Meet Miss Charlotte Posner — London’s contemporary bespoke illustrator whose glam Pop Dolls have conquered the city’s galleries and conceptual shopping spaces. Whether it’s a proud row of sophisticated fashion Pop Doll icons, or elegant eye candy for the foodies, the funky hand-painted illustrations, mimicking commodity culture, branding and fashion’s exuberance in a stylish and satirical way, are simply a joyous celebration of the (otherwise) mundane everyday objects. All around us.
Recently: C. Posner brought the era of fun, customised illustration back at Daisy Green Food, Seymour Street, on May 11th, and even three splashes of sticky prosecco accidentally poured over couldn’t stop us from admiring the majestic Pop Doll artwork, paired in perfect harmony with the trendy Peonica London summer collection handbags (above).
At Savant, we always love personal stories the most. Tell me more about your artistic background and key influences. How did your journey of becoming an illustrator begin?
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for expressing myself through creativity. My academic capabilities were not always my strongest asset and being artistic allowed me to strive and achieve in the one area that bought me happiness. From the age of 14, Mr. Jepson, my art teacher, taught me how to create using oil paint, which is where my love for art grew deeper. I spent 4 years studying at Chelsea Collage of Art and Design, which also included a semester at Emily Carr in Vancouver.
For the past 6 years I have worked on my paintings from Limehouse Art Foundation Studios in East London, competing in competitions and exhibiting my artwork nationally and internationally. I’ve had my work accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, I participated at the Tate Modern. I also won a Saatchi drawing prize, and have been featured on the BBC Culture Show. Three years ago I decided to quit my part time job to become a full time artist. ‘If i don’t do it now i never will.’ I haven’t looked back since…
What trends and techniques are prevalent in your field of illustration today?
The main technique I use for my illustrations is pen and ink drawing, starting my work by sketching first in pencil, I then use dip pen and black ink going over the rough sketch with solid neat lines. I then paint in the colour with acrylic or watercolour and touch up in pen again. I also use collage and jewels to accessorise the paintings. I want my paintings to be stylish, bold and easy to live with.
How long does it take you to complete an illustration? Have you also experienced the so-called 'creative block' periods when you are unable to produce new art at all? How do you overcome such periods?
The process of creating my painting from start to finish depends on the size of the painting. They range from a day for the very small drawing or sketch to two-three weeks for the very large. I occasionally get the creative blocks, but I find that less thinking and more doing helps! Working on a few paintings at the same time keeps my imagination flowing and keep me interested in my work.
It seems like you get the inspiration from the most unexpected places - like the row of Magnum dolls, and many other commercial brand and figure led influences. How did you get into this niche?
Everything around me is influential, I really stand by the quote, ‘you are what you surround yourself with’. All my artwork is based on current trends, life events and all my travels.
The first ‘Pop Doll’ painting I ever created were the ice cream girls. I posted the dolls on social media and I received more ‘likes’ than I have ever had! From then on my ideas grew and little did I know I had my theme. From ‘foodie dolls’ to ‘designer dolls’, my work was slowly but surely taking off. I started to receive interest from brands, such as Magnum, Coke, Walls, Kellogg, Nails INK, and Magnum UK featured me on their summer campaign.
My vision for the future is to stick to the same theme, whilst growing my style and keeping my work fresh and interesting.
Why should we appreciate bespoke illustrations today?
Making art is being totally in the present. It is a full process of taking your time, concentrating and using your imagination. Everything is becoming much more digital and easily accessible today. I believe that, ‘Good art is like a designer bag, you keep it and it never loses it value.’ My paintings are only increasing in value as my work has become more popular.
What's your opinion on promoting your work at concept store events, such as the Fofolles Popup on Kings Road, Chelsea, in perfect harmony with other ‘brands’, be it artists or fashion makers? Could it be that it creates a better connection with your art when exhibited in a conceptual space?
I think all exposure is great, having a pop-up store on the Kings Road was fantastic for brand awareness and getting my art seen by a young, trendy audience and surrounded by other luxury brands.
Why is it that many artists today decide to sell their work only through social media, and not in galleries anymore? In this case, what could be our potential loss as artists and consumers of art?
I believe the reason for this is that the rentals for gallery space in central London are financially prohibiting. I would agree that a gallery is the best place to exhibit you artwork because this is the only venue that encourages the speculative purchaser that buys on impulse.
Who are your favourite illustrators?
My favourite illustrators are Harry Clarke, Léon Samoilovitc Bakst and Richard Dadd.
Who would you expect to have their home decorated with your wonderful illustrations?
I am extremely fortunate to have acquired such a wonderful audience of all ages. My clients leave it up to me to design what I feel, for commissions they give me the theme and idea and I go ahead and create. I like having the freedom to experiment with colour and style, to give the client the painting they want. My work is hanging all over the world - starting from London, Paris, New York to Brazil! Art is an international language and thereby appreciated all over the world.
Find the above and other bespoke, limited edition Pop Doll prints -