Portrait of an Artist: Timothy Cabell
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Portrait of an Artist: Timothy Cabell

For the first installment of our new ongoing series, we sit down with supertalented hair and makeup artist Timothy Cabell for a chat about inspiration, nature, competition and what makes the beauty industry so phenomenal. Read on!

With more than 23 years of experience in hairstyling and makeup artistry, Timothy Cabell is hardly new to the game -- but keeping his work fresh and exciting is what he’s all about. His goal? Continually improving upon his talents and upping the ante as he crafts head-turning collections and competes in hair shows on local, national and international levels. “I always want to reach beyond my comfort zone and force myself to advance and top my last creation,” Timothy shares.

From an early age, his lifetime ambition was to become a hairstylist; now he’s seen that dream through and then some, with his work appearing in magazines including Salon Digest, South Magazine, Wink and, of course, HOT.

We recently got the chance to chat with Timothy, including asking him our 10 most pressing questions.

Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?
I get my inspiration from nature and different places I’ve traveled to. I like to recreate things so that they look realistic, like with flowers. One time, I visited a class to speak to the students, and I put up these flower-inspired hairpieces beforehand. The students walked right past them; they thought they were actual flowers!

How do you push yourself beyond the limits of your comfort zone?
I try not to limit myself, so I don’t really have a comfort zone. I just try to surprise myself with the things I do. Sometimes I look back and go, “Wow, I did that!”

What’s the best part about being in the beauty industry?
To me, the best part is being able to meet people from all walks of life, networking with people and creating relationships with them. It allows me to be more expressive and creative. And I love doing hair competitions. When I’m creating hairstyles for competitions, it allows me to let loose and let my imagination run wild.

If your life were a book, what would the title be?
I’m Just Regular [laughs]. I’m a regular hairstylist. I believe everyone has a creative side, whether they realize it or not. With that being said, we’re still all the same.

What’s your thought process behind creating a collection?
I think I’m kind of backwards at it. A lot of people do mood boards; they put together things to take inspiration from. With me, I’ll be inspired by something first, and then I’ll sit and think of what colors I’d like to use, which colors complement each other, what texture I want to use. I visualize it in my mind. I might even just sit somewhere and look out into space! And then one piece in the collection might inspire me to create other pieces.

What goals are you most proud of having achieved? What goals are you aspiring to achieve?
I’m very proud I had the opportunity to go to Frankfurt, Germany, in May [2014] and compete in the Hair Olympics there. I always said I wanted to compete in something like that. The next one’s in 2016 and I hope to go!

Much of your work is inspired by Africa. If you could be any animal that lives on the Serengeti, which one would it be? Why?
I would be a lion. I kind of sit back a lot and study whatever it is I want to do. And then I go for it.

What’s your personal motto?
“If you can see it, you can do it.” Whatever I can see in my mind, I can create.

If you weren’t a hairstylist and makeup artist, what job would you love to have?
It always comes back to me being a hairdresser. That’s what I was born to do. When I first graduated high school, I wanted to be a surgeon. Then, I went to stay with my grandfather and he sent me off to a tech school near him. But it wasn’t the right fit. A year later, I decided to go to hair school. Makeup followed a little later. I took a two-day class that just opened the door for me!

Who’s your dream client?
I’ve really wanted to work with Nicki Minaj. She used to wear such wild hairpieces, and she loves pink. Or even Lady Gaga! Both of them are so out there. I would love to create something amazing for them.


Check out some of Timothy's full collections!


Dark Beauties


African Elegance


Tribal Mystique


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