Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

Blog

Second Skin

I've done solo shows before, in fact I've had I think four in the last 12 months. 

But this one is different, this one has white walls- it's actually a gallery and there are adult refreshments. In many ways this is what I've been aiming for this whole time. Maverick Hair + Art Space is a boutique hair salon and art gallery in Coolangatta. 

It's felt like a really long three months honestly. I first started thinking about this idea in late April which was real late to the game since I'd had my booking with Maverick on the Gold Coast for mid August about two months prior. I had thought I would do another body of screen printed works, or maybe look at how I could break down some of my portraits into screens but it just didn't seem enough. Having a hairdressing background I know how close fashion and hair sit together. In my mind it made sense to use leather jackets, it felt like a natural canvas. 

Sourcing the jackets, finding models (who were really just my hot AF friends), sorting out my time, juggling shit and learning a new skill- leather painting was awesome. It's largely like actual painting only you have minor inconvenient stuff to deal with like movement. It's skin, of course it moves you might be saying, but look, I didn't process that part. I've never done 3D work. There's just something about throwing myself into the fucking deep end.

Figuring out how to shoot these jackets was really interesting, I'm lucky Rachael is amazing and guided me through the whole process. Getting the chance to collaborate with someone like Rach and all my awesome models really brought more to the project in my mind. As well as solid deadlines.

I came up with the concept of "Second Skin", double meaning I guess since leather is a form of skin but the main focus was about how we use clothing to accentuate or hide our personalities. I may have gotten a bit lost in the process as we know it's easy to do but I'm really stoked that I took parts of my design process from college across to form a solid body of work.

I'm nervous about opening night and installing and how it will be received. Lately I've been a bit overwhelmed with how I feel about what I'm putting out into the world. I know I just need to keep going regardless of these thoughts and at some point I will get through it.

 

For those who have been questioning me about my leather painting process here it is:

1. Jackets- I found these via Gumtree, op shops, friends

2. Paint- I use Angelus Leather Paint because it is an actual leather paint and it will not fade or wear off. DO NOT use acrylic, it won't stick. You can purchase limited Angelus paints from Laced in the City

3. Extra stuff- I also used Ironlak Pump-action pens, they are pretty sturdy but as some of you have said, the nibs are lame and you have to crack them and soak them to get the best out of them

 

For those who have questioned me in the past about putting on gallery shows here's some red hot tips:

1. Be organised, know your intention. Write that stuff down where it's visible all the time so you don't lose sight of the end goal

2. Make work that suits a space. Or find a space that suits your work. I chose my canvasses partly because of the space I'll be showing in- the parallels between fashion and hair, the 3D nature of clothing etc

3. Don't do it for the money. But also I hope you don't go broke. Stuff is expensive, like printing. I've printed a few extra pieces for my show and it's actually nearly cost me more than my jackets and paint! WTF right. Give yourself a budget or spend like crazy then make a break even point.

4. Make work you are proud to stand next to. Don't rush your process.

5. Tell every mofo about what you're doing because we all know without support we will all wither and turn into broke, depressed husks in the gutter

So maybe you got something out of all that. If not, here's your takeaway- come to Second Skin, Saturday August 19th, Maverick Hair + Art Space, Coolangatta. Come for the art stay for a beer. x

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