Eva Scrivo on Finding Inspiration


evaoctnew3Working with clients, running a business, mentoring young stylists and doing it all dressed up with a smile on your face can be immensely challenging. We get so involved in the mechanics of the business that it is easy to forget about the creativity of our craft. Hair is our medium. As stylists and as artists, we always need inspiration. It can come in many different forms:  watching old films to observe iconic Hollywood beauties, following the hit series Mad Men, or maybe just noticing a kid who skateboarded by on the street with a cut you thought was cute, wondering if he does his own hair or if he goes to a salon.

While ideas are all around us, inspirations can rarely be transformed into reality without a great deal of effort. The photographic imagery we covet in magazines is intricately staged. Art directors and photographers develop story boards, which in turn must be approved by style editors and creative directors and, finally, by the editor-in-chief. The creative process can be mindboggling and extremely time consuming. The images we try to emulate are a culmination of many hours and sometimes days, weeks, or months of hard work. As stylists we have to continually hone our skill sets in order to find and actualize our inspirations. So how do we tap into this creative force within all of us?

Reading magazines and going to museums, art galleries and photo exhibits are conventional ways in which we teach ourselves to look at shape, color and execution a little differently. However, it is vital that you train your mind to seek inspiration from unanticipated sources: graffiti, packaging, architecture, nature, cooking or even your own dreams, for example. Remember that the brain is a muscle and it needs to be exercised in different ways to be “fit.†If you do the same activity over and over again at the gym, your body becomes accustomed to that range of motion. Targeted repetitive motion alone may not sculpt the body as completely as we want. Rather, it is a series of different types of activities such as, weight training, running, yoga, swimming and dancing that mold and shape the most beautiful physiques.  Likewise, hairdressing becomes a repetitive motion. Doing similar cuts every day and seeing the same set of clients month in and out can cause you to develop a one-dimensional repertoire. Therefore, it is paramount that you continually challenge yourself. It is all about stepping out of your box to expand your mind, refining your eye and exercising your brain.

Do not be afraid to try new things. Experiment with your ideas on models, on your coworkers at the salon, or on willing and adventurous clients. And remember: the greatest inspirations are unexpected. They come from places and at times when you least expect them.  Carry a notepad with you to record budding, emergent ideas. Take pictures with your camera or phone. At the end of every day, you should ask yourself: What inspired me today? Where did that inspiration come from? How can I bring it to the chair and turn it into a hair reality?


Eva Scrivo is a highly acclaimed hair and makeup artist, host of Beauty Talk on Sirius Satellite Radio, television personality, and entrepreneur who owns an eponymous NYC salon. Through her experience, insight, range of expertise, and penchant for teaching, she has come to be regarded as one of the country’s premier beauty experts. Equally strong in hair cutting, coloring and makeup, Eva also has a thorough knowledge of skin care, nutrition, wellness and fashion. She has recently become the spokesperson for Wella Professionals and is presently working on her first beauty book to be published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. To view additional tips from Eva visit: www.evasbeautyblog.com