meet Faren Collins: fearless artist-designer, relentless entrepreneur, unapologetic AF
artist faren collins paints with eyes closed + heart open
Chat with Faren Collins, founder/CEO/head of everything at Farever Art, and you can’t help but get all filled up with positive vibes and endless possibilities. That’s because that’s who she is, what she stands for and what she’s up to. With her boundless energy and infectious appetite for life, you know everything she touches will turn to gold (or a stunning painting re-imagined on a sexy sports bra..).
Check out how this painter-designer turned a spiritual moment into a thriving business built on spreading good energy and how she uses lingerie like a superhero(ine) cape.
Tell us how you started with Farever Art, and how you knew this was more than a fun idea, but a legit part of you, part of your purpose?
So I started it, basically, I was living in a haunted house in Los Angeles. I'm not going to lie, it was a haunted house. And I actually didn't realize things were going on with it until I think maybe a year or two of me living there already. I was getting sick a lot and I was getting a lot of images. And it was just a lot of things were happening and I was just brushing it off thinking, maybe I'm just depressed or I'm just going through some things. And I'm very Christian, I'm very spiritual and I got a message from the Holy Spirit saying, "You need to paint." And I'm like, "I'm not a painter. I don't paint." I don't know anything about painting. I painted in third grade and I was really good, but I'm not a painter. But it was just on my heart to paint, so I went to Michaels one day, just got some paper and some random paints. I didn't really know anything about acrylics or watercolor. I got the cheapest stuff, the cheapest materials I could get. And went home, had a glass of wine, had a little Sunday fun day and started painting. Put my first painting up on Facebook as a joke, and then someone asked me how much it was. I said, "What?" He goes, "Yeah, I want to buy that. How much is it?" I said, "What do you mean? I was just having fun. I'm kind of drunk right now, I'm not going to lie. Feeling great. This is my interpretation of a flower or something." I was just doing abstract things and someone purchased it. That was my first purchase.
And when I was painting from that point on, I stopped drinking while I was painting and actually decided to meditate and really tap into what I was feeling around me, what I was picking up. Then I discovered I was able to pick up energy and feelings from specific objects and people, and I just started to paint that. And with that painting, I just did it for an exercise to help me keep balanced. Put them up on Facebook again, people kept buying them. I'm like, "I should make it into a little business." Great. Did really well.
Then I started teaching yoga and realized I'm teaching something spiritual, it's helping me stay balanced. Why don't I integrate the two, my painting and yoga, and just make an outfit out of something positive. Something beautiful. So I would meditate on something positive and beautiful, people like my family or my friends. I would go to a park and just pick up the energy around it, if it was a positive experience. Everything I paint for the most part now and everything I sell is all positive. So I would paint and then I decided to put it on athletic wear and wear my positive energy while I taught class. And when I taught class, my clients liked my clothes, asked me where I got them, and that's how I got the name out and started, and it just spiraled from there.
And you wanted the pieces to be just as good artistically as you did in terms of performance, is that right?
Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. I taught at a hot yoga studio for many years and it was very important for me to find fabric that was pretty much quick-dry and breathable. Something that wouldn't just stick to your body and you'd be sopping wet an hour later. So I did a lot of research. I found a great manufacturer that had the exact material that I wanted. And while I picked out the material, I was pattern designing my art on the material. So I took my paintings, but I wanted it to be configured in a certain way, so it was flattering to certain body shapes. Like I would never do horizontal stripes or horizontal patterns. I would really take time to put the placement of my paintings on specific spots of the garments for figure flattering and just for artistic interpretation.
You’re not just the painter, you literally do everything when it comes to your brand, from CEO to admin to designer to model, how do you stay creatively lit?
It's really easy I guess because I'm so passionate about it and I don't put a lot of stress and pressure on my business, so I'm always motivated to do it. I love to learn and this is a field that I've never been a part of, I don't know anything about, so I'm figuring it out as I go along. So it's a really fun puzzle. Yeah, I just stay lit because I'm always interested to see how things turn out. Especially with social media, doing different posts at different times, trying to reach to a certain demographic. I would have to edit a certain way or do my videos a certain way to get to Gen Z. But Millennials gravitate toward a different type of visual stimulation and type of font and text. Figuring all that stuff out has always been fun. It's a puzzle. So it's never boring for me.
Your brand, your site, all its touch points are so alive with energy, movement, joy, how does that reflect who you are and what you’re up to?
I'm a musical theater person. I went to school for musical theater. I went to a performing arts high school that focused on musical theater, so I've always been very bubbly and joyful and just obnoxiously optimistic, as my mother would say, “You’re so happy all the time, even when you're sad.” I'm like, "I know." So I really wanted my site and my brand to reflect that. Reflect all the bright colors. The over matchy-matchy. I love a good matchy-matchy moment, that was inspired by Clueless, the movie. Made a huge impact on my life... everything in that movie to me just jumped out and that was a big inspiration for my brand as well. Just really bright. Obnoxious a little bit, but still joyful. And unapologetic. This unapologetic way of living. That's the best way I can describe it.
