Stylist Spotlight

One Artist's Boundary-Pushing Hairdressing Style

May 8, 2018 | 10:13 AM
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 The Sebastian Professional International Artist and Hairdresser at Heart, Omar Antonio, has turned pushing boundaries into an art form.  Antonio continues to inspire the industry and to share some words of wisdom on how to keep creativity alive in your career.

 His advice? Step outside the salon or the studio to spark creativity. “Go find inspiration somewhere else, like a museum or even the woods. You’ll get a different perspective if you surround yourself with other creatives like dancers, painters or the chef at one of your favorite restaurants,” he explains.

 This philosophy doesn’t just influence Omar’s art, but also his mindset. “Creativity runs in my veins. I am always working on the next project and looking for an opportunity to bring a new wow factor to my art.”

 Combining his passions for fashion and hairstyling, Omar engaged this innate creativity when Sebastian Professional encouraged stylists to “bend the rules and reshape the industry” for this year’s What’s Next Awards. The renowned mentor and educator sourced inspiration from some less conventional areas for his jaw-dropping, Twisted-themed outfit.

 Appearing flawless from head to toe, his eight-piece ensemble featured hundreds of structured black plaits with one exception: a single red braid. Why?

 “I always try to incorporate one element that makes a piece imperfect,” he said.

 This intentional imperfection represents a lesson from his first mentor and an enormous influence on Omar’s career: his father. “He taught me that, in art and life, it’s important to remember: no matter how beautiful anything is, nothing is perfect.”

 Omar also sought creative inspiration from his 2018 What’s Next Awards model. “I decided to work with Andrew Samson, an activist involved in LGBTQ rights. I tailored the piece to fit him, building on the themes and embodying them in a gender-fluid, rule-bending dress.” 

 Whether it’s for an upcoming competition, scholarship or award show, Omar encourages fellow stylists to step outside their comfort zones to develop their own artistic craft. “While you can’t teach others to be avant-garde, you can teach someone how to push themselves creatively. The second you’re uncomfortable, that’s when you start learning!”

 Feeling inspired to push your own creative boundaries? You have until May 8 to put your talent to the test and submit your creative entry for Wella’s next competition - the 2018 Wella North American TrendVision Awards!

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