Now that I’m older, I’ve grown to appreciate my natural curly hair. When I was younger I didn’t understand why the gods of hair had “cursed” me with what I considered to be an unruly, hazardous mess of locks. If I’d had a book like I Love My Hair by Andrea Pippins growing up, I would’ve no doubt have fallen in love with my natural curly hair much sooner in life.
If you haven’t heard of Andrea Pippins or her fabulous new adult coloring book I Love My Hair, you’re in for a treat! On November 15, 2015, Andrea – an artist, designer and educator – published I Love My Hair, 84 pages of fun, elaborate, and stylish illustrations of different hairstyles and accessories.
Well, Everyday Botanicals had a chance to talk with Andrea about her new book, hair and self-acceptance. This is what she had to say!
EB: What inspired you to design I Love My Hair?
Andrea: I met an art director at Random House and sent her some ideas for a coloring book last spring, none of which had anything to do with hair. After looking at my artwork, she responded asking if I’d be interested in doing a coloring book about hair, and I said, “Let’s do it.”
EB: Are you natural? Have you always been natural? If you haven’t always been natural, what made you decide to transition?
Andrea: I do have natural hair, and I’ve been natural since 2001. I decided to go natural because it felt unnecessary to relax my hair, I realized it was fine as it was. And although my hair was healthy the idea of relaxing my hair for years felt scary damaging. So I decided to stop.
EB: There are many amazing things about I Love My Hair including the fact that every inch of it can be colored on, including the dust jacket – what was the design process like creating this book?
Andrea: The drawing process was a lot of fun. I didn’t have a specific plan of what to include, I just knew that I wanted it to be fun and that I wanted to show a wide range of hairstyles and textures. There were 84 pages to fill, so it was a (great) creative challenge to figure out what would be interesting and what would work in terms of filling it with color. Because “hair” is so specific, and because I didn’t want it to be just about hairstyles, I had to be creative in my interpretations. So I explored abstract representations, lettering, and accessories and tools related to hair.
EB: Marie Antoinette, Carmen Miranda and Diana Ross all make appearances in I Love My Hair–besides having gorgeous hair, are there any other reasons why you choose to include these iconic women in your book?
Andrea: I chose Marie Antoinette as a way to pay homage to an influential Frenchwoman in my life; Carmen Miranda is a nod to my Brazilian background, and Diana Ross is an iconic figure from my childhood. I only wanted to incorporate a few iconic women and wanted to make sure they related to my background in some way.
EB: What do you hope people will take away or gain from this coloring book? What did you gain from designing it?
Andrea: The main thing is for people to use coloring as a way to relax and express their individuality. Because I Love My Hair also encourages doodling, people will also have the opportunity to engage with the pages by embellishing the drawings with their own. So I’m hoping the book inspires creativity.
For me I Love My Hair is an opportunity to share my form of creative expression with the world and to expand my vision to empower women and girls to love themselves.
EB: If you could give women any piece of advice on self-acceptance, what would it be?
Andrea: We have to treat ourselves with true love. From the words we say to ourselves to the food we put in our body, from the people we keep in our lives to the things we do to our skin and hair. It should always be in love. And I think it should be something we do and think about daily. I hope that I Love My Hair encourages others to start by saying something they love something themselves, even if it’s just starting with hair.
Whether your hair is curly or straight, long or short, be proud of the crown you have! And remember, every crown of hair deserves royal treatment – for curly hair, check out our Coarse and Curly collection!