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: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/09/tauba-auerbachs-rgb-colorspace-atlas-depicts-every-color-imaginable/.

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!
~Danny

27 comments:

  1. i want that book and the Creative Scan-and-Draw Color-Changing Pen Design because then I will have all the colors

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  2. I am new to the indie scene and can't wait to get a Mentality polish!

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  3. I have just recently "discovered" indie polishes and can't wait to place an order! Congrats on your International Aviation Transportation Dangerous Goods Certification!!!

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  4. This is just amazing, thanks for the post!

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  5. It was wonderful to learn about you and your wife. I love small businesses like yours. I have not yet had the opportunity to try your polishes, but I hope to soon!

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  6. I just received Ruffian, got it from Edgy Polish and can't wait to try it!

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  7. Wow. You never stop to think about just what goes into coming up with new colors of nail polish. That was really interesting, thank you. Also, that's really cool about going to TWU. I'm from Houston and didn't realize that any men went there. You learn something new everyday. :)

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  8. I absolutely love your nail polish. You're colors, the formula, and pretty much everything about it. I aspire to own as many of your collections as I can. I'm so glad I got to meet and your wife face to face and actually get to talk to you guys at the Eyes on Indie Party. If I had more memory in my phone I would have asked for a picture! Maybe next time! I'm so happy that my first set is the 420 Holo set and that I was able to snag up Hero. Most beautiful blue matte I've seen, plus your top coat and I'm captivated!

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  9. I love Mentality! It's is by far, one of my favorite Indie brands. I love your customer service and all of the beautiful colors you have created for us. I am proud to say that I own 2 custom Mentality polishes- and they are everything I asked for and more.

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  10. I didn't know you had a blog. I was just introduced to your polishes. I love how unique they are! I can't wait to try a few new ways to use them.

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  11. Wow its amazing to read how much hard work goes into making polish and you clearly love it! So glad I found your blog!

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  12. Your polishes rock!! I love everything you make.

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  13. I have seen your polishes (Mentality). They all look so beautiful. They are on my list to try.

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  14. I need this book. This is exactly how I see colors when I'm doing graphic design.

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  15. Very cool blog post, keep up the beautiful work!

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  16. I've always loved Mentality polish (even if I don't own any) but this made it so much more intriguing. It's designed by a GUY. I always blindly assumed that most indie polish makers were female (and I'm fairly certain they are) but this sets mentality apart! Also, the focus on awesome matte...

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  17. What a great story! Thank you sooo much for sharing it!

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  18. I thought it was cool that you could give us some insight into what goes into your choosing just the right combinations for your polish!! I also love your philosophy that with all the color choices available, there is no reason to have the exact same color as someone else. Thank you for inviting us in for a little peak into your mind of color!!!

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  19. I didn't even realize you guys had a blog! There are some really great insights in here and it's fun getting to hear a bit more from the people behind these awesome colors!

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  20. Thank you for letting us see inside your head!

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  21. I just can't wait to buy (someday) one of your polishes!!! I LOVE to stamp and have seen some beautiful manis done with your polishes and I LOVE THEM!!!!

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  22. This was really interesting to read. I like reading interviews w/indie polish makers but this post is a bit different than the normal things I read.

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  23. This is a really great blog entry, so very interesting & informative too!! :)

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  24. Thanks for giving us a sneak peek into the mind of a "color seer"!

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  25. Wow you were cray way back then and these dumb women ate it all up and now they are suffering for their foolishness for trusting a crazy person.

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