Like many teenage girls, growing up, Natalie Pavloski loved painting nails. But what sets Pavloski apart is the fact that she was good enough at it to parlay her hobby into a career.
After moving to New York City in 2012, Pavloski dove directly into editorial work and quickly became known as one of the most daring, influential nail artists around. She hasn't looked back.
And even if she wasn't constantly booked for editorial jobs, chances are Pavloski would still be doing what she loves to do. "Once I have a design in my head I have to get it out," she says, "I get anxious until I execute it."
A quick scroll through her Instagram account (44,000 followers and counting) reveals Pavloski's diverse aesthetic interests. "Design ideas can come from observing things around me such as patterns, a design, or other artists' work in different mediums," she explains. Chart-topping rappers aren't off the table, either. In 2014, she created an entire set of decals dedicated to our favorite Toronto export, Drake.
This year, Pavloski also turned to light artist James Turrell (whose work Drake referenced in his music video for "Hotline Bling") for inspiration. "I'd seen Turrell's installation 'Meeting' a while ago at MoMA PS1 and thought that the concept would work with my square design aesthetic," she says.
Pavloski credits her success to her willingness to take risks—something she recommends to anyone wanting to create nail art of their own. "Don't be scared of trying something different or new," she says. "Whether the inspiration comes from art, the colors of the clothes you're wearing, or nature, putting your spin on things and applying it to a tiny canvas of your own can be so satisfying!"
Are you ready to give yourself a next-level manicure? If you need a little more inspiration, feast your eyes on a few more of Pavloski's stunning designs, below!