We go one-on-one with Josh DeMarco, the Creative Vision winner at Wella TrendVision’s 2016 Regional Competition in Philadelphia, and learn more about why he competed and what helped him advance to the next level of the competition.
He walked away with the win for the Creative Vision category and has automatically advanced to the semi-finals for the national competition for Wella TrendVision that takes place in Las Vegas on July 25, 2016. What this all means for Josh is that he is locked and loaded to present his model, talents and overall vision and translation of the Wella Trends to the esteemed panel of selected judges.
Since there really isn’t enough time to conduct any interviews backstage during the judging process, I reconnected with Josh and asked him everything I wanted to. I really wanted to know more about him as a person and get inside his head a little. I especially wanted to know more about why he entered the competition and what he hoped to personally gain from the experience as a whole. Here’s how all that went down:
Okay, Josh, what’s your story? Who are you? Where are you from? Dish the dirt.
I’m Josh DeMarco. It’s hard not to get too existential with a question like this. To me, I am a stylist, a perpetual student, an explorer, a friend and a husband. It’s a hard question to answer. My first instinct is to just answer, “I am me,” but what does that mean to your readers? I am someone who tries every day to learn more, grow my craft and move towards my own evolution.
My story is…that I am doing what I have always wanted to do. From a young age, I was always drawn to people’s hair. It was continually the first thing I noticed when meeting new people. I knew I wanted to be a stylist pretty early on. My dad was adamant that I go to a university and get my degree. That was my first stop, before finally getting to go to hair school. I majored in communications and minored in film. I am grateful for the knowledge, but I have never looked back.
I am from southwestern PA. I grew up in Doylestown, went to college in West Chester and I have lived in Philly for 10 years.
Is this the first time you’ve entered a competition before?
This year is the first time I have officially entered anything. I was selected for an online national competition before, but I don’t feel like that is the same thing. This was a scenario that I really took a lot of time and consideration with.
What do you think makes you a good competitor?
I think this answer is simple for me. Passion. I am a very passionate stylist. As I touched upon earlier, I am doing what I have always wanted to do. I eat, sleep, and breathe my profession. In my opinion, that is the foundation for being a good competitor.
Why did you enter the regional? What was it about this particular one that drew you in and made you go for it?
I thought it was a great opportunity, and it happened to be taking place in Philly and I have always been a big TrendVision fan. It felt like perfect timing and I had to go for it.
At any point in the process did you ever feel like giving up and throwing in the towel? If so, what made you keep going?
I cannot say I ever had a moment that made me feel like I wouldn’t keep going. I had A LOT on my plate at the time, but I was determined to make it work.
There’s an emotional, physical and mental reaction that happens to a person when they compete. Which of these three was most prominent for you during the entire competition?
For me it was mental. There is a lot that you go through when traveling down this path. You question your ideas, you seek guidance and feedback from those you admire most, and you teeter between competing ideas. It is a process for sure. Without a doubt, you go through levels as you journey through your own creative process. There is also a lot of vulnerability as you put yourself out there to be judged by your peers and giants of the industry.
What did you learn about yourself during this competition?
I learned to trust my creativity and I found that there is strength in my drive. There were a lot of long nights after long days and it taught me that when I want to go for it…the energy comes. It was exciting and I learned a lot about myself. Choosing to put yourself under that much stress and pressure is quite a growing experience.
What do you think was the one thing that really caught the attention of the judges?
I believe it was my holistic interpretation of the trend.
What kind of advice do you have for those who have never entered a competition before?
Go for it. Win or lose, you have a lot to gain.
From mood boards to color formulas, read how Josh took his vision and turned into a winning reality. Read his Anatomy of a Look: Melting of Metals, HERE.
Photos Courtesy of Wella
*Industrie Co-Founder Kerri Lee-Young was one of the three judges during this regional competition in Philadelphia.