Sunday, August 11, 2013

Insight into Mentality

Hey, everyone. This blog is another "thoughts from the maker" where I will continue to introduce myself to the other members of the nail art community. So often in the world of indie nail polish, the maker is the same person that models, maintains social interaction, and runs the business. Here at Mentality, my wife is most often the person conversed with online. She is a gorgeous hand model and is a smart business person. I love being her team mate. I spend my days working at production. We both work at shipping, and make as many color-line decisions together as we can.

I do the color building itself. I don’t know how or why, I just do it. My wife asks me for color families or helps me establish guidelines for a line, and then I go to work. I call it seeing color clouds. I can push a color back and forth in my head to make it do what I need from it for a polish build.  I found a color book by Tauba Auerbach that keenly describes the cloud that I see in a way that I could never fully describe:

When I work to build a color, I usually describe it as pushing a color. I “backbuild” the components to the color and then push the color values to where I want them. It’s probably what the makers in the big color houses do. I don’t know. I am not them. I am also not a CMYK-type machine. The colors that I build are all customs. I do not knowingly dupe anyone else’s color. I do work in a bit of a vacuum, and when I produce something that is similar to something else already produced, my wife is quick to ask me what makes it different. It has to be different. There are 16 million colors, and when accents are considered, there is simply no reason to exactly copy anyone’s stuff. That’s not Mentality. We build an alternative color set to the existing color houses. 

Our named polishes are tied to the same line of thinking as our company name. Mentality is defined as a way of thinking. Each of us is the sum of our individual experiences. Who we are and what we want to aspire to; all of it is our own individual mentality. We choose the names of our polishes in the hopes that we share these characteristics and aspirations with you. Sometimes we are Irritable and sometimes Ecstatic. Perhaps you have a grandmother named Virginia and a cousin named Jackie. We hope that you find Elation in your lives, and practice Charity. I hope that better answers some of the questions that we have received on the subject.

Pigment and glitter is quite a bit of fun, I do have to say. I mean as a stereotypical male that has done all the stereotypical things that I could as a guy, yay for colors. Then again, I am not exactly a stereotypical kind of guy. I am proud to say that both I and my wife graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Texas Women’s University. Yes, I graduated from a woman’s university. One of our vendor reps did a double take the other day when that came up in conversation. Good times.

My reasoning was simple. It is a great school and offered outstanding online classes. The education that I took away from that school, however, is as deeply important to what I do now as has been the life experiences that have brought me to this point. I received an immediate crash course in sensitivity training there. I challenge any man to successfully graduate from a woman’s university and act like a cretin while doing so. I learned to question my own status quo there in a way that I never could have imagined. I also came to the realization there that I was receiving a specific insight into the world that had thus eluded me. I hope to spend the rest of my life describing by my actions what I learned there.

Now I have the honor of making nail polish for the most beautiful hands on the internet: my wife and our growing list of friends. I am consistently amazed by the pictures of nail art that my wife shows me proffered by both women and men to a seemingly relentless stream of internet postings of our polish in action. There, in visual proof I find the product of my work. The color choices that I decide on as a maker come to life on the hands of insanely talented artists everywhere and I get just a little giddy for it.

I also feel extremely humble for it. Thank you to everyone that has worn or will wear our polish. It is custom, boutique, and all those special things that go along with being an exclusive micro-batched hand-made indie nail polish. Many of you even wear polishes mixed in their own bottle and thus have no exact duplicates even if the recipe is the same. I hope you love them.

Thanks for reading!