What is keeping you moving forward right now during our distancing and industry shut down?
I hate repetition, but I love adventure. I see this as another adventure, time that I would never take to do all the things that are way overdue. I’m using this opportunity to catch all the education I can as well as work on the business side of my salon. Talking to Drew actually opened my eyes to something I was always putting off, It’s time for me to teach. So I’m kicking that around as well.
During such an abnormal and emotional time,how are you able to channel your feelings and energy?
Honestly, I have always been able to just fly by the seat of my pants and jump in and just do! I can always find shit that needs done,or things I want to check out. Purpose tends to drive me I guess. Things in motion tend to stay in motion. I always try to do something that at least gives me a feeling of being productive. Someone once accused me of making things up to do at the salon, and I was like,... that’s a bad thing? If there’s something you can think of, and you haven’t done it, that means you need to. I would rather be on my death bed knowing that I did everything I could that was of any interest then telling others to live more because I didn’t. I guess the short answer is that I a result driven.I like to see things done. I never get bored, there’s always SOMETHING I can do to broaden my experiences.
What is your biggest struggle or darkest corner at the moment?
My biggest struggle is not thinking about my biggest worry, where our country will be over the course of the next few decades. What kind of world will there be for my kids and grandchildren? How bad is it going to get, how many basic human rights will women and other marginalized people lose in the next few years and decades?
How has your experience in the industry shaped your outlook on the industry?
That’s easy. I came into this 35 years ago and watched all the ugly things people do to each other. I’ve seen screaming matches and personal vendettas carried out. I’ve seen employers exploit artists for years and I’ve seen gifted young artists simply wilt and dry up because they have no creativity left because no one wants to see anyone be more successful or know more than they do. I hate that things were like that for so long. But things are changing. There’s entire groups and brands and stylists that have the integrity and kindness I never expected to happen. They actually want everyone to succeed and they put their entire soul into that. I can see the movement to a more inclusive industry as a whole. There are more artists coming into the industry. People with amazing visions and ideas, not scared to do things out of the norm. I see literally an endless horizon, I really dig that.
What is the most important part of your work to you?
Helping others express themselves, and showing others how to see people.
Teaching people that its always more fun to stand out than it is to fit in. Encouraging young adults to be themselves. To see a person go from awkward and self conscious to smiling and liking that person in the mirror never gets old. Cancer patients getting hair back and helping them with the struggle of growing it all out again. Helping another stylist figure something out.
How do you approach learning and education?
That depends. Now days I look for something that will help me grow in a creative aspect. Something that improves me, as much as my skill set. Drew I credit you for that! While you can always learn something from everyone, there really does come a time when you have to say, “I need more for ME!” Why should I go sit bored or feel as if I’m wasting time on a class I can in reality probably teach? Skill sets need to be developed. But so do artists and people. There comes a time when you have to accept you are a master.
Tell us about your creative process and how it has evolved since the beginning of your career.
I got older and tired of pussyfooting around?
Seriously, I found out how to just feel. There’s something that just feels right. I’m a horrible teacher (my poor assistant!) I cut off what doesn’t belong there. I correct as I go, I find out what makes my clients feel daring. I look at shapes and hair all the time. I think how i would correct what I see. I was fortunate enough to take a class with The Doves. They were using architectural shapes in hair. That made me think, why does everyone just cut and color? Why can’t we sculpt and paint? That was a huge turning point. That was the day I stopped being a quick cut stylist. That was when I stopped looking at the name of the cut and started doing art, but hair is my medium.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
- As a stylist get used to cold cheeseburgers and warm salads.
- Take the leap.
- All you have to do is survive.
“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming?
That’s where I’ll always love you, that’s where I’ll be waiting.”
What can I say, I never wanted to grow up. I’m pretty sure Peter was my first crush.
Top 5 books
The Fantastic Art of Boris Vallejo
Complete Works of Shakespeare (although I strong opinions on Romeo & Juliet)
Interview With The Vampire
Good Omens ~by Neil Gaiman
Sleeping Beauty ~by Anne Rampling
Top 5 Albums
Amy Winehouse ~ The Album Collection
My Ruin ~ Speak and Destroy
Journey ~ Escape
Janet Jackson ~ Number Ones
This is really hard, my taste is all over the board, and having a hearing deficit makes music a little different for me. Most times the voice is more along the lines of how others hear the instruments. I like most music, but rap tends to have a repetitious beat like some house music, so I tend to be done with that pretty quick. I Hate repetition.
Top 5 Fashion Brands
I don’t have even one. Clothing is fun enough, but being fashionable, or trying to put an outfit together can give me a meltdown faster than most people. I would live my life in jeans and concert tees if given half a chance.
I guess if I had to give a favorite brand of jeans it would be Lucky, or Diesel. They have more room for my thick thighs and bubble butt. Lol
If you were able to go on a a vacation trip for work training/inspiration, where would you go?
England immediately comes to mind, closely followed by Iceland and Hawaii.
England just has such a wide range form classic to ultra modern punk.
Iceland would probably give me some room and time for pure insight and inspiration.
Hawaii is a hub for Paul Mitchell, who has a great deal of influence to me.
Most iconic stylist?
I feel this needs to be broken down somehow.
I fell in love with Vidal Sassoon’s work, and brand at about 11 or 12 years old. So he’s a major player and influence for my personal thoughts.
But I feel like every decade or two, another mega talented artist is found. There are so many categories we could break this down to. But after Vidal I would say Nadine Donovan and Ursula Goff as well as Philipe Wolf and Mustafa Avicenna.
They all do amazing things, and all have different strengths, not only in hair but in real life as well. I am fortunate enough to have taken some classes with Nadine and Ursula. They are a huge part of the new kinder, knowledge sharing culture our industry is becoming.