By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Writer
At just 19 years old, Shema Darville is growing and glowing as she is steadily checking off goals on her list of things-to -accomplish.
A visual artist for many years, known under the name “Shema The Artist”, she is passionate about two surprisingly related creative fields: painting and nail art.
She has discovered a way to make an income while not neglecting her creative side.
“As an artist, I usually take days, weeks and even months to complete pieces depending on what they are. However, in terms of doing art on nails I figured I hit the jackpot, as I get to explore my love for business while also being able to create small little paintings everyday. It’s satisfying and brings me joy to do so,” she told Tribune Weekend.
“In 2017, I vividly remember painting my first real painting in oils of a giant blue squid. My grandfather, Ulrick Fox, and my mother, Sarah J Fox, had some influence in my artistic interest as they were both painters and my mother a musician as well. Currently, I love to paint collage type Bahamian-inspired painting-and also portrait pop art.”
Like many people who were inspired to learn new skills and share their talents with the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, Shema took up painting acrylic nails and even launched her own nail art business called Bee Different Nail Designs.
“I believe my skills have grown tremendously since the beginning of my nail journey. I remember my first acrylic set; I did it on myself and it was terrible. However, I didn’t become discouraged. I decided to try it again more and more. As I practiced, the progress I made was phenomenal. The nail applications, design and shaping all became crisp and overall beautiful,” she said.
And like most young people, online resources helped her perfect her craft.
“I learned this trade through mostly teaching myself via YouTube, TikTok and books. I also got guidance from an awesome nail technician, Paige Charles, while I took nail courses online and more. Every day I learn something new through these sources,” said the teen who considers herself currently in her explorative years of life.
Shema enjoys the process of hand-painting each nail design, choosing colours and thinking creatively, but most of all, she enjoys the looks on her clients faces when they see a satisfying and beautiful new set.
“Since graduating high school, Mt Carmel Preparatory Academy, I’ve pursued both art and entrepreneurship. These two areas of my life sparked my interest in creating and exploring nail art. In October 202,1 with my last pay cheque from my former job, I decided to invest it into a new journey in nail artistry,” she said.
She admits that building confidence to work on actual people was difficult for her, “but through God, my amazing family and my clientele, I gradually grew. In March 2022 I finally took my first real client and in May 2022 I rented a booth on West Bay Street where I currently work.”
Being creative flows in Shema’s blood.
“My mother, Sarah J Fox, and my father, R Brent Darville; they are both entrepreneurs and artists as well. My father, a contractor and carpenter and a musician, and my mother a musician and a former art gallery owner. I call myself Shema The Artist simply because there’s no other way to describe myself other than a natural born creative,” she said.