Grace Pickering 23 London
Categories: Fashion, Photographer

Posted: 18th January 2015

If you picked up issue 6 of Mushpit; firstly, congratulations you clever sausage and secondly, yeah, we know eyes-you-could-swim-in babe on the cover- that’s Grey’s Anatomy enthusiast, Grace Pickering, the latest addition to the clique.

Whilst Grace’s photography might make you feel like kicking your Kodak into the Thames (please, don’t) her documentary series of images are a nostalgic love letter to the great American road trip; speckled pictures of Gay Pride in New York City, dusty basketball courts, Venice beach panoramas and spindly Ferris wheels. But really we can’t imagine Grace anywhere else besides residing somewhere in a leafy garden in London Town. Her intimate portraits of girls in their bedrooms (think dusky light, cotton socks, flushed cheeks and mermaid hair) are an on-the-sofa, under-the-covers ode to English beauty and eccentricity and will have you re-thinking your largely MDF based bedroom scheme.

While we were busy with Bobby Greenland down at the leisure centre, Grace was busy in her school’s dark room, assembling and dissembling cameras. There she discovered ‘Nan Goldin’s images of her friends dying of AIDs in hospital beds, and young men and women enjoying a post coital cig. Richard Billingham's 'Rays a laugh' series showing his dysfunctional family with such care and tenderness and Testino's snapshots of the sexy untouchable elite smoke and mirrors life’.

Grace certainly wouldn’t approve of you ditching your camera and being so damned dour about your artistic prowess. Why do we know this, apart from being brilliantly perceptive? Ummm, because she runs online zine, Don’t Get Culty (duh) which plans to put an end to our generation’s tendency to write things off from the get-go and use the word ‘lame’ a lot, especially when it comes to discussing art. Don't Get Culty (the name came from late night chats with co-founder Joseph Sweeney while watching Sopranos and is a play on Paulie Walnuts’ immortal, ‘don’t get cunty’ line) isn't another spare-me 'creative platform' that you should name drop and seldom visit, as the tag line reads it's 'more conversational than critical'. Expect interviews with burgeoning artists, gallery profiles and exhibition reviews. Our favourite regular feature is Pickering’s Pix; a personal highlight is Grace’s infallible rating-scheme for cafés, based on the quality of their custard tarts. Amen to that.

When we asked Grace what her biggest career moment to date has been her answer was basically heartbreaking; "When I was 12, I used to love this French shop Jennyfer. It was a bit like Claire’s Accessories but very rural France. I was obsessed with the French girls of the campaigns, with their low-rise jeans and denim wristbands. This year I was shot for Jennyfer. The clothes were awful and we did it in my house, but I gave 12 year old brace-face-me a high five." Proof that if you keep fighting the good fight, you will get that Claire’s Accessories modelling contract. We die.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO:Freelance photographer, Occasional model, Co-founder of online creative platform dontgetculty.com and greys anatomy enthusiast. LA/London/True mancunian.HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU IN A SENTENCE?I'd like to think they would need more than a sentence to agonise in great detail over what they adore about me, in reality I think they'd probably just say 'she always has gum and cigarettes'WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?Driving through Sun Valley in Los Angeles, where I used to reside, in my friend Sophia's white Camry practicing our harmonies to Bonnie Tyler. LA is like a second home, I am always happy on some kind of boulevard.FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT/SHOP/HANG OUT?I am a serial internet shopper and really much prefer using ebay, plus my housemates and I have finally acquired the perfect lighting in our house and have had central heating installed so as unadventurous as it sounds my bedroom is the best place to hang out right now. WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE?In terms of work, I would say it's very important to try strike the right balance between humble and confident. Don't be a horror, if you make good work it will talk for itself but don't hide behind your hands every time someone asks you a question. You got this, BELIEVE.WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?I don't really have a motto but I do believe in the power of giving yourself a pep talk, I often find myself in front of the mirror giving it my best "come on girl, you can do this" etc Giving yourself the means to feel powerful is vital to being happy with your work and eliminating self doubt, whatever the exact words you say to aid that is irrelevant. Just keep bloody saying them!WHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?My first words as a child were "Oh Dear" which I still utter a million times a day. Says a lot really.SONG TO BE PLAYING AS YOU ENTER THE CLUB?"Nights on Broadway" by Candi Staton. Nothing like entering a club to sad sexy disco to get you in the mood Or "Train in Vain" The Clash for great hand clapping.BIGGEST LIE YOU WERE TOLD/THAT YOU TOLD AS A KID?I was told by a teacher that Iceland was actually really warm and sunny and originally named Niceland, but Greenland hated them so told all the other countries it's actually really cold and shit so don't bother visiting let's just call it Iceland. I genuinely kind of believed this until I was like 17.... WHAT THREE THINGS WOULD BE ON YOUR RIDER?A bottle of champagne, a pair of green aviator shades and a Wispa gold. AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Francesca Allen
Why: Hugely talented and dedicated photographer, she impresses me daily.
Contact Grace Pickering