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Fanny Papay’s Modern Surrealism

Fanny Papay’s #ConnectedByLemonade commission.

What’s a mountain range doing on top of a basketball, and why is everything being covered in a luscious pink goo? For 28-year-old Budapest-based artist and graphic designer Fanny Papay, it’s all about random inspiration and gut instinct. Lemonade talked to her about surrealism and collaboration.

There’s a lot going on in your #ConnectedByLemonade commission. How did you approach this project?

Usually when I’m free to create, I choose the essence of surrealism, which is about the subconscious and random associations. It’s the liberation of the mind, which is essential for creating really good artworks. When you create from your instincts it’s the greatest experience.

I smuggled some elements from my everyday life, what interests me lately. I really love basketball; an old friend of mine is a coach and not long ago she started teaching me to play. When I have an element that I’m sure of, then I start thinking about how I could make it exciting and give extra meaning to the composition.

What’s your technical process like?

I used to work a lot manually. There was something magical about it, and improvisation played a big role. But I was given more and more assignments that I could no longer necessarily solve in this way, so I had to start digging more into 3D programs. I really enjoy it—with all my work I learn something new.

Who are some of your creative heroes?

From the traditional fine art world, I love Salvador Dalí…he’s probably my biggest hero. Mostly because of his amazing way of thinking and his attitude.

Contemporary creators I love include David Mendez Alonso, Izumi Miyazaki, and Yoyo Nasty.

The Italian art-and-advertising duo Toilet Paper have cast a long influence over visual culture! I definitely see some resonances in your own style.

I love them, and a couple of their magazines can be found in my home. Many times before I start a project their references float before my eyes. I love the way humor is paired with a very high-quality visuality in their work.

How do you approach color and lighting?

I really like to use strong colors, yet I usually want to get the end result clear, and say a lot with few tools. When the basic idea is strong, the execution is child’s play—full of enjoyment. I really like to use holographic, metallic materials and bold patterns.

Portrait of Fanny Papay, by Reka Liziczai.

What advice would you offer a young artist or designer?

It’s important to commit to an area after gaining enough knowledge, and to delve as deeply as possible into it. We can’t be good at everything. That’s why it’s so wonderful to work with other people, collaborating and creating beautiful things together.

See more of Fanny Papay’s work here, and don’t forget to follow #ConnectedByLemonade!

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