Before Hair: The Makings of a Texture Engineer

Before hair, I can’t think of any one thing I have ever been so focused on.  Well, with one exception.  The summer after my sophomore year of college I was awarded a Brackenridge grant from the University of Pittsburgh to create my own art installation.  So basically, I was a professional artist for three months.  I often say that this project was the most fulfilling of my life, but the mental and physical fatigue is not something to be looked over.  By the end of that summer, I was certain, beyond doubt, that I wanted to be a hair stylist.  I knew I wanted to do something visual and creative, but that I wasn’t strong enough for anything that involved long hours being alone with my art.  Richard would pick me up at the studio every day after 8-10 hour shifts and I would not want to leave, despite being hungry and dirty and barely being able to string a sentence together.  It’s hard to explain, because I loved it, I really did, it just couldn’t have been sustainable.  I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing the intricate bark textures I’d been creating all day (like when you play Tetris too much).

I keep so busy with hair that sometimes I stop seeing new things.  That’s when I look back to my other loves for inspiration.  Sculpture.  Found art.  Poetry.  Short fiction.  Music.  I wanted to share some of my old pieces from that summer.  Mainly made from duct tape, newspaper and stuff from the hardware store.  It was a sexual assault advocacy piece intertwining my love for writing, shapes and textures.  It took about 2 1/2 months to complete and then showed for a couple weeks at the William Pitt Union on campus.  Enjoy!


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