AMY CROW

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Your creativity stretches across a whole lot of mediums and avenues - can you introduce yourself and share just what you do?

Essentially I’m a multidisciplinary creative. Work wise I’m 50/50 hairdresser and graphic designer. Illustration, photography, make-up and music usually weave their way into my work somehow.

Where do you see yourself and your art headed in the next few years?

I would like to expand my design/art into more experiential and immersive forms, larger scale, 3D etc. Since the development of FUTURE=FEMALE (as a brand) and its expansion FUTURE=FEMALE+FRIENDS (as a concept shop) I’ve grown to love retail environments and would like to focus on creating a more permanent immersive experience mixing retail and design/art.

Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way? (Personally or professionally)

Plenty. I’ve tried a few times to focus solely on being an artist; as a painter or illustrator but struggled to make a consistent career / monetarily consistent work out of it. The immensity and nuanced nature of the art world is crazy to me - I’ve been to NY twice and have seen a little bit of how it works over there and it really overwhelmed me! I feel I’ve struck a balance currently with the creative work I get to do in my work and I spend my spare time experimenting with different styles or ideas.

What does body confidence mean to you? Is it something you’ve ever struggled with and why?

Body confidence to me means not making excuses for my body, not letting anyone’s opinion of my body hold any weight but mainly feeling comfortable in my own skin and being grateful for my health. I struggled more so when I was younger, however it was only up until only very recently that I dropped the idea of getting breast implants.

Do you tend to create from personal experience or from observing the experiences of others?

I would say a bit of both. I feel I’m constantly in this loop of seeing / feeling something, creating something almost acting as feedback, that piece creating a conversation to it spawning a new idea.

What’s it like being a woman in the creative industry? Do you find that it has its challenges at times?

I have not personally felt any real challenges due to my gender and I realise I am very fortunate. Creating and maintaining a brand like FUTURE=FEMALE is both empowering but also sometimes fraught as it’s not in my interest or desire to exclude males, admittedly sometimes I fear the reaction from men due to miscommunication.

What’s your favourite part about your body and why?

I actually really like my arms, aside from the obvious that they let me hold and pick up things, they’re nicely toned and they are the home to all of my tattoos.

What message do you have for those who are struggling with body confidence/self-love/weight or appearance issues? – What’s helped you in the past?

Getting to a place of acceptance can take a lot of time, especially for women- we’ve been bombarded from such a young age with what you should and shouldn’t look like, what you should and shouldn’t do with your hair and make up, what colours you should wear at what time of year and really I feel it’s all BS to make you feel crap about yourself so you buy more stuff. Too much has been dictated unfairly. I personally found inner peace with this issue after challenging myself to do 90 days of yoga. Not only did I tone up and gain strength, it also helped me accept myself more from a physicality point of view. The secondary roll on effect of the routine - mindfulness and focus - has helped me become more calm and realise the importance of stopping the ceaseless amounts of thoughts in my brain.

Praise You isn’t just about raising awareness for eating disorders and celebrating body positivity – it’s also shining the light on female support in the creative community, in saying that, what does inclusivity and its importance mean to you?

Inclusivity to me means communication, being open and creating space for each other. We’re so slowly shaking off this BS “tall poppy syndrome” where we live in this weird limbo of being happy for someone while still holding onto jealousy over their success. I’m starting to see growth as well as being directly involved with projects that create space for creatives to show their work. I aim to be as supportive as possible without compromising my values or truth. I think you get to a place of being completely supportive when you’re comfortable in the work you create and put out into the world.

What inspires your style of art? What are the best ways you've found that have refined your practice?

Colour, shape, light, movement, people, faces, energy, emotion. I find I create the best work when I want to- forcing myself to create results in half cooked ideas and it feels ‘off’. Constant observation of things around me enables me to continually add to my internal visual library. I recently spent three weeks in Japan - to be exposed to a completely different visual culture has really reignited creativity in me.

Since Praise You started in 2017 we’ve started to see a shift in the conversation with creative women, being more open about their journey and eliminating competition - Have you noticed this yourself and have you ever dealt with competition?

I still see it unfortunately and it really fucks me off. The only person I want to be in competition with is my past self. It is really and truly pointless to be jealous or in competition with other people, we should all be working towards lifting each other up and helping where we can. Bitching and talking behind peoples’ backs is so highschool and it needs to stop- if you can’t vocalise your grievances to someones face, then find a way to say it eloquently or don’t say it at all. We’re coexisting in a small area, word travels fast!

How do you deal with the dreaded comparison bug?

I try to focus on my goals and creating work that will make me happy.

Do you have any mantras or words to live by?

If it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a fuck no.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

What advice what you give your 18-year-old self if you could?

Don’t be so damn serious! Nothing is that dire! Things change all the time and most of the time you’re in charge of that change.

How has your work and practice developed over time?

I feel more accepting of the fact that I don’t have a dedicated style. I have a few, the FUTURE=FEMALE style, my digital portrait style, a few other line styles, an analogue painting style. I’ve become more interested in recent years of creating rules in my work i.e F=F style is basically mono line, two colours, same typeface and usually symmetrical. For ‘Exquisitely Obscene’ my solo show in Feb 2019- it was colourful gradients, hyper realism, female faces and a purposeful juxtaposition. I find that creating rules and guidelines gives just the right amount of restriction that in collections of work it creates cohesion.

What or who have been some of your main creative influences?

Piet Parra, Stefan Sagmeister, Bulletin (NY Shop), Dave Shrigley, Pat Rogasch, IAMDOOOM, hey&ho, Adam J Kurtz, Niqui Toldi, Degoey Planet, Brett Piva, CHAPTR, Deus Ex Machina, Makers Take, The Quiet Life, Young Jerks,

Who’s work are you currently loving right now and why?

Shyanne Trutwein- she just continually comes up with the goods, her style is so cool and I’m sure it’s damn hard work but she makes everything look so effortless.

Nelson Nokela - there’s something so special about his work; the colours and line style are just perfect in my mind. Typographically he nails this beautiful nostalgic feeling while mixing it with these insane illustrations.

Your dream job/project/collaboration – tell us about it? (Have you already worked your dream job?)

Any large company (probably street fashion because I can’t walk past a sick print shirt) that has time, resource and money to spend on creativity - I reckon working for NIKE, Santa Cruz, MAMBO, Obey.

What the biggest risk you’ve taken to date? What were the pressure points and was it worth it?

I find I don’t really take big risks, just small incremental steps - I’m a bit cautious sometimes! I do a lot of user testing and asking peoples opinions before making decisions- this is not to say I’m completely swayed by or weight other peoples opinions higher than my own - but by getting different perspectives I find I have more well rounded choice.

Website: www.amycrow.com

Instagram: @amycrow_design / @futurefemale_friends

Email: hello@amycrow.com

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