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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Paige in HBIA Competition 2017

I've been mentoring Paige for one and a half years in the salon now. If someone is very keen on learning and asks for my help, I'd do everything I could. But, there's one caveat. You must work really hard.
I've always insisted that as part of monitoring her progress, it's absolutely necessary to do a live cutting competition. Not just once. She clearly understands it. She did a great job last year, and today was the day to show what she has learned since then.

Competition is not about getting a trophy or not. That's missing the point of doing it. It's all about challenging yourself and learning a new thing or two. That's because, without it, there wouldn't be any progress. A thing or two you learned during competition will come back to you later, in a significantly more intense way. 
Someone might say cutting hair for ten years. That's "ten years of experience" according to them. However, I've seen so many people repeating one year's experience ten times. 
I don't have time for those charlatans. 

There're two other junior staff from the salon competing today, Amy and Temana. It was really great to see them. Lovely work. The family must be very proud of them. Tomorrow, their work in the salon will be different. They've stepped up one stage higher. 

Paige and I did fairly intense training together after work. Quite often exchanging ideas by emails. Lots of drawings. You know what I mean? It's in this process of using your own head that is all part and parcel of creative learning. It's not just transferring knowledge from one person to another. If you don't have your own artistic ideas, what is the point?
One needs to have a pair of eyes of an artist to be able to cut hair as an artist. I'm not joking when I say one of the best teachers I've had for learning how to cut hair is none other than Gregory Smith, a master painter. That's because he's been teaching me how to see as an artist.

She had a great model, Aimee, who possesses such a lovely personality and willingness to do anything. That's always helpful. And great hair. Without models, there's no competition. Period. To find a good model is probably the hardest part of a cutting competition. 

I was very thrilled to see her creating a piece of art on stage today. She did almost everything she had planned. That's not an easy thing to do, I can tell you. Especially for someone who was just qualified recently. 

This design seems very simple, but, it's not. It has almost every single component of cutting hair; strong geometric gradation, one length, layering, disconnection and free hand cutting based on spontaneous visual assessment. Oh, no clippers.

I had told her that it's not so much different from putting your paintings on a gallery wall for an exhibition. You've spent so much time and energy on creating this work of art. On the day, you just relax and enjoy it. You've declared to yourself and others, "This is the best I can do at the moment with all the knowledge, wisdom and training I've done. Please have a look. I hope you like it."
I did. It was a great performance, too. Congratulations. 

All photos are shot by me on my iPhone. 

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