The 2023 double Most Wanted award winner shares her guide on how to find inspiration when it’s playing hard to get

We all know the importance of finding inspiration. It’s a powerful force that drives creativity, motivation, and the generation of new ideas. It often involves a deep emotional or intellectual connection that sparks enthusiasm and a sense of purpose. Finding inspiration can be a highly personal and subjective experience, but what happens when inspiration dries up? Even with the best will in the world, all artists experience periods when inspiration just isn’t there. What can colourists do when it happens? 

 Switch up your tools 

Why should we be limited to a tint brush? It’s fun to experiment with different sized paintbrushes; different angles can create various blends and placements. Sponges are a great way to create seamless freehand blends, making the most commercial applications fun. 

Play with paints 

Truly understand your colour wheel; it’s essential to know this inside out to take your formulas to the next level. When looking to customise shades, play with acrylic or water paints to understand how to create the most unique tones. For example, while working on different shades of greens, I found that adding a dot of red to my formula created a more muted beige effect, giving me the perfect pistachio.  

Get swatching 

Personalisation is exactly where colour is; crafting colour for the individual and giving our clients a reason to return to us. After playing around with paints, I love to test my shades on swatches to see how they transfer onto hair. This gives me a starting point, allowing me to keep tweaking until I find that perfect shade.  

Press pause 

To be creative, we need downtime. It’s essential to pause and stop. I find new inspirations spark when I take a break from social media and immerse myself in something other than hair – whether that be watching a documentary or taking a walk and observing people. Recently, I was inspired by a group of students who had been colouring their hair themselves. It was super visual and made me consider how I could recreate it. 

Inspiration can’t be forced; it needs to flow through you. When life is busy or there’s a deadline attached it can be difficult to feel inspired. Looking at colour through a different perspective, stepping away from the situation or trying something new, gives internal space for creative thinking and fresh ideas to come alive. Inspiration can’t be forced but it can be encouraged, it needs to be nurtured. Stay open and stay curious.