14d5c8e0075747bc5f54 whats next awards

Laura Rocha, a stylist from Venice, CA, brings her beauty with her up and down the California coastline. As a resident stylist at The Harlot Salon on the very popular Abbot Kinney Blvd., she also travels to Santa Barbara and San Francisco honing her skills and developing her artistry. A master in Bridal styling, she finds herself venturing into the world of high fashion and editorial work. This year's Professional Artist Winner at the 2017 Sebastian Professional What's Next Awards, Laura showed off her style and grace with her collection and on stage performance. Learn more about this brilliant artist below and how it feels to be the winner!

Can you tell us a little more about your collection for the 2017 What’s Next Awards?

As an artist, the 2017 collection for WNA was extremely refreshing. We often overwork our minds, thinking of what the next trend is, and can’t easily force inspiration. Recharge was the perfect collection, it allowed us to rest our creative minds and let Mother Nature put us in a creative trance of calm, freeing our minds to invite the ideas in organically.

What was the inspiration behind it?

The waves of the ocean and the strong linear lines of the desert manifested the inspiration behind my look. The dips and ridges of the ocean were so calming to my mind and aesthetically pleasing to my eye, and that influenced the intense shine and dips with in the look. The sharp lines came from the intensity of the desert; it’s recharged my creative mind, carving the shape and lines that offered minimalism and mystery.

Do you have any rituals to ensure a successful shoot?

Yes! I am not the best at sketching, but whenever I am getting ready to shoot I sketch my ideas down. It gives me the immediate freedom to start with something completely wild or minimal and it allows me build the look from there.

Any tips for artists thinking about entering next year?

Dont let the fear of judgment stop you from taking a chance. Entering this competition gives you the platform to voice who you are.

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

My marcel curling irons! That’s all I really used to create the look so with out them I would be in trouble. Sebastian Zero Gravity was my savior; it was light enough to work with as I created the ridges.

What was going through your mind when you won?

When I heard “ From Venice, California...” my first thought was “It’s between me and Danielle.... Did they just say my name?!”.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Is it weird that I have actually thought about this multiple times and my answer never changes? I would be invisible! You get to experience and be part of the most beautiful and hardship moments in people’s lives. Like falling in love, being vulnerable, and simply being mischievous. It can be a beautiful superpower if you ask me!

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

I am a person who always has short term and long-term goals. Winning WNA is for sure a huge accomplishment that will help me get to my next stepping-stone.

Are you artistic outside of doing hair?

Im passionate about all art, but I stick with what I know :) I’ll leave it for the other professionals to entertain me with their craft.

Who has influenced you most in your career?

This one is a hard one. There are so many artists that I look up too, but the top ones I aspire to be like are my mentor Marylle Koken , Oliver Shortall, Louis Orozco, Guido Palau, Adir Abergel, and Jen Atkin.

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

I would continue to give myself the same advice I have been from day one, “SEPARATE YOUR SELF FROM THE CROWD, WHATS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?”  I have realized how easy it is to say those words, its taking action that’s a challenge, but I am a junkie for that!

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

What I would like to share with the next generation of stylist’s is to not take themselves too serious, it takes away form the thrill.

What’s Next for you?

This is the perfect time to reassess my long and short-term goals and take advantage of this opportunity. Styling is my passion, time to start paving my way to the editorial, print and education world! I’m exited to see what’s next!

To see even more inspiration from the What's Next Awards and learn more about the process be sure to check out this article!