Nail polish is no longer limited to fingers and toes. Chan Clayrene of Artclaytion uses nail polishes, matte and sparkly alike, as the ink for her glamorous illustrations of haute couture gowns. Her designs are inspired by luxury labels, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, and Ralph & Russo, as well as by her own creative imagination. Clayrene's nouveau watercolor art is dreamlike in texture—with edges evaporating into the blankness of the paper—while her colors are bold, thanks to the vivacious hues of her nail polish palette. This blooming effect is not surprising, given that many of her fashionable illustrations include drawn, or sometimes even real, flowers that burst from the page with three-dimensional power.
Clayrene writes of her own artwork: “Nail polish is one of my favorite cosmetics, I love them because of its glossy shine effect”—an aesthetic she has taken from nails to the page. Despite her affinity for the medium, using nail polish in place of watercolors is not always easy. “The process of drawing on water is very challenging but exciting,” she says. “I could ruin my artwork anytime with a wrong stroke! Hence, it just feels like making a wish in the wishing well and the dream comes true once the artwork is completed.” Clayrene adds: “Through this art journey, it motivates me to dare to dream, to always inspire and to be an inspiration for others.” She reminds others to keep experimenting: just because a product says “for nails” doesn't mean that it can't be used to make art in other ways.
The unconventional artist's work has been commissioned for Haute Couture paper doll collections, and much of her latest pieces can be seen on Instagram.
All images via Chan Clayrene.