As a stylist and entrepreneur it is wise to try and be a step ahead of the game. However, sometimes we can become trapped in our regular day to day routines and don’t take enough risks.
Having a creative mind takes practice and can be blocked by fear of criticism, or even the fear of trying something new. The case may be that we tend to hold ourselves back when we just might have the next hottest trend in the industry. Good news, it is possible to reawaken your creative mind and we have some helpful pointers that can help you start today. Flex those creative muscles in 2015 with these tips from three creative and world-acclaimed hairstylists who always seem to think out of the box and leave us speechless with their creativity…
The truth is we are all creative in our own right. Sometimes we just need that spark of inspiration to create that next big idea. One suggestion can be disconnecting like 2-time NAHA Winner Jake Thompson, “I disconnect from social media. We are constantly fluxed with visual inspiration and can become numb by it. Disconnecting to social media can allow you to find beauty in the natural raw surroundings. Other inspirations can be found in putting yourself in other mediums (Jake is also a music producer, DJ and photographer) to see another perspective. This tends to inspire you in ways you never thought.” Another suggestion can be the polar opposite and staying connected and drawing inspiration from different publications like 23-time NAHA Finalist and 2-time North American Hairstylist of the Year Charlie Price who reads “A combo of design fashion and hair magazines. I follow the whims and styles of pop culture: movie stars, rock stars, artists, fashion designers. Finally traveling to big cities and observing cool young people in general. A mix of high fashion and low street culture is essential in my view.” All in all find what works for you. The key is finding your niche.
“I’m a big believer in risky behavior – risks in Business is necessary to avoid stagnation and boredom,” says Charlie. “Regularly challenging the status quo and retreating from ones comfort zone are the key to a vital, vibrant career.” The more creative ideas you come up with the better. In reality many of the ideas that you create may be unachievable, but among them there are sure to be ideas that you can run with. Jake suggests: “I really don’t look at it as taking a risk as I look at it as living your life to the fullest degree! I took a risk picking up a camera/learning photoshop and shooting my own collections. Won NAHA twice and was nominated 4 times with my photography. Took a risk learning music production, got two of my track pick by labels and there released on Beatport and iTunes. Risk? Let’s think of it more as challenged goals.” Setting yourself out of your comfort zone and setting goals can aid in more creative thinking.
Select a Role Model
When you think of a role model you should think of a person who practices effective creative thinking and therefore has become successful because of it. “Role models are most important to bounce ideas off but remember in the end it’s all about you!,” says Canadian Hairstyling Icon Jason Kearns. While Charlie says, “I have always told people to stalk (not literally) the people whose career you would like to have. If you aren’t sure attend hair shows, read trade magazines and pay attention to the industry and then identify you inspires you.” Finally Jake says that “role models can be great, you can follow them from afar, reach out and build relationships with them. Try to build a professional relationship with them, so that you can build a circle of professionals that are in it to win it.”
It’s okay to find inspiration in others
It’s okay to be inspired by someone else’s style if it is effective to your work. Charlie says “Nothing is original, everyone is influenced by the work of others. The trick is to use that work as a jump off point. Let things that you love inform your work but don’t copy. I look at work of my colleagues, hair icons and editorial superstars and get endless ideas from the work of others.” While Jake says he can sometimes be “inspired by peers, assistants, associates, etc. If I’m extremely inspired by someones style/technique, I try to approach how a DJ or producer would approach remixing a song. You have elements that are recognizable but it is a completely new way to hear/view a collection.” All in all it’s like what Jason says: “It’s a learning curve and if you found inspiration in it that means you should be inspired enough to try it,” and with this you are attempting to think creatively.
Make Creative Thinking a habit
Practicing creative thinking in your everyday life will encourage you to use it more frequently. “Make it a habit,” says Jake. “Surround yourself with other creative thinkers. Ask about where they find inspiration for their creativity. Ask a lot of questions and listen with intent of hearing what they have to say. You might be surprised by how similar you are.” Charlie suggests “Engaging in creativity should be like a compulsion, like a drug habit – an illicit pleasure that you can’t deny! Keep journals of tear sheets, lock yourself away with hair magazines, sketch wild hair ideas, practice on your mannequin, and make sure ideas are constantly dancing around in your imagination. Manifest in real life on hair and through your hands and you won’t be sorry.” If all else fails do what Jason suggests: “Just do it! After all it is what we do, that is why we chose this visual profession!”
By Diana Dias