Claws' nail artist talks about Season 2's wildest designs and doing "fried chicken nails"
If you’re a fan of Claws, the technicolor, soap opera-esque dramedy starring Niecy Nash as a nail salon owner-slash-mob queen, then you already know that the show returned for its second season. Cue the fanfare, the ladies of Palmetto are back with more drama and even more badass nails. This season, Morgan Dixon is the show’s key nail artist and is bringing her own flavor to the well-manicured claws of Claws.
Dixon, who owns a New Orlean-based salon called M.A.D. Nails, has also worked her magic on the hands of Issa Rae, Solange, Faith Hill, and Teyana Taylor. Here, she talks to us about her hustle, fried chicken nails (yes, you read that right), and what kind of crazy nail art to expect throughout Claws Season 2.
HelloGiggles: Can you talk a little bit about your background as a nail artist?
Morgan Dixon: Funny thing is, I never saw myself being a nail artist. I was a broke college student trying to find a way to support myself through school. I received my nail license while studying and just never stopped. I’ve always been into art and studied it in school so becoming a nail tech and seeing the possibilities of creating art on nails kept me in the game.
From that point, I worked in spas and salons and knew I could be doing more. I then created my brand and started hustling and trying to do more than what I saw other nail techs doing. I reached out to vanity projects about working there and received a “yes” in less than an hour. That experience, as well as many other offers to work in salons internationally, really fueled me to see that this was only the beginning. I’ve been freelance since and pride myself for the jobs I’ve done without the help of an agency. I don’t see myself getting out of it anytime soon. I just love the idea of people walking around with a new art exhibit on their hands every week.
HG: What can we expect from the fierce nails of Claws this season?
MD: This season there is so much going on and a lot of the times you see it through the characters hands. The show is only getting better, and so are the nails.
HG: What is the process like for doing nails on the show?
MD: The process begins by reading the first draft of the script. From there, I meet with the writers and directors and we discuss the possibilities. After the concept meetings, I talk to the cast and see if they have any suggestions. From that point, I execute!
HG: What were some of your inspirations for the nail art on the show?
MD: My inspiration comes from everyday objects and patterns. I’m also very inspired by the characters and their own personal stories. They’ve grown so much in the short time we’ve known them and because their nails are their (and my canvas) I love to tell that story on their fingertips.
HG: Can you describe in detail some of your favorite nail designs you did on the show?
MD: Some of my favorite nail designs from the show include a set from Episode 201 for Uncle Daddy — the “Juanda tribute nail” — which are a stiletto nail with a woodgrain backdrop and a detailed gold frame with Juanda’s picture in it. Another favorite is a set for Zlata in 206, the blue Fabergé egg set. It’s breathtaking and very ornate. The sapphires in the middle are beyond beautiful. I also really love Desna’s wedding nails and the season finale money set. These sets are typical Desna Simms. Very blingy and eye-catching.
HG: How do some characters’ nail art differ from the other characters?
MD: The characters have their own personalities so you can look at a set and automatically assume who they are for. Desna loves bling, Polly loves fabric patterns, Jenn loves animal prints, and Virginia loves embellishments and charms.
HG: What is the craziest nail art that you’ve done outside of the show?
MD: The craziest nail art I’ve done would have to be the fried chicken set I did for a local artist in New Orleans. In some of her prints, she has fried chicken dipped in glitter and she asked me to do that on her nails. She literally bought in the chicken bits and I applied them, encapsulated them and sprinkled glitter on them. That was hands down the craziest.
HG: What kinds of nail trends should we be on the lookout for this summer?
MD: I think we should be on the lookout for textures and movement in nails. We’re all so used to seeing flat polish, but nowadays you can add layers and textures as well as fun things like charms and piercings.
You can watch Claws on TNT on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST.