C0b93611243062e311f7 jesse ervin naha

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 Newcomer Stylist of the Year Finalist, Jesse Ervin.

We first saw Jesse Ervin’s work last year when he was nominated for his first NAHA as Student Hairstylist of the Year – a title he grabbed with a win for an absolutely stunning black and white collection. Last year he demonstrated such contrast and detail and this year, he brought his creations to life with color. Check out Jesse’s finalist collection below and get to know more about this amazing artist who is certainly one to watch!

What was the inspiration behind this collection?
I was heavily inspired by the punk culture that was arising in London in the late 60s and 70s. I looked a lot to photographer Derek Ridgers for imagery from that time to get a feel for how people actually looked and felt in that time.

What was the most important aspect for you?
I really wanted to focus on having a cohesive collection from model to model, which reflected my inspiration from the colour placements to the texture of the hair.

What was your biggest challenge in creating this collection?
I find that I get stuck in my head about ideas and it’s hard to break through that train of thought, so for me letting go and letting the hair tell the story rather than me creating it is my biggest challenge.

As a newcomer, what did you learn about competition?
Just to create something you love! Don't try and create something artificial for the judges. It is better to finalize with something you love than finalizing with something that you do not connect with.

What does your collection say about trends?
Trends come around in circles, but with modern twists on them. My collection is my contemporary take on 70s punk culture.

How did social media influence your work?
I feel lucky because I am new to the industry and have the opportunity to be so connected with other artists around the world instantly. I’ll admit, I am addicted to my phone but I surround my (online) self around artists that I love so much. Everyday is full of new inspiration from around the world that most did not have access to when they were at this stage in their career. 


Tell us a little more about you, as an artist.
I have learned so much about myself, and myself as an artist, in the last few years. I have completely fallen in love with creating images, and telling stories through images and I completely obsess over doing so. I feel like I have shot so many collections but that is because I constantly create them in my head and create mood boards. I wish I had the money to shoot them all! 

How do you Vegas?

Salty or sweet?
Don't make me choose!

What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?
Since I think so much about my images prior to shooting and have this idea of what I want it to look like that at the end my absolute favourite shots are the unplanned ones of. So, I guess I learned to let go a little and see what happens.

If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?
Pay my family's debt and if there’s leftover I would invest in education and photo shoots!

Be sure to check out Jesse's first NAHA win here, and stay tuned for even more NAHA finalist features!