My name is Charlotte Posner, I am 30 years old. I am currently typing this up on the plane coming home form a month in Italy where I have been inspired by the local scenery to broaden my creative horizons. I am creative and addicted to making and creating art. I first started drawing and painting as a very small child. My earliest memories are of moving my parents furniture around to create different space in the lounge. When they went out for dinner it was my mission to push and pull the furniture round so when they returned they saw a different room. In the same way i create space in a painting or on canvas. I create different visions in each of my paintings using shape and form and colour in unusual and unexpected ways.
For my recent bodies of work i get inspired by everything and anything around me. From people to places to objects. my head is always filled with new ideas and thoughts. I find the more i create the more I’m compelled to create.
I was trained in oils at secondary school by a fantastic teacher Mr Jepson. From 14 we used oil paint at school. So oils are my favourite medium with which to paint. When creating my Pop Dolls, i paint in Acrylics which I started using three years ago and found to be the perfect medium due to their quick drying properties and non toxic odours.
At the beginning of a project I think of the subject I am going to paint, I then sketch it out in pencil, then add the paint first. Previously I used to draw in pen and ink first but I found that when i drew in ink first then painted over the top I used to have to go over the ink again as the paint would cover some of the solid ink marks. So now I paint the colour in first. I work very freely and paint as i go, using my instinct with colours shape and forms. Then I outline with dip pen and ink, wait for it to dry and rub the remaining pencil marks out. I should mention that this ink is so extremely strong and dense I have learnt that one tiny drop is almost impossible to remove. So the difference between beautiful clean paper and the ink is a total contrast. i have to be very careful that my hands do not smudge the wet ink and that my pen doesn’t leak. I even remove my jewellery and wear short sleeves so nothing drags or smudges the paper.
When working on large paintings I use spray paint, oil paint, drawing materials, house paint. ITs a totally different head space and feeling to paint on paper than it is to paint on canvas. After art school I applied to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition which resulted in my work being exhibited there in 2013. The following year I was approached by the BBC Culture Show who requested an opportunity to follow the process of exhibiting. I was filmed by them for a month and the resulting programme was screened on BBC2 the week the 2014 Exhibition opened. Following this programme the Dean of the Royal Academy Lord Mervyn Davies and his wife Lady Jeanne Davies contacted me to arrange a meeting with regard to purchasing some of my work. Ultimately I sold them several important pieces from my collection and they have become my patrons and have given me an enormous amount of support, for which I am extremely grateful.
I started painting my Pop Dolls as I wanted have a specific theme to my work. I wanted to develop a statement style that would be recognisable specifically to me. Throughout the years at art school, university and afterwards i always tried to experiment with different themes in lots of different styles. I was continuously thinking about forming a certain style. The first pop doll I created had an ice cream theme. I took a photo of my work and posted it on social media; the response was incredible! I had the most ‘likes’ i have ever had. I was inundated with commissions in this style, and also with other suggestions of further themes. The Magnum pop dolls theme was featured heavily across the company's social media campaign for the summer season and subsequently the pop dolls have gone from strength to strength. For the past three years I have collaborated with high profile companies such as Disney, Walls Ice Cream, Coca Cola, Andrew Martin Interiors, Little Miss books, Warner Music Productions, Hilton Hotels, Havana Club, Louis Vuitton and many others.
Naturally my style is not to everyone’s liking. People can be very critical. In the early years I would listen to them and take on board their criticism. But now I am far more confident and secure in what I do. I was approached in 2014 by Paint Jam to do a public project outside Kings Cross Station. The idea was that I should paint a black and white skyline 5 metres long on canvas and then members of the public came and filled in their own interpretations of the city.
I have also travelled the world producing street art in major cities such as Los Angeles, Lisbon, New York, Tel Aviv and London amongst others. I have also been involved in community projects such as a local synagogue where I produced eight stained glass windows depicting the eight main festivals. Other projects in the pipeline are a mural for Waltham Forest District Council, a collaboration with a fashion designer in Los Angeles next month, and a digital installation at the headquarters of Andrew Martin Interior Designers main showroom in London’s West End.
My website now sells my own design of accessories such as jewellery, bags, leather jackets, hats and stationery.
I see my future as an expansion of my current position with exciting projects with greater diversity. I want to expand my repertoire to include solo exhibitions abroad, a larger product range of luxury goods and generally more diverse projects. I am open to collaborations and opportunities that are fresh and exciting and feel that these are just around the corner for me. I am on the brink of the most important time in my career and I cant wait to see what the future holds for me in the years to come.
