Hair stylist, painter highlights addition through his art
BAY VIEW, Wis. (CBS58) -- A fourth-generation hairstylist has taken control of his life and is sharing it with the world.
"I never stop being creative, that's what I love about my job," hairstylist Vincent Ricketts said.
As a child, Ricketts never dreamed of being an astronaut or police officer.
"Growing up watching a man do hair, that was like, you know, the manly to do in my childhood," he said. "My uncles did it, my great-grandparents, my grandpa did it. Everyone wants to be a firefighter or something like that, and I always just thought, 'oh my dads is a rockstar because he does hair'."
Creative freedom is what pulled him into the family tradition.
"I never thought I was going to do hair growing up. I was always fixated with my art. Then, I got old enough to realize that art is hair too," Ricketts explained. "I get really fancy with contrast and playing with colors and trying to push colors people have never seen before or don't think work together, making that into a work of art as well."
He has been working at Tease Salon in Bay View for a year, giving his clients his all. However, there is another passion keeping him busy: painting.
"You can definitely tell that's my artwork when you look at the hair, and you look at the painting," Ricketts said.
Painting is a love he discovered when he was a child.
"I won my first competition. I did a family portrait when I was three, so I've been painting my whole life," he said.
This passion for painting now helps him through his most challenging moments.
"I recently got sober. I'm a recovering addict and alcoholic," he said. "I'm trying to go back to my roots and try to work on my coping skills, on what makes me happy, and painting is like my drug of choice now and hair. I put everything into that."
When Ricketts first walked into Tease Salon, he was newly sober. He was quickly embraced by the salon's owner Daniel Olkives.
"[Vincent] coming in at a time that was so vulnerable for him, I think that's really what he needed," Olkives said. "It was great to see someone who was like, 'I have to be real with you, this is how I'm struggling'."
The support for Rickett's art is apparent in the salon as his work covers one of its back walls, no matter the subject.
"I'm doing a new series on addiction," he said. "The first one I did is on smoking and how it can be a nasty habit and how it's bad for the environment. This is a good series, and I've always wanted to focus on a series about art and addiction, but I was never sober enough to do it, and now that I've been sober for over a year and a half, I'm seeing clearly for the first time, and I think it's time to put it on paper."
He is expressing his struggles through the series while pouring himself into an outlet that fills his cup, no alcohol needed.
"For the fourth one I am doing is about alcohol, and I'm thinking about doing a self-portrait because that was my drug of choice," he said.
"I've always wanted to do art full-time, but now, I can't see my life without hair either. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm glad that I'm on this path, and I do both and show both."
From creating colorful hair to art meant to inspire and be discussed, Ricketts has found his path.
"That's my drug of choice. That makes me happy the most, putting all my extra time and free time into making something worthwhile, that people can appreciate," he said.
"I want to leave my mark, even if it is a little one. Whether it be painting or hair, that's where I find my joy, and that's what I want to do the rest of my life."
He is keeping his family heritage alive while following his childhood dream.
Rickett's work will be featured at Tease Salon this Summer during Bay View Gallery Night on June 2.