Meet Gery the Shipping Guy for China Glaze and His Amazing Nail Art

It looks like Tom Bachik, Chanel's MAN-icurist, has himself some competition for most adorable male manicurist ever. While perusing Nails Magazine (ye
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It looks like Tom Bachik, Chanel's MAN-icurist, has himself some competition for most adorable male manicurist ever. While perusing Nails Magazine (ye
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It looks like Tom Bachik, Chanel's MAN-icurist, has himself some competition for most adorable male manicurist ever. While perusing Nails Magazine (yes, that exists), we stumbled across an article about Gerardo Chavez, who works in the shipping department at China Glaze's parent company AII and were immediately charmed. It turns out that he has an artistic bent and started playing around with China Glaze's polishes...and Gery the Shipping Guy was born. He even has his own Facebook page where he showcases his work. We had to talk to him, and he was nice enough to answer our questions about how he got started doing nail art, using FedEx supplies to make his designs, and his messiest design ever.

Fashionista: What's your background/training as an artist? Gery the Shipping Guy: Frankly, I cannot recall a time in my life when I have NOT been practicing art. As a child I spent most of my days armed with a handful of crayons ready to draw on whatever I could get my hands on (including the living room walls which my parents didn't appreciate very much). My talent then shifted to the classroom--and even on to the classroom wall--after my high school art teacher let me draw one of my designs right on the wall with a marker. I continued to draw on walls when I was in the United States Navy. I painted a couple of murals on the USS Tarawa. I then received formal training in college and earned a degree in graphic design. Even though I was not able to get a job as a graphic designer I nevertheless continued to practice my art. I have even painted and mounted auto body panels on my Mustang. With so many colors of nail polish going through my shipping department I now focus my creative intuition on nail art.

What do you do at AII now? Have any of you received sample products from the marketing department? {Ed. note: YES and we jumped up and down when we got our Hunger Games nail polish samples.} Wanna guess who packed them and shipped them out to you? Yes, yours truly has been taking care of all sample shipments as well as regular customer orders for almost two years now. I specialize in express, international, dangerous goods, and hazardous small package shipments that get sent out to people all over the world.

How long ago did you start doing nail art and what made you start doing it? As the shipper for AII I see a great deal of different products go through my department. The "It's So Easy" Stripe Right nail polish caught my attention about a year ago and I knew that I absolutely had to try it. PR representative Irene Chao was sending out samples and she was nice enough to let me have some after I expressed my interest. I painstakingly drew a zebra french tip design and sent Irene some pictures to see what she thought. All of a sudden I became Facebook's "Gery the Shipping Guy" after she and many others thought it looked great. After that warm welcome into the world of nail art I have eagerly continued to experiment and have fun with more designs! Unfortunately Irene is no longer with our company but I owe her a great deal since she was the one who initially posted my designs on Facebook and provided me with any color polish I needed.

Do you have a favorite China Glaze color? Favorite color? Blue Iguana. Favorite set? Electro Pop.

Did you see The Hunger Games? People went crazy for the Hunger Games nail polish you guys released. I did not see the movie but I am very curious after hearing so much about it. I had fun one weekend trying out different designs, ideas and colors using the color set. I was mostly inspired by other people's nail art and by the movie poster itself. I know I will watch the movie once it's out on DVD.

Click through for the rest of the interview and a gallery of Gery's work.

Gery's Hunger Games nails

Gery's Hunger Games nails

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Do you use any special tools? And do you do the designs on paper first? We want to know your process! Other than the brushes that come with the polish bottle I mainly use two fine art brushes, a dotting tool, and a FedEx shipping pak to keep any polish from getting on my table. I had seen videos of people using a makeup sponge to create a color gradient but I wanted a more coarse and random pattern design so I used a common packing sponge to create what I call a "splatter" effect. It just goes to show that you do not have to limit yourself to what ever you see on the store shelves; a mind filled with relentless creativity will be your best tool. Sometimes I do quick little sketches of my designs on paper during my spare time at work in order to get a rough idea how something will look. I then practice and experiment on plastic color swatch wheels (like the one you see my Halloween designs on). Once I am satisfied I go on and paint it on actual nails.

Do people give you a hard time as a guy doing nails or are they supportive? Hard time??? Oh, no way! Everyone on Facebook seems to like the fact that guy can do this. And not just a guy, but the shipping guy. And Gery the Shipping Guy doesn't do this for himself, he does it for his girlfriend, his love of art, and to be able to share and inspire new ideas with others. Many of my coworkers know this and are indeed supportive. I have received many compliments and have even been jokingly referred to as the most famous shipping guy in the history of American International Industries.

What's the craziest design you've ever done? I don't know about my craziest but I can tell you about my messiest. I saw some pictures of some cool looking designs where someone had blown paint on to the nail using a drinking straw. Ummmnn, it didn't quite work as planned when huge globs of polish flew across the air and landed all over the table. You can imagine the colorful mess I was left with a few polishes later. Eventually I did manage to create a decent design but all those layers of colors made the polish too thick and thick polish does not dry hard and therefore it would last very long on actual nails. It was fun though and that's what counts!

Photos: Courtesy