Client asking for artwork I can’t replicate

blossom

Well-Known Member
Hi all
I’m not that creative and def no artist which is why my nail art offerings tend to be centred around stamping, dotting tool flowers and decals

I’ve got a lovely client who has been coming for years and she’s very loyal which I do appreciate, but from the pictures she sends me just before every appointment, I really think she should try somewhere where they offer more hand painted art, using small brushes and intricate strokes and can replicate what she asks for.

I have a go sometimes if it looks more straightforward but my attempts are usually not great and we reach a compromise but I always feel she’s just about satisfied but not got what she really wants. This makes me feel inadequate, and a bit embarrassed when I attempt things which turn out badly (I usually try this before the appt and msg her as to its success or send pics)

I’ve got twenty odd stamping plates and many colours in shellac and stamping polish but she’s going for other looks which I feel I need to be able to do but can’t!

What’s my way forward here do you think?
 

OwnerOperator

New Member
Hi all
I’m not that creative and def no artist which is why my nail art offerings tend to be centred around stamping, dotting tool flowers and decals

I’ve got a lovely client who has been coming for years and she’s very loyal which I do appreciate, but from the pictures she sends me just before every appointment, I really think she should try somewhere where they offer more hand painted art, using small brushes and intricate strokes and can replicate what she asks for.

I have a go sometimes if it looks more straightforward but my attempts are usually not great and we reach a compromise but I always feel she’s just about satisfied but not got what she really wants. This makes me feel inadequate, and a bit embarrassed when I attempt things which turn out badly (I usually try this before the appt and msg her as to its success or send pics)

I’ve got twenty odd stamping plates and many colours in shellac and stamping polish but she’s going for other looks which I feel I need to be able to do but can’t!

What’s my way forward here do you think?
Have you thought about a little course? They don't all cost the earth. This would not only get your confidence level up, but would also be good for future clients. YouTube is also good and it's free. If your client wasn't happy I'm sure she wouldn't keep coming back to you
 

Trinity

Brush Slayer Geek
Tell her :D I've had clients turn up with pictures of stuff I could never recreate, I just say 'I can't do art like that, I'm a nail technician not an painter, I can do <insert your appoximation> how is that?' and leave it at that. If she's loyal and coming back I think you maybe over thinking it :oops:
 

ch-ela

Well-Known Member
I would be honest and upfront about it. Explain that for some intricate nail art, artistic skills are needed and that you don't have those skills. I know what you mean though. I have one client that does this to me, first thing she does when she sits down is get her phone out and look for whatever picture she has seen on instagram. I always have my fingers crossed behind my back that it's something from MY facebook page lol!
Would you be interested in doing nail art courses?
 

blossom

Well-Known Member
I have explained I don't have the skills/tools so many times but she keeps asking!

I don't know how I feel about taking a course tbh. If I wasn't busy, I def would. But a bit like Trinity, I feel my main thing is the nails, not the art... I can do a new set in 1hr15 and earn a decent amount, when I can easily spend half that time farting around with people deciding on styles and colours, and you can't charge much for nail art I find, £3-4 extra? For 20-30 mins work ? And I can charge that ATM in ten mins doing a bit of stamping etc and with no further outlay in terms of time or money

Thinking about it has made me realise I don't really want to lol.
 

ch-ela

Well-Known Member
Ask her outright if she wouldn't prefer to go somewhere else for her nail art. I agree with all that you've said above. I'm just not interested either. Stamping, glitter and a few decals is my limit. I tell people that I'm too old to learn something new, lol!
 

Trinity

Brush Slayer Geek
Thinking about it has made me realise I don't really want to lol.
Me neither, maybe drop it casually into conversation during her next appointment. I still think if she's coming back then she must be happy. In a way it's good though if it's pushing you to try new things, but only if it worth your time and effort.
 

CFBS

Well-Known Member
If your client keeps booking again then she must be ok with what you can achieve for her.

I'm pretty rubbish at drawing, always have been, bottom of the art class on a regular basis at school...:(
But I can - paint nails with shellac or polish, apply glitter & stamp designs. This gets me through most things.
I don't encourage clients to bring photos. They always expect unrealistic designs for the nails that they have (hairdressers must suffer like this too with hair styles!)
If they show me a picture from Instagram the first thing I usually have to say is, "of course these are on acrylic extensions , which I don't do so we need to adjust the design to suit your shorter (read: stubby / bitten / splitting, in your head here) nails" .
I then ask "what aspects of the design do you like the most" - you can then start the discussion on what you can realistically achieve.
Then put that photo away asap so they can't see it again and start YOUR creation!
 

Minkeybox

Well-Known Member
Im quite arty, have a design background & have piles of stuff to replicate 90% of the designs im shown... but...

Like you said, no one wants to pay for it! When Im looking at the photo & talking them through the options/how it will be done clients have been genuinely shocked that theres an extra cost over the standard single colour price.

If you cant see a benefit in spending money on art courses (and the products to then do it- more £££) then I wouldnt bother. Your obviously doing enough right :D xx
 

NZNailz

Active Member
Sometimes I need to remind myself that whenever I got my nails done (pre-tech training) that I ALWAYS loved them. Now, give me those same sets and I bet I'd find a MILLION flaws I could point out! We are very hard on ourselves as techs as expect our clients to look at our nails with the same fine tooth comb we use ourselves but, they just aren't looking at things with the same eyes as us. She is probably very happy as she keeps coming back!

