Friday, October 3, 2014

Behind the Scenes and Overview of the 31 Day Challenge

I wanted to take the time to write up a recap and reflection on the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge. This was the first longer term challenge I have completed, so I wanted to share my thoughts and insights. After first getting into nail art, I got really excited about doing challenges, but often found myself not completing them. I really wanted to make an effort to complete this one! I started four days late and finished one day late, so I had a lot of double post days. I hope that didn't annoy you all! I am really elated that I finished though and proud that I have expanded my body of work. Below, I will go over different aspects of the challenge and show you my complete collage!


Obviously time is one of the biggest issues in the challenge. Even before the challenge I tried to blog daily, but just blogging daily in itself is difficult. There are many more steps to blogging than meets the eye. I first have to decide what kind of design I want to do and make sure I have the tools and colors to do so. Sometimes this takes research, which also means I need to credit my sources if any. For several of these challenges I had to create a few designs before I came up with one I felt comfortable presenting. I am a bit of a perfectionist at times. After I complete the design I take photos. Because I photograph outdoors I need to do this before it gets too late. It being fall, I have been loosing light every day! This has made me improvise a bit. I do have a lightbox, but I don't like using it because my actual lighting isn't where I want it. I did have to sacrifice on a few images for the sake of getting the post completed. Next step is editing the photos and posting. Editing can take quite a while, especially when I take a ton of photos to make sure I get a good one. I am always overwhelmed when I realize exactly how many photos I took. I like to listen to music and tune out while editing. Many times throughout the challenge, I didn't manage my time wisely. That meant I would later have to post twice, or really late. Sometimes I just wanted to leave a design on my nails and I couldn't motivate myself to do the next challenge. I hardly ever got posts done ahead of time in the last month, which really frustrated me. Before that, I was doing really well at getting things done ahead of time. 


This was a big one. Sometimes the challenge just didn't appeal to me and I couldn't think of anything good. More often I would think of too many good things and stumble through a design not quite committing to anything and ending up with what I thought was a mess. I found that sometimes when I more literally interpreted the prompt, it wouldn't turn out as I had hoped. I found out that I really like more abstract designs. I like blending colors to form something new, and when I have to create something more realistic, I just fall flat. Being on a time crunch constantly also made it difficult to create. For some challenges I had to think about what I wanted to do for quite a while before I came up with just the perfect design to show you. I would often come across a challenge prompt, and have the ability to think of something right away, but I wanted to create something unique. Creating something unique and different in a short time frame is really difficult. Some days, things just clicked, but others took longer. 


So in reality, this last month, my nails were a hot mess. I often went out with one hand painted and the other one with just basecoat. I know! I just had to focus on one hand for this challenge. I really want to get back to doing both hands and looking normal, but time restraints this last month didn't allow for that. Most of the nails I did were my usual level of quality, but some I really had to simplify in order to give myself some more time. I am really happy that overall, these designs were pretty high quality. I just wish I had painted them on both hands!

A special thank you goes to Chalkboard Nails for creating and hosting this challenge! I have 31 new designs to add to my repertoire! Many of these have elements of nail art that I have done before, but some were totally new to me or something that I perfected or had been wanting to try for a long time. It just feels really good to be able to say I created 31 days of new nail art! Thank you all for sticking with me through this challenge and allowing me to bombard you with all sorts of nail art and slightly ignore swatching. I think this was definitely worth the effort, but not for the faint of heart. I knew it would be difficult, but completing it feels to great! Tell me which were your favorites in the comments, I really would love to know! My husband's favorites were 1. Day 26 Inspired by a Pattern, 2. Day 16 Geometric, and 3. Inspired by a Flag. All of the links are below and the collage is in order going horizontally. Thanks again for following along! I will have a swatch and review for you sometime tomorrow, and I might take Sunday off, gasp! Thanks for stopping by!

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