After months of seeing her match her nail art to her boots and shoes, we met up with LA-based nail artist and Dr. Martens enthusiast Steph Stone to find out what inspires her work and how she creates works of art on such a small canvas…
What inspires you to create these nail-sized masterpieces? How have Dr. Martens inspired your work?
I definitely use nails as a creative outlet. I’m lucky that my creative outlet can also be my career! Patterns, textures, and color combinations in fashion often influence what I want to do on a nail so it was natural that Dr. Martens inspired so many of my nail looks. When I saw the Bex shoe I knew I had to turn it into a nail look. It inspired a more elaborate take on the French tip!
What is the most difficult nail art request you’ve ever executed? Do you have photo of it?
Aside from the Beavis and Butthead nails which were difficult because I wanted to make sure I didn’t butcher them into looking like bootleg Beavis and Butthead, then maybe galaxy nails because there are so many layers and steps to making it look authentic and different on each nail! Each nail look definitely has it’s own set of challenges.
What’s trending in the nail art world right now?
I truly feel that trends are an irrelevant trope of the past. There are always going to be certain styles everybody gravitates to for a moment, but that should never affect your personal decision-making process. Nail art is going to come and go in waves. I think it’s more important that the nails compliment your look as a whole as opposed to what is the “hot nail trend” of the moment.
What is the most difficult part of using nails as a canvas?
I think having the right tools is the most important part of achieving a clean nail art look. Its so much easier to paint detailed and intricate designs when I have the right striping brushes or dotting tools; especially because you are working with such a tiny area.
Do you have other creative outlets as well?
Baking cute food. Baking has probably become a huge coping mechanism for me, as it’s task related with a cute outcome. You have to focus on the steps instead of whatever you’re stressing about. I also write in my free time. I would love to publish a book of personal essays someday.
Do you remember your first pair of Doc’s?
I’m a late Dr. Martens devotee. My parents never got me any as a kid! My first pair were actually the Adventure Time BMO boots; my son and I got matching boots. We’ve been hooked on the classics ever since!
You’ve worked with some big names, have you ever been starstruck?
When I first started I was never starstruck, just nervous that the customer wouldn’t think I did a good job. I’ve talked to so many creatives who experience a sort of ‘imposter syndrome’ where they don’t feel they deserve to be where they are professionally, and that’s more so what I had to overcome. Now I am confident in what I do.
Keep updated with Stephs latest nail art on her Instagram.