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Taking the art of hair to a whole new level, experimentation with alternate materials on the medium of hair was the inspiration for the What's Next competition this year. We were honored to interview Gianpaolo Colombo, winner of the Affiliated Artist category at the Sebastion What's Next Awards. See his amazing styles and hear about his inspirations and advice for stylists.


Can you tell us a little more about your collection for the 2016 What’s Next Awards?

My collection was all about head hugging shape and explosive texture. i wanted the collection to be very futuristic and edgy but still look sleek and sexy. 



What was the inspiration behind it?

The collection was definitely inspired by the Metamorphik collection and the two new liquid products Resintek and Eruptek. I was inspired by the raw elements behind the collection and how the opposites attract, one creating a gloss shine and the other explosive matte texture. I always set out to be fearless in my creations, and the collections incorporated different shapes that really play with the limitless possibilities in creativity.


Do you have any rituals to ensure a successful shoot/show?

You need to have a vision or feeling during a shoot or show, it is important to have a story board with all of your ideas before hand. I like to plan ahead of time with concept or a feeling that I want to portray but I like to remain flexible and open to the inspiration that may hit you unexpectedly. Make sure you have a few looks ready to go if your first one didn't pan out. I also like to play music LOUD and just have fun with it.


Tips for artists thinking about entering?

If you are considering entering the What’s Next Awards, have no fear. Have an idea and move forward with it and continue to evolve your look. Sometimes the most little change to your model hair can make the biggest difference, less is more. You really have nothing to lose, by entering and putting your work out there you're alread off to an amazing start. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself and think outside of the box and always listen to your gut feeling when selecting your images.


What was the one product/tool that you couldn’t live without for this collection?

I would say Resintek that I used to mold that sleek head hugging shape for the back and sides and a small iron with Eruptek which helped create the texture. But I think the one product I found essential was Resintek. It allowed me to remold and shape the hair to create a high gloss contrasting shine against the matte texture. 

What was going through your mind when you won?

Words can't explain how I felt, the initial feeling was pure excitement and then emotions started.  I couldn't believe I just won , it felt like I was in a dream.



If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to fly. Think of all the beautiful places you can see and experience.

So far, What has your biggest accomplishment been in your career?

Up to this point, my biggest accomplishment has been winning 3 Mirror Awards—Transformation Artist, Classic Style, and Texture Artist. And of course winning the 2016 What’s Next Awards, which was the hardest competition I have ever competed in and won.


Who has influenced you most in your career?

Without a doubt, my father has influenced me most. He is my mentor and has always cultivated my artistic abilities. I’m truly grateful for all I’ve learned from him.



If you could talk to yourself at the start of your career, what advice would you give your younger self?

I’d tell the younger me to be yourself do whatever makes you happy. Never give up because anything is possible, and continue to educate and surround yourself around people better then you!


What is some advice you can offer the next generation of stylists?

Believe in yourself. Let your own creativity inspire you rather than doing something because you think it's what people want to see. Find a mentor or work for a salon that believes in education. It's okay to fail, it's the only way you will grow. If you work hard and are passionate, you will have endless opportunities in this industry. 

What’s Next for you?

I plan to keep learning and continue to grow as a stylist. I also intend to inspire and mentor others to pursue their creativity and to educate them about the latest techniques and endless opportunities!