meet

poppy

Poppy Faun lives, breathes and collects the 60s and 70s – and when she turned up to our AW’20 set in a retro-patterned shift dress and her signature cat-eye eyeliner we already felt transported. A collage artist raised in Brighton, Poppy has gone from exploring her creativity in her 20s to having a solid, firm grasp of where she’s channelling her artistic talents – which soon led to a commission from one of the world’s most notorious 60s publications.

Missoma: why do you think creativity is so important?

Poppy Faun: I think that creativity opens the mind, it leads you to develop something that is more personal to you and connects people together through present times, past times, life, death. It’s something that you can express yourself through instead of words. Collaging, making a painting, any form of art is an expression from within. It’s important to let those ideas out because we’re all here enjoying the art and enjoying life.

M: who or what inspires your creativity?

PF: I would say that the 60s and 70s are a huge part of my work, I’m very inspired by the past. I love the grittiness and rawness of old magazines from that era, and I think I’m quite inspired by my parents and my upbringing, they’re both artists. A lot of my friends around me are creatives so I’m always being inspired, my boyfriend is a musician too. Music is a huge part, 60s and 70s revolution and all that aesthetic of all the old magazines, Playboy models, TV adverts and how that was perceived all through a man’s eye and now we can bring them to life in the present through my art.

M: would you say your work is feminist then?

PF: I haven’t thought about the fact of being a feminist but I probably am one…you can see in the magazines I buy that they advertised women as sexual objects – all shapes and sizes of beautiful women but no woman would dare to look at a men’s magazine back then. Now you can buy them in flea markets, online and there’s so much beauty in these women that are all different and I just want to bring those women into their own; to own the paper and to own the art and for everyone to appreciate them instead of just in a magazine for a man. I guess that’s kind of feminism in some ways?!

As soon as I realised I believed in myself, life believed in me.

M: what do you listen to while you work?

PF: I listen to music every time I work, it’s like a ritual. Every time I get up I put music on, every time I walk I put music on. I get very creative listening to music. I’m into a lot of different music and it can change what I’m creating. I listen to post-punk, American 60s rock - that can make me create things with mushrooms and mountains in. I’ve been really enjoying Radiohead recently. It’s music I can sit down to and get involved in my work to.

M: would you say your work is feminist then?

PF: I haven’t thought about the fact of being a feminist but I probably am one…you can see in the magazines I buy that they advertised women as sexual objects – all shapes and sizes of beautiful women but no woman would dare to look at a men’s magazine back then. Now you can buy them in flea markets or online and there’s so much beauty in these women that are all different and I just want to bring those women into their own; to own the paper and to own the art and so that everyone can appreciate them, instead of just being in a magazine for a man. I guess that’s kind of feminism in some ways?!

M: what do you listen to while you work?

PF: I listen to music every time I work, it’s like a ritual. Every time I get up I put music on, every time I walk I put music on. I get very creative listening to music. I’m into a lot of different music and it can change what I’m creating. I listen to post-punk, 60s American rock – that can make me create things with mushrooms and mountains in. I’ve been really enjoying Radiohead recently. It’s music I can sit and get involved in my work to.

As soon as I realised I believed in myself, life believed in me.

M: describe your art in just a few words…

PF: Escapism from the modern world.

M: So you create with magazines, do you use other mediums?

PM: I started off about five years ago collecting very old, retro postcards in flea markets and I was really fascinated by the graininess, colour tones and then I found old TV adverts and made these collages onto old postcards. Then I was buying magazines, national geographic books and now I have a huge collection of magazines, books - anything that has life from 50 years ago I’m interested in.

M: when did you realise that your creativity could turn into a professional job?  

PF: I had a moment when I was younger that I’d been creating for all my life since I was a baby, I was brought up making things and doing painting, but then I started a guitar and a band and trying to find creativity through music, art and making clothes. I was doing all three at the same time! But I had a moment where I looked at all these three things and I really enjoyed all of them but realised I can’t do all three with a full focus. I analysed which one I really believed in and I knew it was art, so I sold my guitars - all of them apart from one - and stopped making clothes and just focussed on art. That’s when about two months in I’d built my website and got my first print release out and I just had a real vision that I believed in myself and had to move forward. My first print release was and still is my most favourite piece called First Play and then from that, I had a commission straight away from Playboy. All the puzzle pieces connected and since then I’ve just been working harder and harder.

M: When did you realise that your creativity could turn into a professional job?  

PF: I had a moment when I was younger that I’d been creating for all my life since I was a baby, I was brought up making things and doing painting, but then I started a guitar and a band and trying to find creativity through music, art and making clothes. I was doing all three at the same time! But I had a moment where I looked at all these three things and I really enjoyed all of them but realised I can’t do all three with a full focus. I analysed which one I really believed in and I knew it was art, so I sold my guitars - all of them apart from one - and stopped making clothes and just focussed on art. That’s when about two months in I’d built my website and got my first print release out and I just had a real vision that I believed in myself and had to move forward. My first print release was and still is my most favourite piece called First Play and then from that, I had a commission straight away from Playboy. All the puzzle pieces connected and since then I’ve just been working harder and harder.

