The Queen Series is a weekly feature happening on Wednesdays. Each week one of us from The Digit-al Dozen will introduce you to our blog, tell you about how we got started, and talk a little about how we ended up being the Queen of something. We all have unique talents when it comes to nail art, and our Queen titles reflect that. Check out past posts in this series.
Name: Missy, (the Queen of Offbeat)
Facebook Page: facebook.com/gnarlygnails
This is me, about 2 years before my polish obsession began. I know this because I'm wearing red polish, which is about the only thing I owned at the time.
Hey everyone! This is Missy from Gnarly Gnails here to do my Queen post for the group!
I have been dubbed the Queen of Offbeat, I guess because I'm a bit offbeat myself and tend to do nail art that is a little off from the path most take!
Not to say I can't appreciate a good floral or polka dot!
We're supposed to talk about ourselves, so let's see what I can tell you! I've just recently turned 40. It's not as bad as I thought. I didn't get all melodramatic and wonder what I'd done with my life, but mortality and aches and pains are always on my mind! I live with my boyfriend of 5 years and our cat Biscuits.
I have bee blogging for quite a few years but nail blogging since January 2012. I've worked within the beauty industry as both a freelance makeup artist and also in several salons as a manager.
My blog started out as sort of an off the cuff comment from a friend who asked if I had planned to start one when she noticed all of the polish I'd begun stockpiling at an alarming rate. I hadn't really thought about it before that, but I figured I could do that, give me more of a "reason" to buy it, right?
How it came to be Gnarly Gnails is about as equally boring...it just did. I'm originally from California, so we had a tendency to say Gnarly alot when I was growing up, and I wanted something a bit different than your standard "I Like Polish Blog". I added the G on Nails just for funsies. I like symmetry.
No matter how long I do my blog, I will always be amazed people read it....but if I had to venture to guess as to why people DO read my blog it's probably because I do weird stuff. There aren't a lot of bloggers who wear black in the summer or neon in the winter or paint bacon and eggs on their nails! There need to be more!
Also I think I truly do nail art that is easy to attain. I WISH I could do crazy intricate designs like some other bloggers, I envy them...but I am slightly impatient with my nail art while at the same time, slightly a perfectionist about it, which turns into sort of cool art with an easy twist. Like doing tons of different tape designs, or mixing stamping with studs, etc....Its stuff that looks cool but is easy to do.
I always want people to feel at ease approaching me. I've always been friendly, helped answer questions when I could and be a voice in the nail community, and I hope I come across that way. I never like when bloggers have an elitist attitude or seem unapproachable or too big for their britches.
When it comes to social media, for awhile Facebook was my favorite way to communicate outside of my blog, but it's become more and more difficult to be seen or heard there and I've moved on to Instagram for my supplemental blogging material.
At first it's a bit hard to remember to get on Instagram every day, or several times a day, because I don't really do the whole smartphone thing. But I've definitely noticed a change in readership when I post daily, so I definitely make a habit to get on there!
IG has become my favorite because it's instant and it's easy and it's definitely one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Now that they've re-vamped their popular page and allow lesser known accounts to show up based on your own IG habits, its much easier to grow and be seen by others, not to mention all of the new accounts I have found to follow on there since they changed it!
My most popular mani on IG is the hyperspace mani I did for Pure Nail Polish very recently.
As for what's popular on my blog, it's probably a much older mani I did for the 31 day challenge where I made some tattoo flash designs using lots of layering and temporary tattoos. I love that about different platforms, whats big on one is hardly ever the same on another!
I love what I do, I love what I've been able to learn through nail art. Before I did nail art as this full-time hobby, I did other art and have always been an artistic person. I used to paint plasters of mostly Day of the Dead type artwork, from the casting all the way through to the end result. I loved it so much, but it was so messy and became very hard to do in the tiny place we live at now. That hobby/business went by the wayside when I discovered nail art.
I do think I took a lot of what I learned painting on a bigger scale and was able to bring it to nails. I definitely was well stocked on brushes and acrylic paints! In the future though, I want to work on my patience so I have the ability to get into more intricate designs and rely less on stamping. I have a hard time focusing and sometimes hurry through to the finished product only to realize I forgot things!
