#KnowWhoMadeIt is a movement created to bridge the gap between consumer and producer. For the end user, the products hold much more significance and purpose. For the maker, it honors their creation and provides credit where credit is due. To explore this idea further, we are hosting a series on our blog where we interview those who create and discuss the importance of signing the work they produce. People are behind products. Let’s celebrate this! To see past #KNOWWHOMADEIT PROFILES, click here.
Meet Tyler Knott Gregson. This talented wordsmith and photographer inspires with his daily typewritten musings inscribed on found materials. We were so lucky to have Tyler write a poem inspired by the #knowwhomadeit movement and the work we do with our beneficiaries abroad, which you can enter to win on Instagram. Learn more about Tyler below!
Name: Tyler Knott Gregson
Occupation: Poet, Author, Photographer, Traveler.
Location: Helena, Montana and everywhere else
Can you tell us about how you first became interested in writing poetry?
Poetry for me has always been an escape, and a release valve. It has been how I can vanish without actually going anywhere, and purge all the extra going on inside me. It’s a necessity rather than an art for me, it’s something I MUST do, or I just may go even crazier than I already am. I started writing poetry as far back as elementary school for class projects and such, but my first poem autonomously for myself was probably around 12 years old.
How has social media influenced your work and engagement with your readers?
Without social media, I honestly don’t know where I would be right now, where my career would be, or anything that’s come after. I credit it for introducing my words to an audience of size and scale I would have never been able to reach, all over this world. It allows me to directly “know” and learn about the people that read me, it allows an honesty and transparency I don’t think has ever existed in literature and poetry, and I think it’s refreshing.
Where do you find inspiration?
I know it sounds like a cop-out, but the honest answer is Absolutely Everywhere. I love the tiny moments, the little things that people miss far too often. I love the miniature things that I believe tell the bigger story in such a better way than the broad strokes. I love the living things around me, no matter the size or way they grow. I love Love, and the little manifestations of it. I am always, Always, inspired.
What poets are you reading right now?
I am the worst about reading modern poetry, chiefly because I’ve got a strange believe that when it comes to art, if you’re not careful you start creating it like those you learn from, or absorb. So as far as poetry, when I DO read it, which isn’t often, I mostly fall back onto my favorites…Walt Whitman, Neruda, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, and Rilke.
Many of your poems are written on a typewriter or post-it, napkin, receipt, etc. Why?
For the exact and precise reason I do not edit my poetry. For me, poetry is a snapshot of an emotional state in time. It’s a reflection of exactly how I was feeling, relating, and enduring whatever was going on in my life at that time. To do this, and stay honest with it, I always needed to just write on what I had, when I felt it, whatever was around me. I happen to be surrounded by old broken books, receipts, and scraps, so they always became the vehicle for getting out what was stuck inside.
In addition to your poetry, your photography is also stunning. Do you see any similarities or differences in the way you approach these two art forms?
The two mediums for me have always been intrinsically linked. What I cannot say with a photograph, I write, what I cannot say with words, I photograph, but both seem to share the common thread of trying to show how small details are often more grand than the bigger picture, and then trying to reduce the big, grand, life changing moments, down to the smaller details. I want to flip flop the range of each response, and I think I try in both arts.
You sign each of your poems. How is the act of signing something you created significant to you?
To me, signing it just feels like an ending. It gives it an endpoint, a way of stopping that thought so I can continue on to another. For me, the signature makes it personal, real, and tangible, that it was made by a human on this silly little planet spinning through space. That when you shrink it down from space, zooming in, and in, and in, there’s this one strange guy in Montana that just so happened to feel that emotion on that day, at that time, and poured it all out.
What about when you see a signature on a KK intl. product?
Exactly this. That someone’s hands, someone’s skills, someone’s ART, has found it’s way to grow taller and spread further than they’d ever imagine. That THEY exist, and have a story, and so many wonderful chapters that we should all read. We are all little bits of a bigger story, and seeing that signature reminds you that you, like they, are just a tiny piece of a much bigger whole, but that we can all touch.
Who signed your ‘Pocket Sweater'?
From one creator to another, what would you say to her?
First, and foremost, Thank You. That what she is doing is beautiful and important and that I am sad that I do not know her personally. That I want to know what she’s afraid of, what she wishes, what she sings when she works, that I want to know if her fingers are calloused from the work she does or if she laughs enough. That I wish I was a part of her story now that she’s a part of mine.