M: when did you realise that your creativity could turn into a professional job?  

PF: I had a moment when I was younger that I’d been creating for all my life since I was a baby, I was brought up making things and doing painting, but then I started playing a guitar in a band and trying to find creativity through music, art and making clothes. I was doing all three at the same time! But I had a moment where I looked at all these three things and I really enjoyed all of them but realised I can’t do all three with a full focus. I analysed which one I really believed in and I knew it was art, so I sold my guitars - all of them apart from one - and stopped making clothes and just focussed on art. That’s when about two months in I’d built my website and got my first print release out and I just had a real vision that I believed in myself and had to move forward. My first print release was and still is my most favourite piece called First Play and then from that, I had a commission straight away from Playboy. All the puzzle pieces connected and since then I’ve just been working harder and harder.

throw it back with Poppy's playlist

From early Radiohead to 60s punk rock, press play on her go-to painting/walking/dancing tracks.

M: what was it like when Playboy first contacted you?  

PF: I received an email from [Playboy] them on a Thursday and they had a brief which was men and women, dancing in the night, in ball gowns and tuxedos and above the stars. I saw it was snt from Beverly Hills and realised it was legit and then that I had a day and a half to meet their deadline. So I started flipping through books, ripping stuff out, all these ideas were flowing through me and I think I just realised that I had found every part of the puzzle. I finished it all in about six hours and sent it to them and they loved it – it was amazing to have that work out there like that.

M: when did you realise that your creativity could turn into a professional job?

PF:  I had a moment when I was younger that I’d been creating for all my life since I was a baby, I was brought up making things and doing painting, but then I started playing guitar in a band and trying to find creativity through music, art and making clothes. I was doing all three at the same time! But I had a moment where I looked at all these three things and I really enjoyed all of them but realised I can’t do all three with a full focus. I analysed which one I really believed in and I knew it was art, so I sold my guitars – all of them apart from one – and stopped making clothes and just focussed on art. That's when about two months in I'd built my website and got my first print release out and I just had a real vision that I believed in myself and had to move forward. My first print release was and still is my most favourite piece called First Play and then from that, I had a commission straight away from Playboy. All the puzzle pieces connected and since then I’ve just been working harder and harder.  

You can be an artist by creating and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

M: how do you overcome creative blocks?

PF: I definitely had a creative block during lockdown which I didn’t think would happen. During the three months I found it hard to find any or focus on ideas - there was something else that my mind was focussing on. The only way to pull myself out of that and become more creative was by going on a walk, listening to music and just getting out of my house. Because I’m very inspired by life and interactions, when you find a block you need to get outside and take yourself out of wherever you’re at.

M: how long does your creative process typically take?

PF: Sometimes I know exactly what I want to achieve and it all takes a day, I know which books I want to go through and I can just spend that whole day working and I’ve created exactly what I’ve intended to. Sometimes it can take up to a couple of weeks or three if I’m working on commissions because I’m working closely with a client. I’ll ask lots of questions, well work on it together and we’ll work on colours, ideas etc. If I work on original pieces it can take months because of the back and forth – there’s much more of a longer process when you’re using paints and canvas because I tend to work quicker on photoshop when I’ve got my ideas ready to go.

M: how do you overcome creative blocks?

PF: I definitely had a creative block during lockdown which I didn’t think would happen. During the three months I found it hard to find any or focus on ideas there was something else that my mind was focussing on. The only way to pull myself out of that and become more creative was by going on a walk, listening to music and just getting out of my house. Because I’m very inspired by life and interactions, when you find a block you need to get outside and take yourself out of wherever you’re at.

M: how long does your creative process typically take?  

PF: Sometimes I know exactly what I want to achieve and it all takes a day, I know which books I want to go through and I can just spend that whole day working and I’ve created exactly what I’ve intended to. Sometimes it can take up to a couple of weeks or three if I’m working on commissions because I’m working closely with a client. I’ll ask lots of questions, we'll work on it together and we’ll work on colours, ideas etc. If I work on original pieces it can take months because of the back and forth – there’s much more of a longer process when you’re using paints and canvas because I tend to work quicker on photoshop when I’ve got my ideas ready to go.

M: how do you feel after you've finished creating something?  

PF:  Generally I know when something’s finished, but sometimes I do think ‘oh should I have added this, should I have done this, I could’ve added something else there...’. It does feel like you’ve created something and then boom it’s not yours anymore. It was very strange when I did limited edition prints and then people started buying them – I wondered 'what will happen when they buy it, how will they react to it, what will they take from it?' That did go after a while but there still is a feeling of an emotional attachment to what you’ve made. It’s difficult as an artist to let go, as it is so personal. It’s funny that people see completely different stories or an idea that wasn’t the story that I had intended, but once I hear it it really makes sense for them and it’s really beautiful to see people take their own ideas into my work.

poppy’s vintage touches

"I would say I’m 100% silver but seeing all the gold jewellery makes me want that all too! I’m in love. I’ve noticed that the gemstones are very unique to Missoma – I saw a friend wearing the green stone and I could spot it straight away."

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