Pro Spotlight: Meagan Knight
Meet Meagan Knight, or as we know her, the infamous @tinybrushes on Instagram! We sat down with Meagan and got the scoop on all things nails. Everything from her experiences working at NYFW to how she uses her background in graphic design to help inspire her amazing nail designs, read on below to get the full story.
OPI: Hi Meagan, we’re so grateful for you taking the time to connect with us. We’re excited to share your experience in the nail industry. Can you tell us what inspired you to get started?
MK: I actually was never inspired to pursue a career in the nail industry, congruent life plans threw me into it. Going through nail school was a stepping stone for me to reach my actual goal, which was to do nails at NYFW. I had won a nail art competition, and one of the prizes was a spot on the team for NYFW. As details were getting ironed out, I learned I had to be licensed in order to work at the shows which was news to me. The way I saw it, there really was no choice. I couldn't pass up the opportunity I worked so hard for! So after a meltdown or three, I enrolled in nail school, and that was that. It was after finishing up at NYFW where I thought, "Is this it? I want more!"
OPI: That’s such an accomplishment! We noticed your Instagram bio mentions ½ graphic designer & ½ nail art gal. How has graphic design impacted your nail art skills if at all?
MK: Yes! I work as a graphic designer for half of the week, and the other half of the week I take clients and work on nail art projects. Getting that degree in graphic design has only improved my nail art skills. I think I can visualize concepts and think forward and backward to break down a design or technique pretty easily. I'm still working on my color theory, though!
OPI: That’s so incredible how you’ve managed to merge those two worlds together. Do you have any tips or tricks for mastering nailfies?
MK: Excellent lighting is the key! As well as making sure you've got your whites balanced. I also try to make sure my hands and cuticles are moisturized before photographing. Sometimes I'm in a rush and when I go in to edit the photos, I regret it every time. Dry cuticles are not cute.
Meagan developed a tutorial to help ensure your nailfies are looking top-notch. Watch the full video below and be sure to follow and subscribe to Meagan Knight on YouTube for more inspiration and tips.
OPI: What’s your favorite part of working in the nail industry?
MK: I love seeing what other nail techs can do, learning from them, improving my own skills, and getting inspired by them! This job would be so lonely and stagnant without the community of nail art friends I have online. So, I guess my favorite part of working in the industry is the community. I enjoy making friends with the people who share a passion for nails!
OPI: Where do you find the proper tools and information to learn new techniques and grow your skills?
MK: From the community! The internet! I try to keep up on Instagram and see what's trending and get help or opinions from the people I look up to who definitely know what they're doing. There are lots of classes out there to learn new techniques but I haven't taken any because my schedule is too wacky to commit to dates. So until I can, I just practice whatever it is until I figure it out. This is where that graphic design degree comes in handy.
OPI: That’s amazing to see how much you draw from and share with the nail community, do you have any advice for aspiring nail techs?
MK: This is going to sound so cliché, but I'll say it anyway. Practice makes perfect, and never stop learning! You don't need to know every technique, but it is very advantageous to know what works for you, and I mean works for you. Refine those skills, get that money.
OPI: Color is so important when it comes to expression, especially when thinking about nail art. What does color mean to you and how does it all tie together?
MK: What does color mean to me?! I tell people my favorite color is rainbow because I love colors so much! Colors are powerful and illustrate more than just art. Color embodies personality, thoughts, and emotions and I think that's why it's always the hardest part for me when it comes to creating nail art or even doing graphic design. It's the same challenge clients have when they're trying to pick a color at a salon!
OPI: We love that! Where do you look for inspiration for nail art looks?
MK: I'm inspired by everything--musicians, nature, textiles, architecture, books, and especially by little kids! I'm also inspired a lot by other nail artists I follow. But children's designs for truly anything and everything is right up my alley.
OPI: Name one nail art trend you're loving at the moment.
MK: Typically, I don't follow trends because I don't like to blend in. However, if I had to pick one, I'm always going to be a fan of the "skittles mani," which I've seen floating around a lot more recently. It's basically where you paint every nail a different color within a color scheme. It could be an ombré effect or totally random. The best part is anyone can do a skittles mani, you just need 5 shades!
OPI: Thanks so much for taking the time to check in with us, we love hearing how much color inspires you and how it impacts your designs. How do you ensure your clients leave happy?
MK: This is a huge stressor for me when I do nails because I never want someone to leave unhappy. At the beginning of my nail career when some clients would say they like the finished result, I'd doubt myself a lot. I've just learned to communicate clearly about what the nail art plan is before I begin (almost like a consultation), and then check in with the client several times along the way to make sure it's aligning with their vision. Thankfully, most of my clients who come to see me trust what I do and just leave me to what I feel is best. Those appointments are the most fun and everyone ALWAYS leaves happy because it just ends up being like two friends hanging out!