People sign up for MODERN's Artist Session for all reasons—some come for education, some to build their portfolios, some to meet the guest speakers, some to meet aspiring freelance artists and others come with a plan. That was the case with Diana Macaluso, the 28-year-old Sebastian Urban Design Team member who took a couple of days away from the Morcelle Salon in Tonawanda, New York (where she serves as the creative director), to attend Artist Session in New York City. Macaluso, a second-time attendee, came to this session with an exciting and ambitious goal. “I want to enter Sebastian’s What’s Next competition,” she said, “and I’m hoping that the inspiration from the Night Shade Masquerade collection will help me create the perfect finish on model Nonna.”

Behind the Cover: January 2013

But things weren’t running according to plan for Macaluso on shoot day. “It just wasn’t working,” she says. “I was really struggling! The look I wanted to create, a Mohawk with sleek sides, looked horrible on her. It made her head way too skinny. She needed something more elegant. The original was going to be a great look, but not on her.” It was 2 p.m. and although Macaluso had already put several hours into creating the sleek Mohawk, she took it down.

Behind the Cover: January 2013While other artists had finished their shoots and were packing up to leave, Macaluso was still crimping fine sections, working horizontally directing the hair from one side to the next. “I actually started sweating,” she says. “There is so much detail in this look. One whole side is crimped and over directed to the multi-textured knot. This is all her hair. I’m calling this finish the ‘Maneater.’ It’s so complicated, but I love it. I’ve learned that it’s great to have a plan, but to use it as inspiration, not as a blue print.”

Macaluso used this opportunity and extra time to doubleteam her model and get a perfect nail finish from Dashing Diva’s Patricia Yankee who created the Color FX long, pointy and powerful silhouette. “I requested something special,” says Macaluso. “For the competition I needed edge, but for Nonna, I needed softness. Patricia was able to take those conflicting goals and make it happen.”

Another unexpected snag in Macaluso’s plan happened when she contacted Nonna’s model agency to get a release to use the final image to enter What’s Next. The agency would not sign the form allowing the image to be entered into any contest without an additional huge payment. Macaluso called us, frantic, panicked, upset and disturbed, “what do I do?!” At the time, we did not want to let her know her finished look was being considered for MODERN’s January cover because we knew that would change everything.

Well, here’s some great news for Macaluso: Magazine covers become “public domain” so she can enter What’s Next. We love it when a plan comes together.

Behind the Cover: January 2013

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