Sam Villa: Don’t Be Afraid of New Ideas

As a kid drawing for my family, I got an early taste of how art can communicate ideas and connect people emotionally. Kids feel safe, loved, and are most open to playing freely, whereas it takes a ‘safe’ creative environment (low on judgment, high on trust) for adults to play freely. It’s a shame that as we age we have to try much harder to be creative, but it is well worth the effort.

Most artists have a ‘creative space’ where ideas are birthed and nurtured. Try creating one of your own and allow your thoughts to just flow and flourish. Take yourself out of your ‘normal environment’ and expose yourself to new surroundings and experiences to feed your creative mind. Think about what places and activities inspire you: garden, museums, nature, city streets, music, a cozy office in your home—and make it your go-to creative zone. Cherish the space/activity, let it ignite your creative soul, and go to it often.

Like most hairdressers I’m a visual person, so I energize my creative space with tear sheets, images and storyboards—they get my creative juices flowing. Try it; start gathering visuals that you love and hang them someplace or have them on Pinterest, and then use a flipchart, sticky notes or your computer to jot down the ideas they inspire—edit-free. Get all the ideas out, good and bad. The more the better and the more wild the better, too. Let the ideas fly, then shift to evaluation mode and cut some out and build on your favorites. This exercise helps develop an attitude of ‘it’s right to be wrong,’ and suddenly we see that anything is possible. Having shared the ideas openly, you now hold the creative clay from which to mold and refine your best ideas.

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By daring to explore new ideas and feeding our childlike curiosity, we can solve everyday puzzles and attain our dreams. So don’t let your adventurous spirit grow hard as you get older. Don’t fear the judgment of your peers or be too insecure or sensitive to shine—it only limits your creativity.  Condition yourself to take more chances so those experiences can fuel new ideas that spark creativity.

As a teacher, I am constantly searching for ideas to serve the industry, unify it and take it to the next level. It starts by being open to the moment and idea, because when we accept something as our own we begin to overcome our fears. Courage requires looking in the mirror and holding yourself accountable; it’s about deciding what you want to do and then making it a reality. And remember, you should be scared, otherwise you don’t care enough.

Be patient, developing an idea is a process. It takes you on a journey and you learn from the adventure. No pain, no gain! Start at square one and don’t be afraid to change your perspective to get a different view. Sometimes we need to let go of an idea to make room for a better one. Foundational values should remain in place, yet remove the tighter reins and the creative means of expressing those values explodes into an idea. And don’t forget to laugh—a sense of humor can pull you through almost anything!

My friends, I can’t tell you the formula for success, yet I can share with you that the formula for failure is trying to please everyone. Stand behind that chair with courage, and remember that an idea is like chasing a butterfly—the more you chase it the more it eludes you, yet if you focus on the task at hand, the idea lands softly on your shoulder.

I believe in you. Begin today and make your idea a reality, my friends.

Aspire for more,

Sam

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 www.samvilla.com.

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