Whether you’re a seasoned artist or starting out, competitions can be an ideal playground to showcase your skills and creativity, as well as build confidence, learn from industry leaders and challenge yourself.

The World’s Star Nail Artist 2023, Katy Pottle, shares her competition tips…

Katy Pottle Headshot

The spectrum of choice

When it comes to nail competitions, there are various avenues through which artists can showcase their talent. Online competitions provide a global platform, allowing you to participate from the comfort of your workspace. In-person competitions offer a unique opportunity to present your art live, creating a more immersive experience and sense of community, as you will meet many industry peers. Each option comes with its own set of challenges and rewards, so weigh them up to find the perfect fit for your skills, goals and lifestyle.


When gearing up for an online nail art competition, the power of a well-crafted demo video cannot be overstated. This visual masterpiece can serve as a virtual portfolio, showcasing the technique, style and story behind your art. Start by ensuring that you are filming under good light, with a clear view of your workspace. Take the time to explain your inspiration, colour choices and the intricacies of your design. Keep the video concise and engaging, highlighting key steps in your process, but most of all, be yourself and show the personality behind the nails.

Regarding entries, choose a design that not only reflects your signature style, but aligns with the competition theme. Pay attention to details, as the judges will! Consider the technical aspects, such as precision and balance, as well as the overall visual impact. Let your creativity flow, ensure your passion shines through every stroke and don’t play it safe.

Time management magic

One of the keys to success in nail art competitions is mastering time management. I found this one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. Plan your design and keep reading the challenge brief. Be realistic with the time frame you have, and if you are entering an in-person competition, practice your design against the clock.

Tips for avant-garde excellence

Avant-garde design involves pushing boundaries and creating something unique. Embrace your creativity, let your imagination run wild and don’t be afraid to experiment with unconventional colours and shapes. Remember, it’s your chance to stand out, so make nails bold and beautiful!

Katy Pottle 7

In this design for World’s Star Nail Artist Challenge 3, I told a story through nail design and embraced the use of non-nail materials.

Techniques that wow the judges

Judges love to see a variety of skills, so don’t shy away from incorporating your own methods and personality into your creations. Try using new techniques in every challenge.

Community over competition

Competing can be nerve-wracking, but you’re not alone! Connect with fellow artists, share experiences and cheer each other on. The nail art community can be a fabulous place. It is also great to have people to talk to about your ideas.

Shine bright

If you are competing in a multi-challenge competition, you may be working for hours to create your entries, so consider listening to a motivational podcast, your favourite playlist, or play a TV series in the background. Also remember to take regular breaks and get some fresh air.

The joys of winning and learning

Win or lose, every competition offers a chance to learn and grow. Celebrate your victories and embrace the lessons in the moments that challenge you, using advice and constructive criticism to improve your skills. Competitions offer the chance to learn from a variety of industry leaders.

As you embark on your competition journey, believe in your art, trust your skills and let your passion shine through. Most of all, have fun!


Follow Katy on Facebook and Instagram.

By Editor