Cartoonist-turned-manicurist Meghann Rosales and her company, Nails Ya’ll, specialize in custom nail art. This Saturday she makes a triumphant return to Revelator’s E.A.S.T. stop to paint all kinds of creative, fun and Salamander-inspired nails. Nails Y’all has been providing nail art and natural nail care in Austin, TX since 2011, and that means Meghann is a full-blown nail-art expert. That also means a Q&A with Meghann is a dang clinic, so we brought back her wildly successful Q&A format for this year’s Revelator E.A.S.T. weekend. OK, we’ll shutup and let Meghann drop some knowledge:
Q: What designs are you thinking about doing for EAST this year?
A: I’ve got some good ones cooked up! Last year a lot of folks requested the film nail, so that’s returning, and I’m bringing some favorites from my Texas designs. To accompany the virtual reality video, I’ll be painting the beloved, albeit ocularly challenged, Barton Springs inhabitant, the blind salamander.
Q: What are some of the strangest requests you’ve heard?
A: My favorite thing to hear at the start of an appointment is, “I don’t know if you can do this, but…” That means it’s going to be really weird. Let’s see: nine ways to kill a cat (thus ending all of his lives), a ton of boobs, a cargo ship, an angler fish, a tetrapod embryo, dachshunds in lederhosen, most of the cast of “Mad Men,” Emily Dickinson, barbecue from Franklin, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, LBJ, Elizabeth Warren, George Bush’s bathtub self-portrait, a client’s husband in a gold speedo, A&M’s football coach, a twerking panda, Pacey from “Dawson’s Creek” dressed as a knight, cats dressed as George and Weezy Jefferson, the animatronic band from Showbiz Pizza, “Serial” the podcast done in the style of cereal the food, and a crying man drinking gin in the bath. Also, a guy proposed to his girlfriend through nail art (she said yes)!
Q: What are you watching right now?
A: Currently, at this moment, as I type, it’s BUS STOP with Marilyn Monroe. Is it good? How does it end? I don’t know yet, I’m still watching. And later I’ll finish MASTER OF NONE again, for the second time. It’s so good!
Q: What fun events have you done this year?
A: I painted pet portraits on nails at Feliz last weekend, which was way too much fun, in no small part because people spent a lot of time showing me pictures of their animals. Last month I was hired for a UT tailgate party and I got mobbed by a group of very enthusiastic, rough-and-tumble eight-year-old boys who kept joining the line to get matching dinosaur nail art; I had to literally clean dirt off their hands in order to paint them. Events at the Thinkery are always great, especially the adult-only nights when I lead DIY mini-workshops for boozed up guys and girls. SXSW parties and music festivals are always pretty crazy, too.
Q: We’ll be serving complimentary blood marys…will you drink while you paint nails, or is that unprofessional?
A: While I think it’s really nice of you to offer Blood Marys to your guests, I will not be partaking while I paint. This isn’t because it’s unprofessional but because I think that Bloody Marys are absolutely terrible. It’s the texture. I’ve tried really hard to like them because they seem like a lot of fun with all the toppings, but it’s basically soup and that’s pretty disgusting.
Q: It is more of a snack. We’re making Daily Greens Cold-Pressed Veggy Marys too. What about one of those?
A: Well, I just watched BONE TOMAHAWK, and I feel like Veggy Mary would remind me too much of blood and shooting horses and quartering human people so, no thank you.
Q: Got it, Topo Chicos tomorrow then. So, what’s it like to have your nail art on a billboard?
A: Seeing nails I painted looming larger than life over a Wendy’s on the side of the highway is basically a dream come true. But I do wish the nails didn’t spell out MOLESTED. So, it’s a mixed bag.
Q: What is your favorite design you’ve done recently?
A: I painted a mash-up of Kim Jong-un as Kim Kardashian to celebrate the ubiquitous Paper magazine cover. In that same vein, I did a mash-up of Kanye and Beck commemorating their Grammys run-in. So I guess my favorite design is Kimye.
Q: If you could guess, how many nails do you think you’ve painted in your lifetime?
A: That is such a good question! I just did the math and I’d say about 4,000. I average three or four sets a day in my studio, with six being the absolute max. My numbers get a real boost from the events and parties I do, like EAST.
Q: What kind of nail design do people request the most?
A: Geometric is really big right now, and negative space. At events it’s the Marfa sunset and tacos. But you know what’s weird? I’ve done three sets of “Golden Girls” nails for three separate women in like the last month. I guess they’re making a come-back.
Q: What type of nail design do you wish people would request more often?
A: I really love galaxy nails–they look like milky, swirly space made by sponging and layering; every set is different. I’m kind of sick of the aforementioned “Golden Girls,” but I wouldn’t mind “Designing Women.” I also like making interactive nails, like dancing Petunia from “Pete & Pete” or kissing Obamas. But beyond those, the weirder the better. Like, really really weird. Like portraits of Tim Riggins or Popeye’s biscuits, just because you love them. The thing that I love most about nail art is that it can be a very true and joyous expression of the wearer’s personality and passions (for two to three weeks anyway).
Q: You’ve said that you’ve painted baby nails, what designs do babies want?
A: Babies are also into Kimye.
Ask Meghann (pretty much) any nail question you like this Saturday at our E.A.S.T. stop #170, where she’ll be creating free nail art, starting at 1pm. (And thanks again to Meghann for taking the time to do another killer Q&A.)
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