The Visual Journals of Grechen
The Visual Journals of Grechen by Tomie S (ManIger of Igers Seattle)
I’m very excited to introduce you to Grechen aka @ticklyscratches from Instagram. Grechen’s love of the city of Tacoma and the vehicles that she captures made me an instant fan of her photography. G & I connected online and I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Tacoma Instagramers walk in 2011. Grechen is not only an amazing photographer she is funny, compassionate and creative. Wildly talented in drawing and this girl can knit! For the JUXT interview we met at “Gateway to India” (in Tacoma, of course) and enjoyed good food and good conversation. I hope you like reading this feature as much as I liked writing about my very talented friend.
T: Tomie G: Grechen
T: Grechen what drew you to InstaGram and mobile photography?
G: I thought Instagram was a camera/photo editing app. I took a picture of my cat Lucy then I closed the app and forgot about it. A couple of months later I read about Instagram and went back to the app. I learned about the hashtags and started to create my own online community. I was able to meet some of my online community at my first Instagram photowalk (Wright Park, Tacoma WA).
T: This was the first time that I got to meet you in real life. When we were walking you said “I feel like I’ve been wandering around alone and I found my lost tribe.” I completely related to that comment. I know you met a very “special someone” on a photowalk. Would you like to share that news?
G: I met my fiancé Mellow aka @threetree at a photowalk in Seattle. The thing about Instagram and the Internet in general is how you sort of get to pick and choose the people you’d like to get to know. Mellow & I had this first thing in common which is taking photos and sharing them… along with connecting with other people in that way.
You know, sometimes the first time you really talk to someone you just know? You know that they are going to be a part of your life. You may not know how but you just know. That’s how it was with Mellow. I got lucky. Right place, right time.
T: I have always admired your ink. I can’t help but notice the latest addition.
G: This is a tattoo that I drew and sent to my friend (Tacoma tattoo artist Katie Williams at House of Tattoo). Everything about this piece represents Mellow & I. The number 3, kraken, hearts… and I loved it so much I put a bird on it.
Mellow and Grechen “hand in hand”
T: When did you get interested in photography?
G: My first camera was a Kodak and I was 10 years old. I haven’t been without a camera since. I can’t remember when I didn’t love photography. My grandma had a box of pictures in her attic and when I was little I would look through the box of pictures and wonder about my genealogy and what my relative’s stories were. When I see something that captures my eye I want to hold onto it. Taking the picture makes me feel like it really happened and when I look back at those pictures I feel the same emotions that I did when I took the picture.
T: I can see your love of VWs in the images you capture. What is it about VWs that you love so much?
G: I was destined to love VWs. I came home from the hospital in a 1973 VW bus. VWs are a family vehicle tradition. My grandma had a red VW beetle and my dad always had a VW. Our family would take road trips in a beetle from Mississippi to Washington State. I remember driving in Arizona and it was so hot we would spray ourselves with a spray bottle. I still have a VW and Mellow recently won a beetle in a raffle. I think I’m destined to always have one. I love their personality.
T: I found you by searching Tacoma hashtags on InstaGram. What is it about Tacoma that you love?
G: What I love about Tacoma is the diversity, history and the art community. When I first moved to WA I lived in Seattle and the eastside. Circumstances brought me to Tacoma and the stories that I heard made me a little leery. Once I moved to Tacoma and started discovering the city, I couldn’t help but fall in love. April will mark 12 years here.
T: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
G: I don’t really have a “favorite subject.” Some of the things that I love to photograph are flowers, trees, and cars. I want to capture what I’m doing so I can share those moments and also to remember how it made me feel. Photography is like a visual journal for me. If someone likes to see the moments that I capture it makes me feel really good. I love seeing something, photographing it and having the image turn out exactly the way I saw it in my mind.
T: Could you share with us one of your favorite pictures and describe your process?
G: Every single thing about this scene drew me in. I mean, seriously? Two amazing cars and some funky art! It was practically begging for me to snap some pics. Spending time in Georgetown always results in some pretty groovy pics. I used the Hipstamatic app which I have learned to love. Sometimes I see the pic how I want it to be through a specific film/lens setting I have saved or a filter from another app. It’s pretty blissful when they come out just how I expect them to.
T: Thank you so much Grechen. I absolutely adore you and am thankful that you agreed to do this interview. I wanted to share one last picture of yours. This picture was accidentally captured at the LeMay Car Museum on opening day. We were standing in line waiting for the doors to open when you accidentally dropped your phone. This is what was captured mid drop. Talk about serendipity!