Each of us possesses inborn creative abilities that can be strengthened just like physical abilities. If you love this industry and want to pursue a career in it, you don’t even have to be artistic. If you’re not great at cutting or coloring hair, you can express your creativity through advertising and promotion, product research and development, salon management or business training.
Many people, though, permit cultural and emotional blocks to limit their creativity. To keep your creativity fresh, push back against these blocks:
- Narrow thinking. We’re at our most creative when we’re very young. As soon as we go to school, we’re put on a schedule, instructed to color between the lines and “enlightened” about what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s possible and what isn’t. We learn this very well, and it can hold us back for the rest of our lives.
- Fear. When you’re afraid of making mistakes or appearing silly, you won’t take any risks. Becoming creative requires a very positive outlook, so soften your judgmental eye and don’t worry about what other people will say about you.
- Ego. While ego is somewhat the opposite of fear, it produces the same result. When you give in to self-satisfaction, you’ll stop experimenting with new concepts. You may fall in love with the cutting technique that made you a star and never challenge yourself to test out different methods. Pretend you’re a postage stamp: stick to something until you master it, and then move on to something else!
My own cultural block was being encouraged to be logical and discouraged to be irrational. I had to learn that what society considers a flaw was sometimes exactly the attitude I needed to lift me to the next level in my creativity. Ideas in your imagination may not always make sense at first, but they can turn out to work very well for you when you play with them. Throw your cultural and emotional blocks overboard, and start playing!
Sam Villa has more than 25 years experience as a platform artist and educator for major salon professional companies. Part of the Redken family for the past 11 years, Sam is Redken’s Education Artistic Director and Design & Training Consultant and appears on redken.com as a spokesperson for consumer consultations. He is in constant demand at international and domestic trade shows and in-salon programs, where his progressive teaching approach enables stylists to absorb new techniques quickly and for practical use in the salon. In 2008, Sam launched his website, www.samvilla.com, along with his own brand of digital media education and styling tools for salon professionals.