Creating Your Best Portfolio with Gracie J of The Editorial Nail

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08.30.18 | By
Creating Your Best Portfolio with Gracie J of The Editorial Nail
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As any visual artist can tell you, being able to show off your work to potential customers and fans is a huge part of a successful business plan. Thankfully, Squarespace is able to help out with their professionally-designed site templates as well as their all-in-one capabilities that can assist with your domain(s), building your site, and now: marketing with specialized email campaigns that will be made available to all users in the next few weeks.They can literally help you do it all, including build a show-stopping portfolio that will show off your best work with their website builder. Squarespace is a one stop shop for getting your business off the ground and looking like you’ve been at it for years.

You may be familiar with the work of Gracie J of The Editorial Nail and not even know it—her clean and innovative nail art makes appearances on every episode of ClawsTNT where she’s the Key Nail Stylist. Or, maybe you saw her talent gracing the cover of NYLON’s recent Black History Month cover that was shot by another talented Squarespace user, Adrienne Raquel. Gracie J was born in Brooklyn and raised in Haiti, surrounded by a family of creative women that helped art play a major role in her life from the start.

Photo: Adrienne Raquel

While art has always been a part of her life, nail art in particular has been a hobby of Gracie J’s since she was 13 years old.

“It’s one of those talents I didn’t know was truly there until it started to manifest itself in every aspect of my life. People started to take an interest in my nails, asking where I was getting them done and inviting me to come work on set for photoshoots.”

After her very first job on a shoot, Gracie was hooked.

Photo: Joe Chea

It’s one thing being extremely good at your side hustle, but it’s another taking it to the level of full-time job and making your creative dream a reality. Gracie J knew it was time to make the leap after an invoice came across her desk at her last corporate job, it showed that the set’s nail stylist was making more money in one day than she was in an entire week.

“I asked myself, what am I still doing here? As a nail artist, I never stop learning. I am constantly being challenged to elevate my work. I knew this profession would challenge me creatively because there are so many different techniques and looks. Also, when you have clients that are creatively charged they help you step outside of your comfort zone and inspire you to create works of art that display your best self.”

Photo: Adrienne Raquel

Sometimes, stepping out of the box you’ve built around yourself is just the push needed to make your best work yet, in the process, creating portfolio pieces that stand out from your usual style and attract a fresh audience.

Speaking of staying cutting edge, being successful in the world of fashion requires a good eye for spotting trends. Gracie J definitely has what it takes and a history of pinpointing looks as trends months before they’re called out in the business.

“It’s the same thing talent scouts and museum curators do. Like them, we possess the ability to spot what people will gravitate towards before they even know they will. I’m often inspired by my surroundings, my culture, and my artist friends – there are so many places you can derive inspiration from, you just have to be open to the unexpected.”

Brilliant advice for your work, your portfolio, and life in general.

Photo: Adrienne Raquel

When it comes to advice, Gracie J has some she’d like to bestow upon other entrepreneurs trying to put together an on point representation of their brand in portfolio form.

  • Audiences love amazing quality, they love personality, and they love a relevant message.
  • One of the most valuable tips I learned from my high school entrepreneurship class was if you can connect with people, if you can connect what you have to offer them on an emotional level. That right there is the key to an effective symbiotic relationship.

Photo: Joe Chea

So how does Gracie J utilize Squarespace’s all-in-one capabilities to help build her brand at The Editorial Nail, spread the word of her nail art, and keep her portfolio feeling fresh?

“Squarespace is an overall representation of my work. It allows me to showcase my work professionally while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing feel. I am able to communicate and interact with my audience all from one place with the tools available to me.”

Photo: Jarrod

As a business owner there are few things more you can ask for. Squarespace allows you to focus on what you do best – your work – while making everything else going on in the background a piece of cake to manage.

Ready to get to work building your portfolio? Take the first step with a Squarespace website. Use coupon code DESIGNMILK at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.