24 Oct A HAIRDRESSER’S GUIDE TO CREATIVITY
The Mysterious And Not So Mysterious World Of The Imagination
Creativity is a deep word, and sometimes feels elusive, wouldn’t you agree? We think some people are born with it, some people believe they don’t have a clue, others work hard at it, some are even lazy about it.
The process of creating can be grueling, unrelenting, ecstatic, or mundane. Anybody that is active in the process knows, it can bring out the best and the worst out in people. Also, anybody involved in the process knows, you have to stay in the process for moments of brilliance to show up.
The stroke of genius can only have it’s presence felt when you are working, and working, and toiling away at a shape, or a style, or a line, or a color. Usually, magic begins to take place when we are about ready to throw all our tools out the window. This can take years and years to develop! So if your tempted to roll up in a heap in the corner because your first pass at a project doesn’t pan out, you might want to try being creative with numbers, and become an accountant.
Reminds me of when my daughter began to smile around six months old, which was just about the time when my sleep deprivation was at an all time high and I hit an energy wall. A perfect biological design.
In our most precious attempt to make this creation into a perfect work of art, there might be a moment that we have to abandon the very aspect we love. Whether it is placing a curl a certain way, or the fringe falling across her face just so. Or, you finish the cut, and say to yourself, “I love this cut, I’ve always wanted to do this.” When you stand back and look at it, and something is wrong. You can’t pin point it.
I once took a painting class, a very humbling experience! I wasn’t a natural at it, but I felt a very fluid pathway open into my soul, and I painted for a year. It happened to be the year before I gave birth to my daughter. Very interesting to look back and look at my work at that time. Fetuses everywhere in my paintings, the psyche knows.
This is why when I am teaching, I encourage students to take pictures of your work! The result one day is a body of work that is your own. Where you can see how much you grow, how your taste develops, how your work changes. But you have to be engaged, you can’t go on autopilot, this is the death of the hairdresser. You become a person performing a job, and the whole experience diminishes the possibility of something good happening.
Paint As If You’re At The Back Of The Cave
The point of wisdom that I walked away with at the workshop was, Painting in the early times, was done at the back of the cave. It was a personal journey, that was not to be witnessed. When these early people painted, pressure of others seeing it, commenting on it didn’t exist. Isn’t that beautiful?
And yet, as hairdressers, we are under scrutiny all the time, by ourselves, our peers, our clients. A client may walk out with a piece of art that is sweet perfection. Sometimes she may walk out, and the look is still very much in process. And don’t you love it, maybe it’s a style you really labored at, and they come back and say, “My husband didn’t like it.” Or their sister, or their kid.
So what helps us establish this relationship to our creativity and deepen it, is our commitment to keep doing it, no matter what. We don’t quit. Finding your own taste in hair may not come for sometime. I’d say it took me a good 10 years before I even began to have a sense of my own creativity. But wouldn’t you agree that creating is in everything we do as artists?
[Tweet “Beauty is an approach to life.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY]
The Sweet Spot
No matter how gifted you are, the process of finding the sweet spot can only occur if you are actually doing the craft, practicing, noting what worked, what didn’t, making mistakes, this is where the fun begins. Take pictures, make adjustments, literally take notes. Keep a moleskin notebook by your side all the time. Sketch your ideas, look through magazines for inspiration, go to a museum, walk in nature, walk the street with no other goal but to observe, and take in what you see.
The artist needs to have a critical eye, and in the developing of your critical eye, you need to encourage yourself. Looking at your work honestly does not mean a battering of yourself, showing your work to those you respect can help tremendously. Be open, do your work, be diligent in your practice. Be open to feedback.
You will find your inner world of force with practice. Every artist, every writer, every musician etc devotes themselves to their craft. Give yourself the gift, and the rewards will be tremendous.
Question: What is your relationship like with your creativity? Share your answers on Facebook, or Twitter.