Charlotte Posner (1987) is a London-based artist.
Posner's highly collectable and sort after original artworks are all hand painted, and form Charlotte’s latest series to explore desire in its many forms - here combining fashion, branding, commodity culture and art in a stylish and satisfying way. Sparking great response from depicted brands on social media, such as Coke, Walls, Kellogg, Nails INK, Disney. Her “Magnificent” girls were featured as the new faces of Magnum UK.
Posner has exhibited internationally, in Hong Kong, Japan, Lahore, London, Los Angeles, New York and Singapore. Closer to home her painting ‘The Theatre’ was accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, also participated in From Morning Till Night, a special event for Katerina Šedá hosted by Tate Modern, and has since had works shown at Christie’s. Last year Charlotte also qualified as a Saatchi Gallery Drawing Competition Finalist. Charlotte was featured on the BBC Culture Show. In 2017 Charlotte was signed with Warner music Productions.
Born in London England, 1987
Studied at The Princes School of Traditional Arts. 2010. 2007-2009 BA Fine Art; Chelsea College of Art and Design, with a semester at The Emily Carr University of Art and Design Vancouver(2009). 2007 Foundation Year, Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Pop Tart Exhibition- Bethnal Green- London Carlizze Pop Up - Mayfair - mixed art meets fashion - London Fofolles - Kings Road- London PosnerPeonica - Pop Up- Daisy Green - London Disney- BB-8 Great, Exhibition and Auction- White Rainbow Gallery - London Imitate Modern- London Battersea AAF -London Battersea Auction - The Garden Bridge Trust Gala - London2016
2015 Camden Image Gallery The Windsor Castle, Park Road,London Metropolitan Pavilion New York Tramp 40 Jermyn St London
2014 Fresh Hands The Forge Delancy Street Camden London The Royal Opera Arcade Pall Mall London Tramp 40 Jermyn St London Affordable Art Fair Chelsea London The Art of Interpretation in collabration with Debanhams and gather.ly. Redchurch street London Le Meridien Piccadilly Solo Show London Affordable Art Fair New York Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong
2013 Art Fair Singapore Art Fair Battersea Park London Finalist of LJCC competition Hampstead London The Culture Show BBC Royal Academy Summer Special London Art Fair Hampstead Heath London Light Gallery Imaging Interiors a collaboration between Architect Sophie Percival and Art Historian Moran Sheleg Marble Arch London Art Fair New York CJL mixed show Bond Street London
2012 Loughton Arts Centre Solo Show Essex Art Fair Singapore The Store Street Gallery London The Autumn Art Fair Battersea Park London The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Royal Academy London Mary Portas, Living and Giving, Westbourne Grove, London Shards, The Gallery in Redchurch Street, Redchurch Street, London
2011 Katerina Šedá, performance painting Tate Modern London Black and White The Griffin Ryan Gallery Redchurch Street London Saatchi Drawing Competition Finalist London Mixed show St John’s Wood London Ritual and Tradition The Stable Barn Gallery The Althrop Coaching Inn Northants Mixed Reception 107 Fleet Street London Griffin Ryne Gallery Janus Youth The Gallery in Redchurch Street London Syon Park Waldorf Astoria Hotel London Exhausted Colour The Gallery in Redchurch Street London Dulwich Library Woman and books London Mile End Art Pavilion RASA London
2010 Bank-Side Gallery London The Driver Club Solo Show Kings Cross London
2009 Chelsea School of Art and Design Degree show London The Annex Gallery Chu-o-ku Tokyo JapanThe Pod Gallery Exmouth Market London Et Cetera Gallery London to Tokyo Project London Gallery 39k Stand on your head Dislocation Exploration and Meaning Lahore Pakistan Chelsea School of art and design Talk the Talk The Exhibition London Edenbrook Project 6 paintings of rings London
2008 Gautier Gallery Islands London
INTERVIEW: LONDON BASED ARTIST, CHARLOTTE POSNER, ON BUILDING A CAREER AFTER ART SCHOOL & STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF
Yesterday, over much-needed Wednesday afternoon coffee, wecaught up with one of our closest friends — professional artist, long-time ArtAttack supporter and Chelsea College of Arts graduate, Charlotte Posner. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of Charlotte’s fabulous “Ladies,” which range from classic fashion sketches, to ice cream ladies, afternoon tea ladies, sushi ladies and beyond.
