This week we are turning the spotlight on a talented nail art content creator named Emily Zheng. If you follow us on social media, there’s a chance you may already be familiar with some of her work– she’s the creative brains behind our Zodiac nail designs! To continue our celebration of AAPI Heritage month, we asked Emily to share what her Asian heritage means to her and her journey in creating nail art.
As a 2nd generation Chinese American, Emily finds that her culture is a fundamental part of her identity.
“One of my favorite parts of my heritage is our love for food. Food is more than a delicious meal — food is family bonding, a time to gather with loved ones, and most importantly an expression of love. That’s why the Chinese “I love you” is 你吃了吗 (have you eaten)?”
One of Emily’s go-to comfort foods is a dish called mapo tofu, but her favorite dish of all time is her mother’s stir fried noodles with fish tofu and egg. One way she likes to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month is by supporting AAPI restaurants, brands, media and creators.
Emily ventured into nail art in the midst of COVID lockdowns during March 2020. She started painting her nails when she started her corporate job in finance.
“I was looking for a creative outlet that also made me feel put together, and manicures were exactly what I needed … Work from home allowed me to wear designs that were not necessarily ‘professional,’ and I created @bycheznails to document my looks. It has been such an amazing journey since then!”
Designing nail art has become a therapeutic activity for Emily. She loves to experiment with new polishes and designs while getting to wear her own art everyday. So far in her creative journey, Emily is most proud of the Chinese Porcelain design she created during AAPI Heritage Month in 2021.“It is my most detailed nail art to date, and was such a special opportunity to share a part of my culture.”
With over 40k followers on Instagram, Emily used two words to describe the nail art community: kind and supportive. “I am grateful to have met so many sweet and talented artists through the platform,”she shared.
As for the future of her nail art, Emily is excited to continue developing her skills and creativity.“It’s amazing to look back to where I started, because it makes me look forward to the future of my nail art even more!”