By Amy Brooks, PBA Communications Manager
Taking the next step in your career can be exciting and scary at the same time. For many professionals, the next step is the dream of getting their work published in the pages of beauty magazines. NAHA 2013 Editorial Hairstylist of the Year Sherri Jessee has been traveling the globe as a platform artist and educator for more than twenty years. She broke into editorial styling only four years ago and has instantly become a regular contributor in both trade and consumer magazines. Sherri’s work has graced the pages of Modern Salon, American Salon, Cosmopolitan, Estetica, Salon International, OK! Magazine, and many others.
PBA recently sat down with Sherri to learn more about her journey into the world of editorial styling.
How did you first get interested in editorial styling?
Sherri: After doing hair for a Rusk advertising campaign I was hooked, and had so much fun that I knew this was something I wanted to do more of. I set on a mission to learn all I could about editorial styling.
What was your first editorial job and what surprised you about the experience?
Sherri: I have personally produced most all of my editorial collections (to date, they number more than 50!). It is however, tremendously rewarding to be hired in as a guest artist for advertising campaigns, then see my work successfully represent a product.
Generally speaking, what is the process of getting an editorial gig?
Sherri: Come up with the idea, hire the team, create the collection, and then submit to your magazine of choice. Editorial work is not paid money. The rewards are in having your work seen and appreciated.
How is styling for print different than behind the chair, runway, competitions, weddings, etc?
Sherri: Each genre requires its own special detail and energy. My motto is, “Be nice and do pretty hair.” And this follows me always. I try to inject my own style sense into all the work I do.
How has your editorial work affected your work on other projects?
Sherri: This past year I was able to teach many classes on editorial hair and makeup. With such a passion for the craft, it is an honor for me to share tips and tricks of the trade from the main stages of shows, classes, and private seminars.
How has your editorial work affected your career as a whole?
Sherri: My salon clients ask me quite often where I’ve been lately. I’m constantly traveling, whether for a show, educational event, or an editorial shoot. I typically have at least two assignments per month. It can be exhausting but I love it. The farther I can go, the more exotic the location, the better!
Has your creative process changed much over the years? If so, how has it changed?
Sherri: I am one that eats, sleeps, and breathes beauty. I’m forever looking for inspiration and coming up with new ideas. I watch movies, read books, go to museums, pour through magazines, and scour the internet to get ideas and inspiration.
What are some projects you are working on now or planning for in the near future?
Sherri: I have been working this past year on creating my own makeup and accessory line, “Elegant, Organized Beauty™,” which is a unique system of organizing beauty tools. These will be available for purchase on my website, sherrijessee.com. I also have several advertising campaigns and video shoots for major manufacturers. I’m on the artistic team for Intercoiffure and also the preferred stylist for the Miss Virginia USA organization.
If you could go back and do anything differently, what would it be?
Sherri: I don’t believe in looking back and asking “What if?” Instead, with each passing day, I am encouraged to continue learning, growing, setting and reaching new goals.
What inspires you as an editorial stylist?
Sherri: I absolutely love creating and NEVER get tired of looking at beautiful images and seeing my work in print. It is a total thrill each time I check the mail and see a publication with my work in it. As an independent hair and makeup artist, I hope my hard work and dedication to the craft inspires others to continue to grow in the beauty business.
What advice would you give a stylist who wants to get into editorial work?
Sherri: Take classes, learn the basics, then study, prepare, and shoot. We learn by doing.
Sherri Jessee was the 2013 NAHA Editorial Hairstylist of the Year. NAHA 2014 celebrates 25 years of recognizing the artistic talent and dedication of beauty industry professionals. Learn more about the last 25 years of NAHA at probeauty.org/naha.
About the Author
Amy Brooks is the manager of communications for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). PBA advances the professional beauty industry by providing our members with education, charitable outreach, government advocacy, events and more. PBA is the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons and spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals/NCA. Visit probeauty.org or call 800.468.2274 (480.281.0424) for more information.