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We are thrilled to partner once again with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all of the talented artists who are finalists for the 2017 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. In this feature get to know more about this year's Avant Garde Finalist, Ray Civello.

The surreal state of Ray Civello’s collection is a sentiment that can easily be felt among the audience. The hair, the silhouette, the lighting, the makeup and the model give the viewer a peek into the exposed nature of the piece. Symbolizing honeycombs, Ray touches on the seriousness that is the bee crisis and the impact on our world as a whole. Read on to hear more about the inspiration for his piece and about him as an artist.

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

'To care for the world we live in' is an important part of the Aveda mission statement, and right now the bee population needs our help. This collection of "honeycomb headpieces” was designed to look like the honeycomb that bees create, to bring attention to the serious issue of how the bees are dying off because of pollution and chemicals, and the serious impact this will have on the worlds food supply. Everything on the planet is connected, and we have to take care and respect all of it, and right now the bees urgently need our attention.  

What is your favorite thing about Avant Garde?

Avant Garde is usually non-traditional, experimental and innovative. Those are all characteristics that my team and I find particularly intriguing.

What was your biggest challenge?

Finding enough time - because of the intricacy of each piece, and the layers involved in assembling them the pieces in this collection are all very time consuming to construct and perfect.


How did you convey with your photographer the vision you were going for? 

There was a very strong story already associated with these honeycomb pieces, with the connection to the issue of the bees, and the connection to our Aveda mission statement. We have also worked with this photographer a number of times over the years, and have built a great symbiotic working and creative relationship.

What other forms of art inspire you?   Fine art, painting, photography, sculpture, film, music, and nature

How much prep time went into each piece?

Approximately 40 hours.

What was your favorite part about this shoot? 

Collaborating with the team.

How did you select your team? Have you worked with them before?

I have a tight knit team that collaborates with me on a regular basis. They each contribute perspectives and influences in every collection I put out there. My core group has been working together for a long time and knows each other well. It makes for a great, creative working environment.

Tell us a little more about you, as an artist.

As an artist, I always attempt to keep myself in a constant state of curiosity. Trying to understand the connections that can be found in nature to every other pattern. I enjoy working on my own as well as the group process; where learning and inspiring each other is the currency!

How do you like Vegas?

It’s a completely surreal, magical carpet ride!  The diversity of experience is completely unique!!

Salty or sweet?

Together! Ying and yang in balance! Whatever my body craves more!

Stay tuned for even more NAHA finalist features!