All right, I’m powering through the last 50 entries of the Tokyo Nail Expo Art Tip Awards. The theme is Japanese Textures, and we’re seeing lots of geisha/maiko figures, cranes and the dread Flowers No Matter What. There are a lot of flowers in this round, as well as a VERY not safe for work image for entry #94. At least it’s not more flowers!
#76. A very pretty color combo with abstract art and flowers surrounding a koi pond. The color and detail work is really nice. The shape of the nails on the left and right adds some interest too.
#77. Floral and crane details on a red base. Pretty but not the most original entry we’ve seen.
#78. Flowers. Just flowers. Folks, with Japan’s incredibly rich history of art and culture, could you not have found anything else to choose? So tired of flowers…
#79. See #78.
#80. Doodly figures with flowers and maple leaves. It takes a lot of practice to be able to paint realistic figures, make sure you’ve got it down before you attempt it on nails, or it may look a bit cartoony. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be that way or not.
#81. Goldfish bowl in front of shoji screens. Something a bit different at least!
#82. Maple leaves on a black base with some gray stones. I like the use of color and the stones but the technique needs some polishing.(Hey-Yo!)
#83. Noh figure on a background that’s just a bit too busy for my taste.
#84. Manga style figures with temari balls and…flowers. Still, nice 3 work and it works well together
#85.Dragon and oiran figure, plus the nearly ubiquitous crane. Nice use of color, though.
#86. ? I have no idea, can anyone help out? Kind of looks like a mandala and a molting caterpillar.
#87. 2D flowers. No mas.
#88. Florals and traditional 2D patterns on a red background. Coming up a bit short here…
#89. Abstract mandala, flowers and what kinda looks like a tiny Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
#90. Anime type figure (which is unintentionally terrifying) and marbles and splashes. Also, random tiny hands imploring the viewer to take some marbles.
#91. Crane, geisha, maple leaves. Nice work all around, though.
#92. Flowers, butterflies, knotwork. We’ve seen all these elements but this is good quality work that makes a cohesive whole. I can’t see the individual nails, but I guess they’re in there somewhere.
#93. Red base. Florals. Ukiyoe figures.
#94. NSFW. WOW! While I don’t really want to think about the X-rated textures of Japan, at least there are no tentacles here. Well done work and high points for uniqueness. Not a flower to be found here! Does it make me totally out of it if I’m not sure what those body parts or devices are?
#95. Flowers. Cranes. Maple leaves. More flowers.
#96. Mashup scene with goldfish, woman in kimono, maple leaves.
#97. Flowers. Who’da thunk it?
#98. More cranes n flowers, but this work is extraordinary. Look how fine the details are. I just wish they’d chosen something more original, but I can’t fault that craftmanship.
#99. Autumn scene but needs more attention to detail to make it work.
#100. Maiko/geisha n flowers.
Well, at least one entry is really memorable! I think #98 is best in this round. Those circular chrysanthemums are incredibly difficult to do and the outlining is out of this world.
And…the last entries, #101-125.
#101. I like the bold color palette, but I have serious geisha + goldish fatigue. I do not want to think about the texture of goldfish.
#102. Very nice detail work on Japanese folklore figurines. Here’s a closeup.
#103. Dragon, Mt. Fuji and flowers. The dragon has great detailing. I’m partial to dragons, but this is especially nice work.
#104. Flowers, yes. Goldfish, yes. But a Hokusai woodblock print wave and utterly stunning detail work still make this a wonderful entry.
#105. Oiran figure and flowers. We’ve seen this theme loads, but the painting and sculpture are very good on this entry.
#106. A wagon wheel and traditional patterns with a nice color palette.
#107. This owl and samurai may be from a story I’m not familiar with. Don’t care, because this painting is fantastic.
#108. I also have no idea what this is about. Obviously, jewels. Other than that, I don’t know really. BUT LOOK AT THAT PAINTING. Almost photorealistic. Look at the facets on the jewels. Extraordinary. Probably the best 2D painting in the whole show.
#109. A really fierce looking dragon with hair like That Guy In The News. Uh..let’s move on!
#110. Red background with florals, maple leaves and a bit of kiriko cut glass. It’s nice but has nothing on the other cut glass entry we saw earlier.
#111. Crane. Flowers. Fan. Umbrella. Nice work but I got fatigue.
#112. Moth n flowers. Step it up, we’ve got some great entries to beat!
#113. New Year’s scene. Not the most original, but nicely sculpted. The bamboo tubes are especially good.
#114. A giant red sea bream. Or maybe catfish?
#115. Dunno the story, but the guy looks like he is about to sneeze. That is all I see when I look at the figures. Nice sculpting work. A-CHOO!
#116. Red. Flowers. Free me from this prison.
#117. Goldfish n flowers.
#118. A cartoony geisha. I got to give them credit for attempting the hand, it’s very difficult. If it’s not perfectly done, it looks weird. Hands are very tricky.
#120. Not sure, some ruby red nails with red jewels. Looks a bit haphazard.
#121. More white birds. I just can’t.
#122. Forgivable flowers, with fantastic detail and some temari balls thrown in for good measure. A theme I can’t stand, but this is well done. Please use your talents for original ideas, people! Challenge yourself to paint something with NO flowers. Try. You can do it!
#123. I don’t know what this is supposed to be, but the middle figure looks like the love child of my ex co-worker Yuko and Michael Jackson. I’m sorry, Yuko. I shouldn’t out you. I never knew you had an affair with MJ. I won’t tell your husband. Better not let him go to the Nail Expo. Ever.
#125. Flowers n butterflies, but the amazing palette of colors saves it from getting side eye.
Aaand… I’m spent. I hope everyone enjoyed looking at these entries. What are your picks for the top prizes?