Prive

GRETCHEN ROEHRS

Art and fashion are definitely the coolest BFF couple to beat. Speaking of #squadgoals , being a photographer seems to help getting some cool peeps within your own squad. But if you’re more into music, here’s a missy whose squad you’d want to be a part of too. 

Gretchen Roehrs began to draw long before she could speak, and she still considers her illustrations as the best way to communicate to the world around her – her 60k Instagram followers included. Growing up far away from both sophisticated food and fashion, she managed to get closer to both by moving to New York, which she ended up leaving for the West Coast, where’s she is currently based. Despite illustrating still being a hobby of hers – which keeps her creative while working as technical designer for mobile apps – she does dream of turning her creative work into a full time job, one day. Following the steps of artists such as Arcimboldo and Pierre Amedee Varin, Gretchen has developed her very own technique to portray fashion through new forms and shapes, pairing two of everyone’s basic needs – to eat and to be clothed – and making them shine of a whole new light. Warning: you might need to re-think the potential of your five-a-day.

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Gretchen, what is art for you?
Design is everything around you but art is something higher, something that makes you step back and reflect, maybe even gasp a little.

And what is fashion?
Fashion is when form and function collide. It’s taking a basic need – to be clothed – and turning it into something beautiful and desirable, which even makes you feel more desirable than you already are.

Tell us something about the innovative way you’ve found to combine them and add food to the picture.
I have combined another kind of everyday basic need – fruit and vegetables – with a few lines and made the eye see both things in a new light.

Tell us something about your background.
I come from a small farm town in the middle of the country – far away from art, fashion and sophisticated good food – but that didn’t stop me from dreaming and reading about the rest of the world.

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When did you first begin to experiment with food and why?
Moving to California introduced me to new and exciting produce, which eventually inspired me to start doodling around with it, like I do with more things.

Would you consider yourself more a fashionista or a foodie?
I would say both. Fashion is important to me as a form of expression, but food is what nourishes me and inspires me to try new things everyday.

Which one is your favourite food to eat and which one to work with?
I love eating anything with a lot of butter in it – as one does – but I would say that bananas are probably what I have the most fun working with.

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You’ve got more than 60k of followers on Instagram only and have been featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Man Repeller. Did you expect your work to catch this much attention when you first started?
Not at all. I only began to do my creative work to make my friends laugh. Now, I just have a lot more friends that I am making laugh everyday and I cannot think of anything better than that.

What excites you the most of working in the fashion industry?
The personalities in the fashion world are unrivaled. The drama, the flair, it all has something intoxicating about it. On the other hand, drama and flair can be pretty exhausting to deal with too.

Explain us the process of choosing certain foods to portray certain fashion items.
It’s a bit bi-directional: sometimes the food begs to be contorted into something fun that also resembles certain items, sometimes I just happen to need drawing around a fun piece of fruit.

Tell us what inspires you.
I’m inspired by the sights and sounds of the cities I visit and the food I eat which is cooked by brilliant chefs. To me, they are a fabulous kind of artist that create amazing works that should be appreciated by everyone.

How do you see your art evolving and – eventually – changing in the future?
I want to explore my oil painting skills more and focus on portraits too. The work I do with fruits and vegetables will always be something fun to keep me playful, though.

You’re currently based in San Francisco. What do you enjoy the most of living in the West Coast?
The West Coast is full of every type of adventure you could imagine, all within an hour’s drive off San Francisco. Every weekend is spent doing something creative and exciting, which in a way is rejuvenating: it’s very different from the hustle and bustle of New York life.

Where do you see yourself in a five-year time?
I would adore to be able to turn illustrating into a full time job and have a small studio in Paris to work out of, but that must be the one dream of every artist, am I right?

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All images courtesy of Gretchen Roehrs.

Visit Gretchen Roehrs’ Website here.

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