Nail Art: Symbols, Trends and Artistic Connections


Many people may think of painting their nails or going to get their nails done as just a way to pass the time or to add a pop of color to otherwise monotone hands.  But when you put the time in to have your nails done by a professional artist, someone who values and respects their craft and offers you an artistic gift, you will soon see it is far more in-depth than simply choosing from the season’s top colors.

Understanding Symbols

The artistic professionals who have become nail artists did not come upon the craft by accident. In fact, these individuals have a profound and inspiring connection to the hand, and they carry this through into their work. In Asian cultures, the left hand is symbolic of yin energy, and the right yang energy, emphasizing the importance of the balance and symmetry between the hands. When brought together, they confer friendship and loyalty, but separately each have their own symbolic attributions – the left implies emotion, justice, and a passive nature, while the right denotes assertiveness, logic, and generosity.

Understanding Trends

The symbolism of the hands is what allows an artist to appropriate trends towards the individual whom they are working on. If for example, the artist senses a great deal of yin energy, or an imbalance between the hands, he or she may attempt to implicate trends in the art to restore this balance. Likewise, if someone comes in looking to achieve a certain emotion or attribute, applying a trend that reflects that is one way that artists can accomplish this request.

For example, current trends in nail art towards minimalism are used for individuals who are looking to make more space in their life, who feel like their thoughts and mind are cluttered, or who are experiencing anxiety. It makes use of negative space on the nails to embolden increased space in a particular area of one’s life. This trend also promotes enhanced confidence by encouraging “the hand to do the talking.” 

Another execution of the minimalism trend, offering minimalist nails with a splash of bold, bright color or a loud pattern, is a trend that promotes individuals to be open, helps them adopt change and to be reassured in a transition period.

From the Artist’s Hands

An understanding of these symbols and trends and how they are impactful on an individual is a huge underscoring feature that plays out as a nail artist. Indeed, artists will select to follow trends and symbols based on what they can read the individual needs, forging a relationship with the hands which offers connection through art. Collectively, this intuition and connection from the artist allows for an optimized experience for the client and brings together hands, art, and symbolic inferences, which achieve emotional responses much the same as that of an elaborate painting. 

While many people simply choose to paint their nails for fun or to match their outfit, there is a much deeper meaning behind the task when performed by an artist. With the potential for deep impacts on the emotional health and wellbeing of an individual, it is a craft and an art that is about more than simply putting brush to nail.