What I’ve learned… from staying productive during a global pandemic

Emilio Cian, stylist from Edward James and the UK 2020 winner of the Aveda Digital Fashionista Award, shares how he found creative motivation during lockdown

“I’ve always been a busy stylist but I love my job. On my days off, I like to visit the up and coming area of this amazing city I now live in – London – in search of inspiration. The streets are full of artists and models, so I love to do street castings because you can really see a person’s personality shine through. Lockdown obviously changed things slightly there with no one on the streets, but it didn’t stop me being inspired when I went for walks, which reminded me of things I’d seen before. Luckily, I had a friend who made the perfect model – so I was able to use her for my Aveda Digital Fashionista entry.

This project was something I worked on in my own spare time, instead of trying to do in a busy salon environment, as I love being able to work with total freedom to create. I approach cut and colour in the same way.

I have a background in art, so when I moved into hairdressing my dream was to create images that look like a painting. I’m really into precision cutting but I love the poetry of colour and seeing the movement and dimension in the hair. I love colours that look soft but also create an impact. I think this represents my personality – very strict but at the same time totally free. The rules are incredibly important but when you do break them, you move forward to discover new horizons.

For the haircut featured in my entry, I created the shape to give the perfect canvas for the colour,  as I wanted to frame the face with a classic square, pure line haircut and create the harmony and softness with the colour. I used Aveda Enlightener with 20 vol. as a starting point, then applied the first toner 30 GR 10n 30 GR. 0n and 6 GR violet pure tone.  I added baby lights with 30 GR  0N and 8 GR violet pure tone, before finishing with the toner 0N. With the Aveda colours I was able to create the perfect look I had envisioned.

While lockdown can be concerning, I think it’s also the perfect time to  get creative – have a look at the competitions available and make sure you go out on the streets and get inspiration while you have the time to do it! I will definitely be using the time in lockdown two to work on new projects and master my craft.

As a stylist, entering and then winning a competition is amazing! You can really showcase your creative vision, and the whole process is a great personal challenge and very rewarding. I am now working on my Instagram profile and it feels a very exciting time.

When I moved to London one of my dreams was for my work to be posted in a magazine like Creative HEAD, so it is a true privilege for this dream to become realised. I wouldn’t be here without the publicity from winning a competition, so thank you!”

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