About my collection - ok, so I have never actually COUNTED them all. I have made spreadsheets over the years that got me close to what I might have...but I've never known the number since probably back when I had under 50. It's over 1000 now, but I keep it right around there because I don't have the room for more. I try to make room, by buying spice racks and displays and adding more shelves on the wall that it can probably support! But I think the number I have now between tried and untried will probably stay around the same until I'm able to acquire my own room to house it. For the time being I've got my collection set up in 2 stacks of 2 Melmers per side with a shelf across the top to act as the desk. It works in my space, hopefully soon I will be able to switch from Melmers to Helmers because they are definitely not built to last! I also have a shelf above my work area where I have 3 spice shelves set up and those hold most of my Indie polishes so I can always see their glittery beauty.
Of them all, which are my favorites? Like stranded island favorites?
- OPI - My Vampire is Buff or Don't Bossa Nova Me Around (whichever has more in it when I get stranded)
- A England Saint George
- NailNation3000 - Amazeballs
- I Love Nail Polish - Sirene
- Pure Nail Polish - Sunlight
When it comes to favorite brands - it's a hard choice given how many brands there actually are to choose from. Mainstream its probably Illamasqua. I love everything they do except for the more recent stuff where they seem to be trailing behind what everyone else is doing (textures/speckles). Generally they are pretty cutting edge and I love that. Their polishes have one of the best formulas in the industry without question.
For Indie...so tough! I'll go by what I own the most of, which is I Love Nail Polish, Lynnderella, Literary Lacquers and Chirality. As for what I own the most of non-indie, it's definitely OPI. I currently have 3 drawers full of OPI!
It's funny to see the phases I've gone through in the 2+ years of blogging. I started out being really into Indies, almost immediately. My first indie purchase was Whimsical Ideas by Pam, Peanut Butter and Jelly and Kismets Pajamas. Then NerdLacquer. Those two brands cemented me in hard with my love for Indies. I was in a huge glitter phase. I still love glitters, but I've definitely expanded my horizons. I used to be a pretty big deny-er of how great holos and duochromes were. Now years later and when many are burned out on them, I want them all!
Other bloggers....who inspires me? Whose nails do I wish I had?
I'm inspired by plenty of bloggers but by lots of other things lately as well...like fashion or nature or sometimes even architecture. I've tried recently to look at everything around me in more of a 'is nail art possible' sort of way. Everyone in the Digit-al Dozen is always a huge inspiration to me. Instead of naming some names, I would like to say I am inspired by anyone who can keep their motivation and continue to produce new and interesting art/techniques in a sea of nail blogs. It's hard work. It's been a long road for me to really LIKE what I do when I try to see it from a different perspective, but I do now, and I wouldn't trade what I do and what I've done with my blog to be anyone else's!
Wanting to be someone else, or envying someone else, is a trap I think alot of us bloggers fall into. Trying to be the best, or be as good as...whoever it is you look up to. Which is fine to have that goal to look up to, but not to the point it makes you sick or angry you aren't getting to that level. I always try to keep it right in the front of my mind, the reasons I started this blog and this hobby, and then I remember how far I've come and how can you possibly find bad in that? I value the business and personal relationships I have created because of my blog and the nail community a million times above any monthly numbers or stats.
I remember when I started my blog, I didn't know ANY nail blogs. I didn't start out wanting to be the best, and no matter how many people tell me I'm their favorite or how many cool things might happen to me because I'm a blogger, I never ever really think of MYSELF in that way. I'll always just be little old Missy with this little old blog. Doing what I like to do for me and glad even one person gives it their thumbs up! But if a post went up that never got a heart, a like or a thumbs up, I wouldn't stop!
It's easy to get discouraged, even burn out. I think it's almost standard for everyone at one point or another to wonder what it's all for. Breaks are good, not being so hard or overcritical on ourselves is even better though.
There are good things about blogging, like cool accolades and achievements, as well as the bad things, like haters saying mean things for no reason or people stealing or copying you. My favorites about blogging are when I am blessed with a brand asking ME to help promote them. I've gotten a fair amount of good things come my way through blogging, my favorite will always be the brands I get to work with on a regular basis.
The bads will always be when I see a design original to any artist not being credited. When people re-create your designs and credit you, it's the best feeling. Knowing you inspired someone beyond just a click of their mouse.
Of all of the themes we have done with the Digit-al Dozen, I think my favorites have been Black & White week and Geek Week. There are so many great ones, but those two really made me think!
Which have been YOUR favorite themes?