Also, give a spiel about not wanting to copy another techs work in its entirety and that you're happy to attempt 'your version' of the designs she shows you :)
 

Leggibone

Active Member
I think everyone has hit the nail on the head, if you can’t/don’t want to do the designs then have that conversation with her,
Stamping takes an extra 5 mins once you’ve got the hang, so if you have a nice selection on stamping colours and plates (thinking hearts, bows, flowers ect.) and can do some decent dotting tool type art, then you haves most people covered, Then suggest if she’s happy with what you can do, you happy to keep doing her nails, but otherwise she might want to consider someone who loves the art side of doing nails.
 

NailtechJoe

IN:@thenailmaestro
What’s my way forward here do you think?
Send them to me as I'm happy to replicate work, although it's going to be quite a journey to travel up north ;)
 

Cathi44

Bliss
I had this problem some years ago, with clients turning up with totally unrealistic expectations and Insta pics. It also made me realise I am rubbish at nail art ! ;) Also, I only work with natural nails and, as someone has pointed out, most of these pics are with acrylics. SO.... I now flatly don't offer any nail art, purely manicure and nail rescue services. And I have 2 amazing Nail Techs nearby that I recommend for my nail-art-wanting clients. Mostly it's worked well.... I've managed to completely offload 2 clients who were a total pain & not worth the drama, and lots of others now get their nails done elsewhere and come to me for everything else. :)
 

RED STAR

Well-Known Member
Just tell her how much extra you will need to charge, as those intricate designs are very time consuming.....
Guess she won't be asking again.........:p
 

nailpod

Well-Known Member
I have three clients who do this to me every time and literally takes me extra hour just doing the bloody art. Which in the end they say it isn’t like the pictures it’s fine take it off and I have a stamp. Like I wanted to do in the first place ... I can’t charge for that hour cos it’s been removed and I can’t scream and yell because that would be unprofessional.
I even have a sign : I do not do nail art except glitter stamps and stones .
Instagram has done our industry a favor in part as well as disfavor .
Most pictures are airbrushed. I once saw in person this one “artist’s nails” and the ground base work was horrific !!! There was no apex no decent anything but lovely art.

The art done at classes for nails are taught by fine art masters ... like hello I have taken over 5 art courses gel and acrylic and yes I did improve but not enough to be classified as good.
At the end of the day time is money, I much rather do a facial for two hours and earn three times as much as doing a set of nails with unicorns drawn and having Client upset to pay extra.

Rant over ..

I agree with blossom, most frustrating
 

noreenoconnor

CND Education Ambassador Cork
This is such a good topic!!

I hear this ALL the time from students, clients bring in photos of "insta-manis" that have taken 7-8 hours to do by nail blogger, or very intricate one stroke nail art and expect it to be done in 10 mins for less than a fiver!

Here's my take on in though:

The belief that people are only willing to pay a couple of quid for nail art is a self limiting belief. Perhaps your client IS willing to pay an extra €30 for nail art, don't make that choice for her. If they show you a picture of something time consuming, agree that's its beautiful but as it's hand painted and is time consuming and will take an extra half hour to do so will be €30 extra, then ask is that ok? at this point they will either accept or say simply say no, to which you could point out the quicker and easier nail stamps / foils etc and say but i can achieve a similar look with this, and it will only take 10 mins and will be €10 extra how does that sound? :)

PS if the nail art is really outrageous, charge an outrageous price to cover your time. there are clients who don't mind paying for it! Hand on heart I don't consider myself that artistic, but the most a client ever paid for JUST the nail art was €80 and it took me 2 hours to do! They were amazing, and she was happy with them, and I was happy with the money I made doing them.

I think having the confidence to charge what your worth and not being afraid of turning custom down is so important. If a client wanted a full set done for €10 you would have no hassle telling them there is no way you could do that for them as you wouldn't make a profit yet as nail techs we seem to get stuck on this topic when it comes to nail art prices.

I can see that a lot of you seem to have this problem and would love to help you out! What do you think would help you the most?

Can you post the pics blossom of some of the images she has sent you and I can give you a script you can say to her or other clients in the future (or indeed if anyone else has images that they've received and wouldn't even know where to start with!)

and/or I can show you how to take a really complicated image a client has shown you and take the basic elements out of it to produce something quick, easy and most importantly PROFITABLE

because I 100% agree that for a lot of nail techs nail art LOOSES them money when in fact in should be boosting profits!!
 

sanilulu

Active Member
I completely agree, we all get these clients, awww the joys of insta ... lol ..
What about a display with the nail art that you can do - with prices next to them for each nail.
Then when she sends a picture send her a price for the time it would take to do them - that way she’ll soon either pay the extra or pick one of yours ... X
 

holllllyx

New Member
I’m not particularly artistic either, the most I’ve ever been able to achieve is marble effect, but I find that some YouTube videos, spare nail pops and a free hour to doodle and practise helps the imagination! Xx
 

blossom

Well-Known Member
I completely agree, we all get these clients, awww the joys of insta ... lol ..
What about a display with the nail art that you can do - with prices next to them for each nail.
Then when she sends a picture send her a price for the time it would take to do them - that way she’ll soon either pay the extra or pick one of yours ... X
I’ve over 80 displays of what I can do! I’ve even photographed them and put them on my Facebook page so people can begin thinking before their appt

I often can’t do what she asks, even on paper given a whole morning, let alone on a nail in a few minutes!
 

blossom

Well-Known Member
Aw Noreen you’re a poppet! I don’t want to post exact ones in case the reads and recognises herself thank you though
 
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