This week we caught up with Cristal B., a freelance nail artist based in Philadelphia, PA who makes a bi-weekly trek to New York to showcase her talents at Polish Bar in Brooklyn. We’re obsessing over her cool abstract design using toned down versions of primary colors. Attention-grabbing yet wearable, this design is a great example of life imitating art.

Read on to learn more about the inspiration behind this artsy manicure and the nail artist behind it.

EBONY: Cristal, what inspired the design?

Cristal B.: This design was inspired by artist Piet Mondrian’s neo-plasticism technique in which three primary colors are painted over white, and a black grid is added. I chose two primaries for this one.

EBONY: How was the design created?

CB: This is a gel manicure using my favorite gel polish: OPI Gel Color. The colors included are “I Have A Herring Problem” (bluish gray), “Strawberry Margarita” (pink), “Alpine Snow” (white), and “Black Onyx” (black) using only a striper brush.

EBONY: How did you become a nail artist?

CB: It kind of just happened after deciding that I wanted specialty nails to be a key part of my brand Tout Est Bombe (“Everything Is Bomb” in French). Nails are now a fashion staple and have become a lifestyle in themselves.

EBONY: What do you feel is your artistic significance when it comes to nail art?

CB: I think what sets me apart is that both art and fashion influence me, but not in the same ways as other nail artists. I actually make it a point not to look at others’ work these days. It keeps my mind clear, and allows me to dream up designs sometimes I can’t even replicate myself. Most of my art is done in the moment and not planned. I also take just as much pride in the actual health and appearance of your nails. That is the difference between being a nail artist that is technical and vice versa.

EBONY: What is one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring nail artists?

CB: Be confident in your art because art is relative. There is no exact way to go about it, but keep your work clean and let it speak for itself.

Check out more designs by Cristal B. on Instagram @ToutEstBombe.

Loren Lee