Getting the chance to #NerdStalk Linda Flowers after watching her dominating skills in The Hunger Games was a dream come true! We LOVED the visuals in this film! You will instantly feel the creative mojo run through your veins ! Linda’s platform status has given her the opportunity to work with stylists such as Tony and Guy, Irving & Rita Rusk and Martin Parsons to name just a few. Her career has taken her behind the camera fulltime to be the “Topstyler” for television and movies, like The Hunger Games, Captain America, The Social Network and Iron Man 2. Coupling her technical and creative skills, she added entrepreneur to her resume by creating a tool called the Instyler TopStyler earning her the Allure Best of Beauty Award for 2011.
As an artist who has been such a “trendsetter” in the film industry, what advice would you give to those striving to work towards this level of accomplishment?
Every head of hair counts, from the moment you begin this career. Student to veteran you have to always keep a mindset of it mattering and do your best work. After all it matters to the person who wears it!
Having this thought process is how I got my first official job onset. I was working on a set of over 100 background people, and a huge styling crew. I styled 6-7 of the background people. That is when the head make-up artist choose 3 of my styles out of the crowd asking “Who did this hair” She then let me know how much she loved the work I did and later due to that impression got a call back from a resume I had sent in months before landing a job in the hair department.
How has having the opportunity to experience so many areas of our industry benefited you aside from strengthening your skills as a stylist?
This business is full of lessons if you listen. I have defiantly learned how to make better decisions about styles and have become a good listener. Not everyone can talk hair, so listening is key to providing the look they need and want, whether onset or behind the chair it matters.
Top 5 songs you like to listen to while creating?
I love some old funky jazz and really pretty music like Patsy Cline. I like Jack Johnson, Maroon 5 and Bonnie Raitt. I am really generic in my music…haha
On photo shoot there are often some last minute choices, situations…but what do you feel is a common mistake Hair and Makeup Artists make?
You can never say “No” If you aren’t familiar with something or not sure about a look, you need to find a way to be prepared for it.
You really need to go back to the basics and know how to do a proper set. If you don’t take the time to really master your skills, you will make it really hard on yourself to provide good hair onset.
They know when you don’t know how to manage the hair. Chasing the hair all day will never get you a call back!
What 3 items would you just die without?
1. Icon Hairspray
2. Covergirl Lip Stain – Love it! Moisture & it lasts!
3. Green Drink (Vita Green) – I get it at Whole foods and I have only had 3 colds in 7 years. Keeps me healthy and keeps me going!
We found that hair really took center stage in the Hunger Games. What were your motivations and inspirations during these creations?
The books really painted the pictures for me. Wonderful books by Suzanne Collins! The hair had to have detail and character for both the men and the women in this film. Judianna Makovsky, the costume designer for the Hunger Games, really inspired looks I created as well. I wanted to have the beauty of Old Hollywood and the edge of the time period and feel of the movie.
With Effie, I stayed away from bold color and gave her a modern color with contemporary texture and a detailed shape. Finger waves with a twist, I set the hair then brushed it out and added afro hair to complete the texture and volume I was going for. I really feel like I was able to be me but execute what was asked of me. Such a great experience!
Where do you go to clear your mind?
I just have to connect with nature. It keeps me balanced. My 105 lbs. Ridgeback, Sam and I take walks and hike together. I just love my dog!
I am a very gentle natured person but I am also a 3rd degree black belt and internationally ranked as a number one martial arts competitor. People are always so surprised about that! haha
How would you describe your artistic style? And what do you feel has brought you the most influences in your work?
So love the classics! I appreciate the work and effort it takes to really pull off these looks. Old Hollywood has always inspired me, beautiful.
Who do you consider to be your mentor? And what was one of the most valuable lessons they taught you?
I started out as a shampoo girl at Irvine and Rita Rusk’s salon. I watched amazing geometric cuts and tons of perms! I also had the honor to work with Martin Parsons. He is not only amazing at updos but also an amazing colorist and haircutter and even went to school to study architecture. I studied them all and worked really hard and learned how to succeed in this industry by learning from them.
Tell us how you came to take the leap in creating the TopStyler? How hard or easy was it for you to make your vision into reality?
Onset, I started visualizing a tool that could do the job. All the jobs, and knew that stylists and the public would love an all in one type of product. I mean, we have so many tools these days to achieve one look. But it needed to be easy to use, safe for the hair and make sense.
So I sold the concept of using your hands to manipulate hair along with covering it evenly and completely. Once I found interest, I hired an engineer to make me a prototype. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I feel like we have really worked out the bugs.
It requires a lot of hard work and commitment to launch a product but if you believe in it truly, you will find success. I look forward to launching my Professional Edition TopStyler soon, can’t wait to share!
What is your next goal ?
I really want to teach. I enjoy sharing knowledge and would love to be part of future artists journey in this industry. I think when you share knowledge you end up learning as well and gain such a positive experience.
The Hair Nerds are so passionate about continuing our education, which classes/techniques have blown your mind and are a must for stylists to take?
The Union Classes I have taken have been awesome. I would say the best classes have been learning how to make wigs and learning period styles. You need to know how to work with fake hair and you need to know your period styles. The standards are very high, so be prepared.
Words to live by…
Be Brave, Be Bold and Stay Humble.
“Do one thing and do it well” – Orville Redenbacher (I love that saying)
I knew I was a Hair Nerd when….
“All I could think about was hair!”
Linda Flowers sent us two TOPSTYLERS to treat some
#HairNerds to some swag!
Linda is an amazing film and Television #Hairdini so we want to hear what on screen hair creation has impacted you….
“If I could give an #OscarForHair …..”
***Comment below and on Wednesday May 30th at 10am PST we will announce the winner on our Facebook page!!!