn’t find time.
How would you describe your style?
I would like to know what people think my style is. You tell me, Tam. 🙂
Some of the nail art you create is out of this world, where do you get your inspiration from?
You are probably talking about my latest project. I had those inspirations from the artist I worked with in this project. We have completely different stances towards our own art, I’m here, he’s on the other side. He’s very talented but his art are often too painful to me. I had to choose 16 images and edit from 1000 photos we took. I spent 1 week working on it and I was in a major depression the whole week.
What’s the longest time you’ve ever spent on a set of nails?
Spending 3 hours to do a set isn’t unusual to me.
One lady used to use 2 techs (one for her left, another for her right hand) and they still took 3 hours. It wasn’t even a special occasion. She does that every 4 weeks. Incredible.
What are your favourite nail products?
I have many. Harmony L&P, their color powders are beautiful. Gelish is fantastic, easy to use too. I really like Nubar nail polish (their colours are always yummy). NSI Glaze ‘n Go. NSI Attraction is great when I need fast setting. LeChat soak off colour gel, reasonably priced and good workability for art. I can’t do the Box and the Fantasy competition without Arabella forms.
What do you do to relax?
I want to say “a glass of wine” but I’m trying not to drink lately after a few incidents, like…. “oh, I can’t believe I did that last night” related incidents. Quite hilarious ones though. Unfortunately, I can’t write here as I’m a mother and also a nail tech. So I shall say “having a cup of tea after my kids go to bed”.
What 3 things can you not leave home without?
Apart from keys, my purse and my mobile, that would be high heels, long nails and Smith’s Rosebud Salve.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I just wish I had 30 hours a day. I would sleep in the extra hours.
Thanks to Megumi for answering our questions and sharing a little more about her amazing nail art. To learn more about her and her work be sure to visit their website www.maandd.co.uk.
Stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.
Nominate Megumi for The Nail Artist Of The Year & The Gel Polish Stylist Of The Year in the Scratch Stars Award 2012. Photos of her work can be viewed via Megumi Facebook album. Nomination deadline is 20.01.2012
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