Getting to know Madeline Poole
New York-based nail artist and creative, Madeline Poole, on finding nail art, what inspires her, and what to expect from MP in 2020.
It has been such a pleasure getting to know Madeline as we’ve worked together to develop the MPNails x Me collection. We’re so inspired and motivated by everything she’s done and is doing for the beauty and nail industry. We wanted to give you a chance to hear her story and learn a bit more about Madeline, just as we have over the past couple months.
ManiMe: Can you start by telling us a bit about how you got into nail art? We’re so curious about your journey to where you are now!
Madeline Poole: I have always been a crafty person with a love for tiny details. I was very into painting and drawing when I was young and went to an art college. After school in Baltimore I moved to LA where I found myself assisting prop stylists on photoshoots. That’s where I was first introduced to on set makeup, hair and nail stylists. I just had a hunch I would be good at doing nails. At the time, there weren’t many nail artists and it was much more of a niche. I used tumblr and facebook to share the nail art which I was trying out on anyone who would let me. I opened a mini salon in my studio apartment and friends would come by everyday. When I get into something I really get into it… So I spent every waking moment I wasn’t at work practicing different techniques.
MM: How would you describe your creative style and where do you find inspiration for your nail art?
MP: My nail style tends to be graphic and more on the simple side. I love color, all colors (not just bright colors but the way that colors vibrate off of each other and appear different depending on what they sit next to.) I often start by selecting a color combo and then I think of what the design should be. Nature seems to be the most endless source of inspiration. Stone textures, animal prints, frog skin — & the most divine color combos and otherworldly patterns are under the sea. I sometimes look at natural patterns and simplify them, making them legible on a nail. A lot of times I do think of fashion for inspiration. For example I love when a jacket is simple on the outside but has a bright lining — this reminds me of painting the underside of your nail a bright shade and painting the top side of your nail a subtle color.
MM: In your opinion, how does nail art differ from other mediums or forms of creative expression?
MP: What I initially loved about doing nails was that I felt conceptually free. I could paint something pretty just because — or I could come up with a whole narrative (like “sensatips”, a fake infomercial for touch screen sensitive press ons I made with a group of friends) and either way I felt happy with the experience and result. The other key differences are that it’s collaborative, wearable and finite. You’re painting directly onto another person, so often you’re trying to pick up on their style and give them something that will make them feel special. And since it’s just nail polish and you can easily take it off, it’s never that big of a deal.
MM: What about working with us excited you?
MP: I mentioned SensaTips because I have always loved a techy nail product. The blending of practicality and beauty is a beautiful thing. I’ve also always loved nail stickers but have found similar issues with fit as Jooyeon. I would love to have my nails done everyday with a cool design but I don’t have the patience to sit through long manicures and I can only do gels a few times before my nails become thin and brittle. I was very impressed with the ManiMe product when I first received my custom Manis and I’m just so happy to be working with a company whose products I confidently believe in.
MM: Can you speak to the MPNails x Me collection a bit? What is the overarching theme that connects the 7 designs?
MP: I tried to choose designs that felt classic, that someone would want to wear for two weeks, that would match the various outfit changes and moods of the winter. The colors are mostly subdued but there are hints of details and pops of colors.
MM: Who are these nails perfect for?
MP: Hopefully there is something for everyone in this collection. ManiMe is good for anyone who’s had similar issues with nails — you want the cool design but you don’t want to spend a fortune at the nail salon, you don’t have the time to sit through the process and you don’t want to damage your nails.
MM: Do you have a favorite from the collection?
MP: I’ve been wearing the crossword look non-stop. Since it’s just a peach, black and white it goes with everything. I love the option to flip the stripes horizontally on some nails — this makes it feel even more custom! & It really looks like a real gel manicure.
MM: Lastly, what can we expect to see from you in the new decade?
MP: In the past couple of years I have branched out from nails into doing patterns and graphics for textiles and digital. I would love to continue developing my pattern making skills on and off fingernails in bigger and bolder ways.
Want more MP? Check out the full collection — MPNails x Me — 7 stick-on gel Manis available now at manime.co!