She Glows is our way of celebrating inspiring women—women who distinguish themselves from the crowd. So, when we got the chance to sit down with Gretchen Röehrs—an Instagram artist whose whimsical fashion illustrations stand out against a sea of selfies—we were beyond excited.
To say that Röehrs works with a unique medium is a bit of an understatement. Forget what your mother told you about playing with your food—Gretchen has managed to turn this "bad habit" into a bona fide art form! The San Francisco designer has taken Instagram by storm with her unique illustrations, using fresh produce, meats and other eye-catching edibles to complete her fashion designs. Röehrs is an outstanding example of an innovator—one who has successfully channeled her passions into a meaningful, truly beautiful art form. Read on to learn more about this super fashionable foodie!
What is your background in fashion illustration, and what inspired you to start incorporating food into your sketches?
My formal education is in fashion design and product development, so it was all about focusing on taking elements of fine art and making them into practical, everyday products. I was really drawn to the artful way restaurants like Noma plate their food, and I wanted to try my own spin on it.
Food and fashion. How are these two seemingly different things connected? Do you think they have parallels?
Food and fashion are both necessities that we interact with on a daily basis. We must all eat to nourish our bodies, and clothe ourselves to protect and present our bodies. Having the means to not only satisfy our basic needs, but also be playful and enjoy these things is a real reason to get up every morning. I take as much pleasure eating a decadent soft boiled egg as I do wearing a silk dress.
We have a chicken and an egg question for you: when you see a piece of food, does it inspire an illustration, or do you sketch first and incorporate food later?
I’m usually inspired by the organic shape of a vegetable or fruit and my mind draws in the other elements.
What kind of foods are you drawn to, and which do you find the most beautiful?
I think artichokes are the most amazing things to come out of the ground. They are more beautiful than roses, in my eyes.
So, we've established that you like to PLAY with your food. What's your relationship with food outside of art? Do you enjoy cooking, and do you consider yourself a connoisseur of good food?
Moving to California gave me a whole new appreciation for local, fresh food. As a cook, it actually means I have to do a lot less, because the produce is so delicious without any cooking! It’s really exciting to dine at restaurants like Saison, Gjelina, and Lazy Bear because not only do they have the best produce, but also incredible talent!
How has art shaped and influenced you as a person, and as your career as a creative director?
Art is the reason I go to work every day. My one instinct in life is to try to make the everyday more beautiful.