Jane Schub is the color-obsessed artist behind non-toxic nail color company STRANGEBEAUTIFUL. Pulling inspiration from everywhere from a beautiful red valentine typewriter to Bauhaus teacher Josef Albers’ color theory, she creates and releases nail colors as sets called Libraries Of Color. We’ve been following her work for years, and finally got the chance to ask her about her inspirations and unique system color libraries in our exclusive interview:
How did you get your start as an artist?
I had the good fortune to have parents that recognized my creativity at a very early age, and enrolled me in life drawing classes at the Art Students League in NYC and later Parsons School of Design.
How did you start creating nail polish?
I received a gift of an Ettore Sottsass Red Valentine Typewriter from my husband and was so inspired by the color I decided to create a nail polish company.
Your system of color libraries is unique to your brand. How did you come up with the color library system?
I wanted to demonstrate how colors relate to one another; it’s really fascinating how a color can visually change just by placing a color next to two different colors. The Color Theories of Josef Albers have greatly influenced how I think about and view color. In art school Josef Albers Color Theories course is mandatory for any art student. You work with a special paper called Color-Aid which was initially developed as back ground paper for photographers and later discovered by Josef Albers who used it as a design teaching tool. I designed the Library Volumes of Color and housed them in a box so you could switch the colors around and see how they relate to one another.
What is your approach when coming up with a new library of color? How do you come up with names for each color?
STRANGEBEAUTIFUL colors do not have names or labels. I find it thought provoking to remember the colors by the reference or inspiration.
How has being an artist influenced your approach to creating nail color?
Previously I was as an illustrator (utilizing make up and spray paint as my medium) painting large works of fashion and beauty that were used in advertising, window display, package design and commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman; Cartier; Issey Miyake to name a few. The process developing colors for STRANGEBEAUTIFUL is the same process I used for my illustrations and paintings.
What’s your favorite color library that you’ve created?
I do not have a favorite; personally I have always been drawn to variations of black. Whilst I love developing colors at the same time I am a bit fearful when it comes to actually wearing them. This also carries over to bedding, white sheets hence a blank canvas ready for the next day’s exercise.
With whom do you want to create a collaborative library of color?
RICK OWENS hands down
What part of creating nail polish colors is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
Creating the colors is my passion. Having to put them in bottles is the part I like the least; I prefer to look at them splattered all over the table I use as a palette.
Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path in the arts or beauty?
How about advice for anyone? Fear of failing is ones worst enemy and prevents one from moving forward. The worse thing that could possibly happen is that you fail and the worst thing that you can do to prevent yourself from actually having your idea come to fruition is to get too many opinions.
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