Meet The Artist Who Brought You Pop Dolls
If you are looking for the perfect gift and love art, then look no further! Talk Editor caught up with Charlotte Posner, a London-based contemporary artist, known for her vivacious hand-painted Pop Dolls artwork and beautiful illustrations.
A graduate in Fine Art from The Chelsea College of Art and Design, Charlotte uses her art to transcend barriers that divide us and bring joy. In 2014, she created a Twitter storm with the launch of her vibrant Pop Dolls paintings. Coca-Cola, Walls, Kellogg's, Nails INC and Disney all complimented the work and one piece later became the creative for the Magnum UK social media platforms.
Charlotte has been featured as in-house artist at Louis Vuitton, Crème de la Mer and Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido and has exhibited in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Japan, New York and Singapore. Her work has also been showcased in various art institutions, such as Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Tate Modern or Saatchi Drawing Competition.
In this interview, Charlotte shares how she became a full-time artist, why she thinks dyslexia is a challenge and a gift, her best pieces of advice for aspiring artists, and much more!
Charlotte, how did you get to be a full-time artist?
All I have ever wanted to do is paint and draw, it’s part of who I am. Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist. As a child I was diagnosed with dyslexia so found some subjects a struggle, but I was always painting and drawing.
I was trained in oils at school aged 14 by my teacher Mr. Jepson and thanks to him I fell in love with art even more. I then went on to study at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
After College I created my first Pop Doll paintings, posted them onto social media and I got a huge reaction. From there it turned into a bit of a social media frenzy with Coca-Cola, Walls, Kellogg's, Nails INC and Disney all complimenting my work and the rest is history!
After some years as an artist, I felt strongly that there was an opportunity to take the art from something to be viewed on a wall to something we interact with everyday. I fortuitously met entrepreneur, Lady Jeanne Davies, thanks to a mutual love of art, her having seen me on a TV program about the Royal Academy of Art's Summer Exhibition. We put together a team of amazing women and launched my gifting collection for Winter 2018 in Brown Thomas, Dublin.
What challenges have you faced on your journey and how do you deal with them?
I truly believe that dyslexia has been both my challenge and my gift. Charity organisation "Made by Dyslexia" recently posted a quote from a speaker at its Global Summit “dyslexia is the biggest single drivers of ingenuity, imagination and scientific achievement” and this rang very true for me, as I believe it is because of my dyslexia that I unlocked my creativity. The downside of dyslexia is I’m forever losing my phone and paint brushes!
Every artist has periods of time of self-doubt or creative block, it’s part of being an artist but I don’t let myself entertain negativity. Sometimes all I need is a walk outside or trip to a gallery to give me fresh ideas perhaps. A recent artwork entitled Crisps was literally inspired by a visit to the local Tesco for a bag of Monster munch! Inspiration comes from everywhere.
You have been featured as in-house artist at Louis Vuitton, Harrods, Nicholas Kirkwood, Crème de la Mer & Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido. What are some of the ways artists can connect with brands to collaborate?
I believe everyone has a different approach to other brands. When I first started drawing Pop Dolls, I walked into the LV Bond Street store and gifted my artwork to the manager with my business card. I've now done many collaborations with them, building a long-lasting relationship.
Sometimes brands can find you on social media and through word of mouth. I feel really lucky to be able to work with the brands I love and inspire the next generation of artists to do so.
How does a day in life of an artist look like?
I start the day off with a cup of coffee (in my favourite Charlotte Posner biscuit pop doll mug, of course!) and then go to my office or studio. I spend much of the day switching between my artist hat and my business hat! When I work in the studio, I tend to go into my zone, turn the phone off and just allow myself to full immerse in what I’m working on. One thing is a constant in my every day, I will be covered in paint by the end of the day.
Your beautiful Pop Doll paintings created a Twitter storm in 2014 and are still very popular, how did the idea come about?
The Pop Dolls started five years ago when I was creating fashion paintings, I started to paint five (my lucky number) women with ice cream cone bodies and ice cream flavoured heads but incorporating the beautiful lines of fashion illustration. I posted them on social media and I got a huge reaction and it went from there!
How do you find inspiration for new projects?
I get inspiration from everywhere; people, places, nature and popular culture from all over the world. I also try to make sure I’m out and about, going to different countries, events, experiencing, living and being open-minded to new opportunities.
My current collection features an art series with a playful twist on the traditional fairground carousel that, for me, conjures nostalgic memories of childhood. From here, I like to play with a theme, working this carousel subtly through some other piece. For example, in the scarf on my sweetie darling artwork on the Sweet Tin and the dress on Madame Carousel artwork.
What would you do if you weren't an artist?
It’s actually hard for me to imagine as it’s so intrinsic to who I am. If I wasn’t an artist I would most likely have been in the creative arts.
Do you have a mentor?
My business partner Jeanne Davies is a mentor for me. She’s a creative herself and started life as a fashion designer and is now an entrepreneur. She exudes positivity and is very spiritual so I find it great to bounce ideas off her. We met fortuitously through a mutual love of art and I know she would say everything happens for a reason.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for someone out there who reads this and wonders how to make a living as an artist?
1. Life is too short not to live your dreams but to do that you have to give it everything. To support my art in the early years, I needed to work but 9-5 full-time roles left no time or energy to create. Instead, I worked part-time roles that allowed me large chunks of time in the studio to really immerse myself in my work.
2. Stay true to who you are as an artist and produce work you love first and foremost.
3. Show people you work. Learn to not be afraid of what other think and put yourself and your work out there. It’s the only way to grow, although it can be hard at times! Thankfully today the internet provides such a great tool for that.