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We are thrilled to partner with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all the talented artists who are finalists for the 2015 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. Bangstyle had the honor of interviewing amazing hair artist and, one of this year’s finalists in the “Texture” category Cindy Bartlett. Check out our exclusive interview with Cindy and get the scoop on what fuels her passion for hair artistry!

Tell us a bit about your nominated collection this year. What was the inspiration behind the looks? How did the creative process unfold?
The inspiration for this collection came from nature. I was on an urban hike (walk through my neighborhood) and was intrigued by all the texture that I saw in the gardens and along the river, especially the ornamental grasses. I felt that the movement of the stalks made the texture more appealing and wondered if I could possible recreate that in hair. The texture in the grasses seemed layered and built up over time. The changing seasons brought about new grass but the old grass was left on the ground and created a unique density. That’s what got me started on the idea of layering many different types of textures using several different techniques. I set aside time several times a week to play with hair. I would go into the salon very early in the morning and play some great music. From there I would just play and try to be free and not necessarily try to create anything beautiful. Sometimes I was practicing something I had tried previously and sometimes I was trying to nail a particular look. I also set aside time each day for personal development. I really wanted to get into the mindset of being creative and fearless.

Where there collections in other categories that you found inspiring or particularly appealing?
I am always interested in the hair that other stylists do. I am as interested in the work as I am the mental and creative process that drives the finished look.

What area of hair would you like to explore more?
Hair is such a great medium for personal expression, be it the observers, the creators or the wearers. I am interested in the sculptural elements of hair and I think this can be taken to the next level with texture. The ability to create a static shape and form from a moveable medium is an interesting concept that I would like to explore further.

What’s your favorite hair texture to style?
Whatever texture I happen to have in my hands at any given moment!

What is your favorite aspect of being a stylist?
I love being a stylist for very selfish reasons. It just makes me feel so good to create something that brings happiness to someone.

What was the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about the hair industry?
I came to the conclusion very early on in my career that I was in sales. I was either selling my vision for my client’s hair, my vision of my salon to the bank, or my vision of creating a clientele to new staff members.

What fuels your passion? In other words, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
For me the creative process is a practiced routine. I work at being creative and make it part of my morning. Sometimes really great ideas will come to me out of nowhere but more often than not my creativity comes from the time I set aside to develop it.

What is your recipe for a successful shoot?
As always in life, if you surround yourself with great people you will deliver a great result, in anything you do.

Who influenced you the most in your career?
First and foremost Marg Bartlett, my Mom, who taught me to always strive to do more. Actually the list of things she taught me is simply too long to list!! Let’s just say I am in her debt. Robin Sharma, Canadian business and life coach. I follow his teachings and although he does not know me personally, his words have helped me conquer my fear and bring my work to the next level. He deserves a big thanks. Dennis Gebhardt, Educator extraordinaire. He is the first person whose ability to teach colour really changed my life.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Leaving my life behind by burying my nose in a good book, preferably with my toes in the sand!

Be sure to STALK Cindy Bartlett to see the rest of her amazing work, and wish her the best of luck at the upcoming awards!