Love that word unapologetic. When it comes to women in general, we tend to lean in first on apologies. Unapologetic is a space we all need to be in.
Exactly. Exactly. And it's hard to get into that space, especially when we're young, starting things off or just in our 20s and early 30s, you're still apologizing for a lot. You still care about what people think. So once you get to that space of quote unquote, fuck it, it becomes a lot easier and you just become unapologetic. And with this particular brand, I mean, five years ago, I would never wear my clothes. It's just like, I stand out too much. It's too much. Ten years ago, it was not even a concept. I wanted to conform and be like everyone else. And that is no longer part of my aesthetic and my mindset.
Brilliant, love it. So in doing this, creating this brand, what have you learned about yourself?
Well, I learned to be unapologetic, one thing. I learned that my experiences in life, especially when it comes to being empathic, and dealing with the paranormal is okay. I was very embarrassed by it and afraid of what people would think. And it took me up until last year to actually post on my about page where I'm getting my art from. I didn't want people to know my creative process. I paint generally with my eyes closed or out of focus, because I'm usually channeling something, feeling something. I don't focus too much on what I'm actually painting, a subject matter. Somethings I do, but most things I don't. And I learned to just be open about what it is I have and how I do it and not care. And I learned my value. Learning my value and my worth as a human being, as a soul, and as a business woman.
How are you making your voice heard as a creator — what do you want your brand to say, do, be, stand for?
It's still actually an ongoing process for me. As of right now my motto is, don't just see art, be art. And that's very surface level. Art cannot be really defined and/or can be judged because everyone has a different idea of what art is. It's either effective or non-effective. But I'm growing into a space where I would like for it to mean more to the soul, and I'm not too sure how that's going to come out yet. I don't know, I'm still on that journey. I'm still on that journey. There's still so much that I have to find out for myself. So as I grow as a person, the company will grow. But as of right now, I just simply would like for people to wear positive beautiful energy and art on their bodies and go through the world and move in a space that makes them feel great. Usually it's working out. When you work out you get endorphins, you're happy and that's matching the same energy that you're wearing for my brand.
And you’ve mentioned that you do some channeling of your art. Do you ask for specific masters, are there specific people that work with you every time, or do you mix it up, or do you even know?
No. That's really interesting. So the majority of the time, I don't know. I would say a quarter of the time I can tell if it's going to be a positive experience or a negative one. I won't know until I accept it, and I'm still learning in that way. So many years I have ignored it, ignored this ability, because I didn't want to be labeled. And the older I get, it seems to be the more intense it becomes. So when I do commissions, and I've actually stopped doing commissions, because I need a break, but when I was doing commissions, I wasn't able to do everyone, because either I just didn't feel them or I felt them and already knew it wasn't going to be positive and I was not accepting that in my space. So I'm very selective of what I do, but a lot of times it just hits me. I could be walking my dog and I feel something. I could be at a store talking to a person and I get so much information about their history and their family and I just keep it to myself. I end up knowing a lot of things. So it's really unpredictable, and I'm sure there's a way to maneuver through that. I'm not aware of that yet. I just focus mainly on protecting myself, that's the first part of my journey.
"I started really getting into the lingerie thing back when I was auditioning for Broadway in New York... I know it sounds kind of weird, but I felt whenever I had on a matching set, a bra and a panty, and I would go into an audition, I would feel so confident and put together. Like I had a little secret that nobody else knows..."
So how do you stifle the outside noise and listen to your own body, your own voice? Even your own ‘guides’? How do you tune out what's not working for you and tune into what is?
So if I'm going to do a physical aspect, I don't like to use a lot of what people use ... the crystals and that kind of stuff. I have them, but I don't use crystals. I don't use palo santo or sage. I have them, I don't generally use it. But what has been very helpful for me has been my faith. It seems to be the only thing that will protect me above anything. I don't need to use any other tool besides God. If I feel unsafe, I call on God. If I want to move forward, call on God. That's all that I truly need. The other stuff is great. I love it. I have it. It's beautiful and it does give off energy, it does work. I think of crystals as they are truly spiritual flowers. They are alive. They are truly alive and they can be used for many many things, but I personally have found the most effective thing is to be God.
Well, it's working.
It's working. That is working, 100%.
So in your spare time, how do you find pleasure, joy, lust? What kind of things move you?
I really find pleasure in simple things. As hippie dippie as that sounds, I like the simple things. My mom always told me happiness is in a good cup of coffee. Just living simply, doing things that a lot of people would take for granted I actually enjoy and fully partake in, like going for a walk, just sitting outside in nature with my dog, being with my family, having a nice meal. I mean, the bigger things like career ambitions and love, those are wonderful, but they are very short lived and those moments are extremely fleeting. But the ones that mean the most are the ones that are smaller per se, but I think of them as big. So that's how I stay happy. Getting a fresh bouquet of flowers and putting it in my room, which I highly recommend everyone one, woman, man, everyone, should do. That gives off such positive light. Such a positive light in your space. That's what makes me happy.