But there was plenty going on with Charlotte before these chicks hatched on the London art scene. As an independent artist who’s made her own way since graduation, she knows what it means to build a career from scratch — from the obligatory positive mindset to the hard work and networking, to perhaps most important, taking care to stay true to yourself.
ArtAttack: Tell us about your first memories of art.
Charlotte Posner: One of my earliest memories in art is doing a course when I was really, really young. I was in a room with lots of old people and I was the youngest by far. They did it in a local church, and we had to copy off photographs. Everyone did them quite realistically but I took the image and I made really fantastical, multi-coloured pictures. I changed the ducks, I changed the colour of the roof, I changed the colour of the trees… And when we laid them out everyone’s was very similar to the postcard and mine was absolutely crazy.
AA: So you’re a Dalí? CP: I was doing a bit of a Dalí, yeah
AA: What did your family say when you told them you wanted to pursue art full time? CP: My family were really supportive of me being an artist. I wasn’t academic at school; I’m dyslexic so art was always my strong point.
AA: Do you think your dyslexia is in any way linked to your creativity? CP: 100%. At my art school, one in three people were dyslexic. I think when you lack something in one aspect, you gain it in another. For me, I turned it around so instead of my dyslexia being a bad thing, I’ve made it a positive attribute of my personality.
AA: What advice would you give any students looking to study at Chelsea or another top art school? CP: You need a strong portfolio to get into art school.
AA: Define a strong portfolio. CP: I think you just need to be yourself and express yourself. Chelsea is very conceptual so it’s about the concepts behind the work. It’s not just about the actual work, it’s about the ideas. And I struggled with that in the beginning because I’m a hands-on painter and I was more about the process of making, rather than the actual ideas behind it, but in the end it worked out for the best.
AA: In terms of finding a route to sell your art, what was your process after school? Did you secure gallery representation immediately? CP: When I graduated from art school I did these huge paintings and I thought they’d be snapped up by a gallery straight away. And it didn’t happen. I had my degree show, and I was so excited. The teachers said paint the floor grey and the walls white, and I was like, mmm that’s not me. So I went and got gold, metallic, shiny paint and painted the floor gold metallic. I also managed to blag £900 worth of wallpaper from Osborne and Little so I decorated the walls in gold wallpaper to hang my jeweled paintings. For my business cards I got a big pot filled with jewels and I put all my cards inside… So I’ve always had a different way of doing things, but there’s no right and wrong way in art. So after that I thought I need to get a gallery, but because my work kept chopping and changing, no one could really see what style I had because I was developing and growing. And it’s so important to keep developing and growing always, and just follow your instinct. And you have to be a doer. I really thoroughly recommend to just do. Don’t think about things. Just actually physically make things and do them.
AA: So how did you move forward without representation? CP: I continued doing my work and I always entered competitions. I entered the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition a few years ago and I got through. I sold my work on buyers’ day and the Dean of the Royal Academy bought some of my work. And whilst I was there, I went up to the BBC while they were filming and I tapped the cameraman on the shoulder and I said, “Excuse me, can you film me for TV?” and he said, “Sorry, no.” Anyway, a year later, I reapplied for the Royal Academy and I ticked a sheet saying I wouldn’t mind being filmed for TV and I got a phone call from the BBC saying, “Would you mind being on the Culture Show?” And I was like, “Of course! Let’s definitely do this!” So I was on the BBC Culture Show and they filmed me through the process of getting into the Royal Academy again and that really helped my career. So I think when you put something out to the universe, and you try, and you keep following the direction you want to go, you get what you. You have to have a vision of what you want but remember it can go all different ways.
AA: So your advice to fellow graduates who don’t secure galleries immediately is to just push on. CP: Yes, but social media is an amazing, amazing platform for selling work also. Through Instagram and through ArtAttack, I will sell loads. It’s such a great way, like I can’t recommend it enough. I think the way forward is through social media. It’s through plugging yourself on Facebook, social media sites like Twitter, Instagram. And ArtAttack will be an amazing, amazing platform to use once it’s launched.
AA: Any other advice you would give to an artist looking to go out on their own after school? CP: I’d say, if you can, don’t get a full-time job. Try and get part-time work so that you can have time to work on your art. If you can, try and have a few days to stick to your art and keep making, keep making your work and keep going. Because if you’ve got the energy and you really, really want to do it, you will do it. And you just have to truly believe in yourself as well, and stick to what’s true to you. Don’t take other people’s advice. You know in your heart of hearts what is good and what isn’t yourself and there will definitely be a market out there for your type of work.
– Interview by: Sam Senchal, Written by: India Irving