Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces – Devin Strebler, on her right hand, wore elaborate artificial nails that she had painted herself. She also wore flirty Powerpuff Girls versions of her nails. This hand was all business. This hand was all business.
Nothing was found on her left hand. These nails were kept short, natural and bare by her. They were encased in a latex glove made of baby pink latex. This hand was created.
Strebler, 31 years old, snatched an iPhone from above her desk. She is part buoyant pop culture maven wearing pink and white Nikes and part business-savvy striver. Every appointment depends on the perfect shot. She held a second iPhone up beside her.
The skilled miniature artist destroys her work every three weeks. Her canvas, fingernails. Strebler is able to recreate nearly any object on a scale of millimeters. She uses tiny brushes and works with very small brushes. Strebler can paint on gel, acrylic, natural nails or press-on.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
She even reproduced Salvador Dali’s “Woman with a Head of Roses”, on a client’s middle finger.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
She has amassed over 1.7 million TikTok fans, making her a “mega-influencer” in marketing terms. Her mail-order company Nailz By Dev, which includes nail polishes, brushes and press-on nails, is where she spends the majority of her time.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
She also has six regular clients. She is not available for quick self-care, and she does not accept walk-ins. This is a difficult process. It takes between 2-5 hours.
The day after Halloween, Theresa Spencer arrived at 10 a.m. to change her Freddy Krueger nails. She also added three-dimensional blood drops. They discussed length and shape. Spencer wanted a series of small, hand-painted images that resembled tattoos on nude skin.
Strebler stated, “This elevator music kills me.” She changed the video to Destiny’s Child’s and fired up her pink drill.
For thousands of years, humans have embellished their fingernails. These little sheets of protein? It’s a veritable museum for all who desire it. It’s a platform that can transform your meh day into something great.
Strebler was a big fan. She loved nails as much as any other 2000s teenager — the glittery, flare French tips, and the airbrushing. However, nail art never looked right when it was done by someone else.
She was raised in Seminole by an artistic family. Mom sported a bob and Dad did the doodles. Her grandmother was a painter and her grandfather introduced Salvador Dali to her. Strebler loved cartooning and sketching curvy, big-eyed girls, similar to Bratz Dolls in the early aughts.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
She’s not the only one to admit she was a bad teenager. Seminole High’s “screw-up” was her name. She traded studying for the party lifestyle. Advanced art was her only bright spot. She won numerous contests and even had her piece included in the Dali Museum. Although she knew that art could be a career for her, she didn’t pursue it.
Then.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
“I discovered I was pregnant. I thought, “OK, it’s time to grow up.” Let’s do it. It is my duty. And so I went to school. I just stopped partying and became more focused. I created a small nail room in my home. I’d just practice, practice, and practice.”
Strebler was telling her story while Melissa Gratton worked next to her at a station, converting a customer’s neon nails into a theme for a fall sweater.
Stabler was taught by Gratton at the American Institute of Beauty. She had never seen such raw talent from a student before. Nail school is where people go to learn basic skills and get licensed. It is not possible to teach miniature art skills.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
Gratton fell in love with her student so much that she gave up teaching to join Strebler. She saw in her a creative star, a left-handed genius who could paint with both the right and left.
Gratton stated, “She does characters with her non-dominant hands!” She laughed and threw her brush away in mock disgust. “Can you have half your talent?”
In 2019, Strebler opened Nail Addicts at Seminole Boulevard, right next to her mom’s hair salon. The strip mall, which houses a tattoo parlor and a vape shop, is a common spot for nail chewers. Nail Addicts is the 1990s’ wonderland. Talking NSYNC, Missy Elliott, Kool Aid, Cosmic Brownies and Happy Bunny, Trolls and Furbies. Everything is pink.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
Strebler stated that she no longer uses drugs or alcohol. It is impossible for her to do what she does when she’s hungover. Her hands shake if she drinks an espresso. She’s mostly busy raising Zaiden, an 8-year-old, and running two businesses together with her family and Brandon Webb, Zaiden’s boyfriend.
The internet is basically a third-job. Strebler believed she was too old to use TikTok. Her shop was shut down by the pandemic. She posted funny clips and sat alone in her apartment. She ordered several press-ons and began painting them. Then she offered to ship them around the world.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
Her story unfolded in a way that is similar to many viral stories: it happened randomly. One day, she was able to see over a million views. Cardi B, a rapper, shared another Strebler video. On and on. On and on. Strebler was offered the opportunity to promote products, but she decided to do it herself, sinking money one after another. She purchased her first house, and then a car.
She said that she couldn’t imagine where her finances were right now. It made a big difference. Let’s say it this way.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
Because her business grew so fast, she opened a second office in Largo. It’s pink with tie-dye rug accents and the Powerpuff Girls, which are blown up to life on the wall.
Strebler finished Spencer’s nails after four hours of work and many 90s music videos. Stan, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Bender from Futurama were some of the other designs she had painted. (Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)
Strebler met Spencer online. Spencer, a 26 year-old content creator and makeup artist who has her own line, receives a discount because she is a model for Strebler. Her nails were $200 instead of the usual $350-400.
It’s okay to be wild. This is more than a manicure. It’s a showpiece. It’s art. It’s time. It’s views. Spencer travels from Lakeland to get these nails, as her hands are a major part of nearly every video she makes. Cross-promotion is possible between the women, as they hack further into the algorithm and breed progress, keeping an empire growing.
Strebler placed Spencer’s fingers onto a piece of white paper, to eliminate glare. This was the most important step. She took photos and videos of her work to share it with the world.(Nail artist found TikTok fame painting ’90s masterpieces)