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Picture Book Characters Come to Life on the Hands of @yumikitagishi
For more photos and videos of Yumi’s artwork and nail paintings, follow @yumikitagishi on Instagram.
“I started drawing on my nails when I found out that manicurists use acrylic paint, which is what I use for my artwork,” says Tokyo illustrator Yumi Kitagishi (@yumikitagishi). Inspired by children’s picture books she discovered when she took a course on nursing in high school, Yumi now makes a living drawing colorful and playful characters — mostly of people, cats and birds. “Like picture books, I aim to portray the subtle gestures and expressions of the characters to create illustrations that tell stories.”
Yumi’s nail paintings began as something she did just for fun aside from her work, but as more people started noticing them through her photos and videos, her nail art has evolved to the point where she conducts live demonstrations at public events. “There really isn’t much to it, but I always try to look for new themes,” she says. According to Yumi, the challenging part about nail painting is drawing with her less dominant hand, explaining that it’s more about practice rather than technique. From animals in bow-ties and suspenders to Hawaiian themed motifs, Yumi brings whimsical characters to life on her hands. “It’s hard to choose my favorite, but I would have to go with ‘the cat eating breakfast’ — this is a character that was first drawn on my nails and later ended up in my artwork,” she says. “The character seemed to develop on its own, and I find that interesting.”
I think she mixed up Uranus with Neptune (because this image is labeled wrong), but all is forgiven with such exquisite details like the marbling for Jupiter, iridescence for Venus, and texture & glitter for Mercury! Nichole includes nicely scientific descriptions of each planets and links to further resources - a blogger after our own hearts!