Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nailing The Twentieth Century (open-genre creative project)

For my open-genre creative project, I decided to turn our books into nail art. I painted my nails to represent important themes and scenes from many of the books we've read this semester (all of them except Song of Solomon and The Stranger). Above each nail I've written what it depicts and I've given explanations for the maybe not so obvious ones.

I think that these nail designs say a lot about the takeaways of the books. With time, I've probably forgotten some less crucial details of the stories, and only the really big things stick with me. My designs show what I think are the five most important things from each book. To condense these books into just five tiny snapshots required me to think about what the really important scenes and motifs  of each book were. It was really cool to figure out what I wanted to paint and then have to wrestle with the logistics to make it look decent (the bull and Gregor took forever to get right). I also enjoyed seeing my designs develop to look better and be more practical. In total I think I spent about five hours planning, doodling sketches of designs and stinking up my bathroom with polish and remover.

**Note: this post is sorta long, but it's mostly pictures**

 The Mezzanine


Broken Shoelace

CVS Logo


Cookies and Milk

Mrs. Dalloway 


Clouds, to represent the motor car montage

A hat for Lucrezia and Septimus

A clock, to represent the passage/use of time in the novel

More flowers

The Sun Also Rises


Fish, for Bill and Jake's fishing trip

A bull

A matador's cape

Art deco, because the novel is set in the 1920's

The Metamorphosis

An apple

Fabric, because Gregor is a traveling fabric salesman


A key

Wide Sargasso Sea

A heart, for all the romance (good and bad) in the novel

A rock with blood and a tear for Tia and Antoinette

Waves, for a wide Sargasso Sea

Rochester's stick figure drawing



  1. That is so cool! You did an amazing job painting images from the book onto your nails. My personal favorites are the wine from The Sun Also Rises and Gregor from The Metamorphosis. I must say the escalator and the flowers are also really well done. This project looks like it took a lot of time so I'm especially impressed with your creative project. On the more abstract side of things, I guess your nails are a way of drawing key points from the novel and portraying them in a way that is not only easy to understand but also a fun way to work on your painting skills. Great job on your project!

  2. This is so great! (And I can barely even paint my nails a solid color and make them look good :P ) You did a really good job of choosing things that represent important moments or themes from the books, but that can be easily represented by a single object. Like Lauren said, it looks like it took a lot of time and work. The art deco one is especially really pretty and looks really complicated...

  3. I love the way that you depicted all of the novels we've read onto your nails, my favorite ones were the Sun Also Rises nails, and I think you really nailed the main ideas and themes. Your nails really show the important aspects.

  4. This is an interesting concept, as Howie would say, and I am surprised that you were able to convey so many of the important themes from the books on only the nails on one hand. Many of the designs were very detailed as well, considering the limited space you could work with.

  5. I love how much detail you put into each nail! Each one is different and each one reflects a different part of each book. This is so creative and you clearly spent a lot of time doing it. I also like how you took the pictures of your nails on each book they represent, it further emphasizes the connection between each design and the book.