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Etsy Artist of the Day: Pop Pop Portraits

"Like a Paperboy", original watercolor by Pop Pop Portraits
Charming. Quirky. Clever. These are words that come to mind as I sift through the wonderful fashion illustrations by talented artist Helena of Pop Pop Portraits. The illustrations she creates are unique characters dressed in some of the coolest duds I've out there, and she accompanies each with a bit of writing that gives a slice of life view into the character's life. Browsing her shop is not unlike moving through an illustrated book of short stories where each character has its own story and captures you with true-to-life facial expressions. Read on to learn a little more about Helena and the creative process behind her work.

What are your favorite materials to use?

I love to use watercolour paints and heavy weight acid free watercolour paper.

Do you have a creative process or special way to garner inspiration?

I like to work in my lounge room because it offers the most light. I usually move my dining table/work bench to face the t.v, turn it on, mute it and listen to music on my laptop. Then I might start browsing through some old magazines and fashion blogs and it generally comes together from there.

"Ice cream and Rainbow Warriors" - original watercolor by Pop Pop Portraits

Who or what do you find inspiring?

I draw my inspiration from street fashion, design blogs and contemporary artists. I've always loved the work of Del Kathryn Barton. She brought illustration and Fine Art together in such an awesome decorative way, I don't think I ever get tired of looking at her work. I wish she would have an exhibition here.

"I like love notes", 5 x 7 print by Pop Pop Portraits

Your characters are so fashionable, from their hair all the way down to their shoes! Do you have a "muse" or someone you picture in your mind before you sketch?

I've always had a love of fashion so I'm always "eyeing off" peoples outfits. I guess my characters and the clothes they wear are generally composites of people I've seen in real life or on fashion blogs.

"The Incident of the Ra Ra Skirt", original watercolor by Pop Pop Portraits

I love how each of your characters has a story. Tell us more about how these stories - do they come to you after you've created your characters?

I usually make up the stories after I've painted the image because they evolve so much when I'm painting them. I decide what name suits the character and build a story based around my little musings and fantasies, a lot of them have to do with food!

"Bowl cut since five...", 5 x 7 print by Pop Pop Portraits

Anything else you'd like to add about yourself? Favorite foods, places you like, hobbies...anything?

I was born in Melbourne, Australia and I moved to LA almost a year ago. I'm addicted to potato chips and love eating cake. Maybe one day I'll work on a book. I love going for hikes in Griffith Park and people watching at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Thank you for interviewing, Helena!

To see more Pop Pop Portraits, visit:
Pop Pop Portraits Etsy shop
Pop Pop Portraits blog

All photos in this entry are © copyright Pop Pop Portraits and are published here with permission.
Posted on July 1, 2010 |

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