Made Up Careers ~ Karla Morris
She’s been in the business less than a year but Karla Morris’ nail designs shot to international fame when they featured on Kim Kardashian’s app and website this year.
“It’s what I’m known for now,” the Inglewood nail technician laughs.
Not that she minds the attention in the least.
So popular are her hand-painted manicures that she’s opening her own studio above Rig66 at 33a Elliott Street in New Plymouth.
Karla was heading to America on holiday when she thought how great it would be to gain some experience under nail artist to the stars, Britney Tokyo, and flicked her an email to see what would happen.
To her surprise, Britney emailed straight back. Now Karla’s nails have featured on a video of Britney working on Kim’s nails, when Kim K gave a nod to the fan art.
“Kim may not know me, but its nice to know she has featured my work,” Karla says. “I’m not obsessed with the Kardashians but I would love to do their nails.”
Since all of that attention at the start of this year, Karla has built up her business creating quirky and unique nails for clients, ranging from standard manicures to the ‘Mac daddy paw’ for three-plus hours of hand-painted nail art.
Each nail is hand-drawn using a brush so small that she “actually can’t really breathe” when using it.
Along with the Kim K-inspired images of bust, butt and bling, Karla has been pimping clients’ nails with a myriad of sparkling geometric patterns, animal prints and Disney characters which are particularly popular.
“I come from a painting background at high school and that’s translated to the canvas of nails. I’ve been doing it for not even a year.”
Powder is mixed with a gel polish to create a 3D effect which is left under UV light to cure. “It’s quite a science.
“I think it’s about self-expression. Your nails are one of the things people see every day. You want to say, ‘wow, I’ve got these badass nails’ and show off your personality.”