Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

Blog

Call Me Jack

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Someone said to me the other day "I feel like you do a million things".

While this isn't the first time I've heard this, it is the first time I've decided to actively think about this statement and I've broken it down into three categories:

  1. Why I do what I do

  2. How do other people relate to what I do

  3. What is my end goal

There are two core reasons why I do what I do. The first stems from a place of fear and the second from a place of growth. After finishing my Dip of Make Up I was working at a soul destroying counter job in the middle of Carindale mall. I had freshly moved out of home with my boyfriend of the time and there were real issues to contend with like rent, food and being a general adult. One of the girls I worked with kept banging on about becoming a hairdresser. In the beginning I thought it was honestly ridiculous, but somehow over the course of two weeks she actually managed to change my perspective from "why would you even consider that?" to "maybe it could be cool".

Serendipitously about a week later a friend called me out of the blue telling me that Bulimba Toni&Guy Salon were looking for an apprentice and she thought I should apply. To keep this relatively short I'll skip to the part where I got the job and had to move back home because apprenticeship wages can't afford you a cardboard box in a public carpark to live let alone eat basic food groups. My complete lack of an exit strategy from our dilapidated rental meant I had the pleasure of a one man battle against the real estate resulting in the loss of 5k and half a head of hair from stress. It was at this point I felt a genuine fear about how far I was going to get in life before I got stuck again. My solution was to learn as many skills as I could in order to be adaptable, valuable and employable, therefore circumventing these negative events from ever happening again.

Even though I have a lot of opinions and varying degrees of experience in a few fields, I actually don't love talking about all of the things I do in a general context. I do however like being relatable for social or work based situations. I currently work for myself and I don't see everything I do as separate entities. If I "chunk" my work and hobbies they would sit under one category- creative. Hairdressing is creative. Illustration is creative. Design is creative. Making in general is a creative pursuit. By cross pollinating these skills, it gives me the ability to be versatile. Skills I learnt as a hairdresser also work in design. Maybe you're asking how? Because we're talking about the same application of intention- helping someone achieve a goal. The operative words here are, help / achieve / goal. Without a context I could push those into any career path- health, law, business etc. Hence why I find it odd sometimes when I am often questioned about the apparently significant leap from hairdressing to design. This is just one example, but you get the gist.

Importantly, my intention is never to be intimidating or threatening. While most are generally supportive and curious about the breadth of my work/interests, some appear confused as to why I do so many things and where I fit them all in to a week. I'm well aware that it doesn't look like a linear career trajectory and this seems to stir unease in some folk. 

As the saying goes, jack of all trades master of none. I feel this very deeply and as a result I've become so conscious of my limitations. I have a handful of mentors who are very much masters of their trades. They are disciplined, dedicated and driven in pursuing their path. I have been envious in the past knowing full well that one of my limitations lies in my inability to keep sole focus for extended periods of time. I have a tendency to grow bored therefore craving new information and stimulus.

So what is the end goal? I honestly don't know. I don't think I care for the notion because I feel that's not the point. The point lies in the lessons we can learn from collecting experiences on our individual journeys. Michael Wolff believes there are three muscles of creativity- curiosity, appreciation which in turn enable imagination. I write because I want to start a conversation. I dance because I'm curious about movement and appreciate expressionism. I make art and write music with the intention of connecting with others. I'm a hairdresser and make up artist because I want to make a difference, even if it's small. I design because I want to learn to communicate effectively and simply. I'm fortunate that I had the opportunity to invest time and resources into my passions and some have created legitimate job opportunities. So call me jack, because I love all of my trades.