A TASCHEN Art Book
RN: You’re a self-taught nail artist sharing your designs on @Evemeetsnails. Can you tell us more about how you got into doing nail designs and what being a nail artist means to you?
EET: Well I have always had a heavy familiarity with nails and nail art. From going to the nail salons with my aunts and getting little airbrushed nail art to my grandma's signature red nails, nails have just been a constant thread in my life. I started practicing in high school/college and now I like to think I'm pretty decent! To me being a nail artist is just extending my self expression to my nails. Whatever that is in that moment. It's just more real estate to make a statement about who I am or how I'm feeling.
RN: Between your nail art, consistent activism and your hike club, you also balance freelance creative consulting and content partnerships on your Instagram. Can you speak to what balance looks like for you and your experience being a multi-hyphenate creative that can’t be defined by one label?
EET: To be honest I struggle with the balance, especially now. Everything is kind of thrown into a tizzy. On a weekly basis you can most likely find me painting new nail art, creating content and working (in the freelance consulting sense) with time for self care in the form of hiking or baths etc. Although time management can be challenging, I am extremely thankful to live a life that I am passionate about.
RN: As someone who has been walking in protests and participating in political initiatives for years, what do you realistically think our generation can accomplish with our current efforts?
EET: I think we can accomplish everything we set out to do. Beginning with the call to reimagine what policing looks like in this day and age. This is the biggest global civil rights movement in history and we have the power to do it. To me success post these protests looks like inspiring others to take action. So if after these protests people go home and they make calls to their elected officials, join an organization, inspire their friends to join them the next week etc. That's success to me.
RN: How do you take care of yourself in the midst of activism work which can be clearly emotionally, mentally and physically taxing?
EET: Hiking, meditating and soaking in the bath have really become sacred rituals for me. When you're taking on and feeling so much energy all the time you have to make sure you're constantly releasing it in healthy ways.
RN: How would you describe what it is like to be on the frontlines of a protest - even more so several days in a row? Are you ever concerned for your safety?
EET: I have for sure come to terms with the fact that I may be arrested, tear gassed etc. At the end of the day, the protests are peaceful but the police sometimes are not, so I do my best to be vigilant and stay out of harm's way. Protesting day in and day out, I've also observed my own evolution of not being afraid to really get loud and be heard. I am someone who doesn't typically like to raise my voice and I default to keeping it mellow but now I'm out and am fully realizing the volume and power of my voice. Megaphone or not. I lead chants and support others without the fear I once had. I have grown in ways that were uncomfortable to me before the movement began.