With a background in design, artist Linh Nguyen provides a fresh approach to Melbourne’s nail art scene with her label, Critter Claws. Colour Box Studio met Linh earlier on in the year at one of our public art events and we’ve been keen to get her on board for a while. And so, she’ll be sharing some awesome nail art designs at an upcoming creative workshop with Colour Box Studo on Saturday 6th December, 3:30-5:30pm at Melbourne Polytechnic, Prahran: click here for all the details.

• Please give a short introduction about yourself and your business.

Critter Claws Bio Pic for Colour Box Studio 03I’m Linh Nguyen and for the past two and a half years I’ve been a nail artist. After demand from friends and family I decided to start Critter Claws in June 2013. I’m flying solo at Critter Claws and do all the nail art, graphic design, admin and marketing. It’s been lots of fun!

• Tell us more about your background in design.
I’m a freelance graphic designer after graduating from Shillington. I do everything from web design, branding and identity, marketing collateral and more! Design is my passion but it is nice to do more hands on work, which is where Critter Claws comes in.

• What are some design principles that you like or that you’re drawn to?
Balance, whether it be symmetrical or asymmetrical, hierarchy, scale, repetition and contrast are all principles I’m taking into consideration when designing. It’s also helpful to keep them in mind when creating a new nail design.

Critter Claws Workshop with Colour Box Studio
Critter Claws Workshop with Colour Box Studio

• What inspires your own designs and creativity?

I’m inspired by pop culture and counter culture, things that are happening around me. I like art, fashion, music, food, and I grew up in the 90s, so I definitely draw inspiration from these avenues.

Critter Claws Slime
Critter Claws Slime Nail Art.

• Whose work are you digging at the moment?
Beci Orpin, James Jean, Lisa Gorman, Jessica Hische, Claire Boucher aka Grimes, the list goes on!

• How did you learn nail art?
I decided to experiment with patterns on my nails one day using the normal nail polish brush and it became an obsession. At the time I had no idea nail art was becoming trendy. When I did realise, I invested in nail art brushes and tools and practised on family members and friends. I’m pretty much self taught which is why I have some unconventional ways of doing things.

• We know you do pop up nail art stalls. What has been your favourite and have you had any celebrity clients!?
It’s impossible to choose one favourite nail stall – like with any business there are up and down days. My favourite stalls are when I get enthusiastic customers who’ve planned what they want painted, or when I meet very lovely people (nail art customers are generally very lovely!) who I end up becoming friends with! I’ve done Kate Ceberano’s nails + her daughter’s – she was lovely and super fun.

Critter Claws hungry caterpillar
Critter Claws in action.

• Tell us about your upcoming nail art workshop with Colour Box Studio.
It’s going to be a fun two hours where you’ll be able to learn my tips and tricks. The advantage of my method of nail art is you’ll be able to practise nail art at home straight away, as long as you have a couple of bottles of nail polish. You don’t need to buy anything extra and different coloured nail pens are not necessary! You’ll receive all the tools you’ll need in the goody bag.

• What will people be surprised about when they do the nail art workshop with you?
You don’t need special skills or talents to become good at nail art – of course it will help if you’ve had some experience in drawing or painting, but with practice and patience, anyone can do it. Also, you can still do it well even with a shaky hand 😉

• Any other info about you, your creative business/ arts practice….?
I’m working on the redesign and redevelopment of the Critter Claws website and planning to extend Critter Claws into bigger things – watch this space!

Check out Critter Claws website here and Facebook page here.


Critter Claws Daisy Colour Box Studoi workshopLinh Nguyen of Critter Claws will guide you through how to create fun nail art that you can easily do at home. She will teach you all her tips and tricks. You’ll get a free goody bag with the tools you’ll need to paint nail art.

By the end of this workshop, you will learn how to create these designs on your nails: Leopard print; Daisies; Strawberries; Slime.

DETAILS: Saturday 6th December, 3:40-5:30PM at Melbourne Polytechnic, Prahran

This workshop is part of our 3-in-1 workshops day (book one workshop OR book all three for a discounted price): To book click here.

All images courtesy of Critter Claws.