Sam's Playlist - Celebrating 35 Years of Creative Exploration

This summer, I celebrated being on the road for 35 years as a teacher/platform artist! What a journey it continues to be with oh so many amazing memories!  I have been fortunate to meet countless talented people, see many places and experience  many different cultures. The road has taught me many things, especially to think differently and change the way I look at things. The opportunity to travel opens up so many doors, even that creative door. I believe we can get inspiration from everyday - what we see, hear and do can spark those creative juices.

So many times I find myself in the habit of thinking I’m not creative, but I have discovered through my travels to abandon that myth. My travels have assisted me in understanding that every person is innately creative and always has been. Remember my friends, it is important to rekindle your natural creative spirit, and education and travel can help you rediscover it!

People often ask me where creativity comes from and how to develop it.  The thing is, anyone can be creative and anyone can be more creative than they are now. We all possess inborn creative abilities that can be tapped into, developed and strengthened, just like our physical abilities. Remember when we were in grade school …think about the creative energy and the curiosity back then.  Turning wooden blocks into a city…a lump of clay into a dinosaur…a throw away box into a special hideaway…the imagination would soar without limits!  Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the process of ‘growing up’ and learning the rules abandoned the idea of letting the imagination go.


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Creativity is a life long process, we just don’t sit down and say now I am going to be creative, creativity takes time.  In my travels, I have discovered how important it is to take time daily to have personal creative exploration.  Investigate…listen…talk.

Traveling allows me to tap into my creative soul because it gets me out of my everyday routine. It’s simply being aware of my surroundings and where I am standing at the moment.  It’s about grasping and recognizing those inspirational creative opportunities.

I have accepted that creativity is a struggle, and often the solutions I find aren’t the ones I expected.  But, don’t automatically reject spontaneous solutions, be an explorer. I can’t tell you how many times my GPS has taken me in the wrong direction, yet the journey ended up being a worthwhile exploration.  Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum…let’s explore and look for history on the street and fashion in an airport.

Being creative does not always mean being artistic, there are many ways that one’s creativity can be expressed - through salon management, product sales, advertising, research and development, coloring, perming, cutting and dressing hair. Recognizing and removing emotional and cultural blocks is a giant step towards developing greater creative skills.

Fear is the most common emotional block…but is it the fear of making a mistake or the fear of failure? Becoming more creative requires a positive outlook, not a judgmental one. Sometimes, we become fearful that if we change, the people close to us won’t love us anymore, but by staying within our comfort zone, we limit our growth potential.  We are individuals, born with a free will and we choose our destiny every minute of every day, so we can choose to have fun, learn and become better with every aspect of our lives.  Ego - falling in love with one of our ideas can stop us from experimenting with other new concepts/methods. Self-confidence is important to creativity, yet don’t stop looking for new ideas. Creative people are different for 4 distinct reasons; they are not concerned about being accepted by society; they can laugh at themselves; they are not afraid of failing and they do not concern themselves with conforming to society.

To become a more creative stylist, we have to experiment, and that usually means breaking a few of the rules. But, before we can be creative and break the rules, we have to have a strong foundation and understanding of the basic principals. So, first learn and understand the rules, then experiment and break a few of them. We have the potential of creating or seeing something different than the next person. We are a special breed, a breed never to become extinct…the hairdresser!

See you soon at an educational event outside of your comfort zone and make sure to come up and say HI!

Aspire for more,


About: Sam Villa is founding partner of the Sam Villa brand (Allvus, LLC), designed to bring “More Sam to More People.”  The educational world of this Favorite Platform Artist and Educator (2012, 2011 and 2007), Favorite Overall Educator of the Year (2015) and Education Artistic Director for Redken 5th Avenue, can be experienced on