Beautiful. And I know you love a little lingerie moment. I'm wondering when and how you wear it.
You know I'm loving lingerie. Yes. Oh, so love it. Love it. I started really getting into the lingerie thing back when I was auditioning for Broadway in New York, in my early 20s. And it was something that helped me with my acting. I know it sounds kind of weird, but I felt whenever I had on a matching set, a bra and a panty, and I would go into an audition, I would feel so confident and put together. Like I had a little secret that nobody else knows and I'm going to walk in, because I'm matching. And it just helped me come alive through a character, through a song. Even sometimes when I would do dance calls. I would just come alive, because I had that tiny little secret of really cute, sexy, matching lingerie. I know that's weird, but it worked for me and I did really well with it. And I still keep that to this day. Even if I'm just bopping and booping around the house, I'm going to have a matching set. It's what makes me feel feminine and sexy and it's for myself. And I feel like a mature woman when I have a matching set. I just love it. I'm a big fan of it. I even woke up around 2:00 this morning, watched a little YouTube and went lingerie shopping, because I was like, "I need more. I need more." I did. I bought panties. I did.
With the matching top.
Well you know that. You know that. And even if it was the wrong size, I was still getting it. I was like, "Okay, they're out of that in my size, I'm still going to get it. It's fine. I'm just a size smaller. We'll be fine. We'll be fine." And I'm starting to get more into these body shapers that you can wear as a top with some of these high-waisted jeans, that little number. Like a little a lace corset moment.
...and the lace bodysuits…
Yes. Yeah, yeah, bodysuits. The one that I got last night was a body shaper, bodysuit with a little lace number. I'm not going on nobody's date. I'm not going anywhere, but I'm going to bop around the house and go to Starbucks in this cute little number. Real cute. Just with a jean.
Love it. Let me ask you this, because there are different parts of us we're a little romantic or we can be dirty, we can be kinky or shy.... When you were doing your characters, did you do different lingerie for each character, or was it that matching-matching would work for you in general?
You know what, that's a really good question. Sometimes I did. I remember going in for Legally Blonde the musical, for the role of Pilar and I specifically wanted something that reminded me of Dionne from Clueless, but like the Barbie Dionne. The Barbie Dionne from Clueless wore a little lavender outfit. So I specifically went and bought a lavender set with little flowers on it, because I wanted to channel a really cute teeny-boppsie, kind of get that feel. And I got called back after call back after call back, and then eventually I was like, "Listen, I can't keep wearing the same underwear," because these callbacks are back to back. And I don't have a laundry in my building. I got to go to the mat every time. Hand wash. We're wearing it out. And the one time that I did not wear that underwear, I did not get called back and I was really upset. I was like, "You know what, I'm going to take one for the team next time. Keep getting called back, wear those same dirty panties." And when I auditioned for Oklahoma, I had a cute little picnic plaid moment. It was a red-and-white striped plaid set…
It's funny to think of what you know now about energetic imprints and then that underwear. Wonder what master was like, 'Girl you've got to wear that matching plaid set because we've got work to do.'"
You know what, that's a thought. That is a true thought. I should actually meditate on that and see what comes up. I'm sure it's something. I mean, I haven't meditated, so I don't know, but it could either literally be an ancestor of mine that was ... because not to throw my ancestors out there, but I had some interesting characters and they were out there back in those 1900s. It could be my great-great-grandmother... she had a reputation, so you never know, it could very well be her saying, "Be sexy. Get it together. You're still single. Work on that." It could very well be that. Or it could just be my up energy. But it's probably great-grandma, let's just be honest.
So you love a little luxury moment. Tell me some of your indulgences, big or small. What do you love?
So I spend quite a bit of money on quality coffee. I'll order it from overseas, or I'll go to a specialty shop. I know. It's bad. It's bad when I'm ordering over $100 worth of just three pounds of coffee. It's worth it. Let me tell you, that buzz. That coffee buzz is not a game when it comes from Italy and when it comes from Ethiopia. I'll spend a lot of money on coffee and on tea sets and serving trays.
I have a very Victorian spirit and I just resonate with that time period so much. Don't really know why, I just do. I get it. I get it. And I've always felt the most refined and the most dainty when I am sipping out of beautiful tea or coffee sets and have a nice serving tray. I just feel alive. It's simple, but I enjoy that moment of preparing it and then simply doing the act of sitting down and just drinking some tea or some coffee out of a nice platter and serving set-up. And I spend money on lotions, on lingerie. Lotions keep the skin nice, have a nice cup of coffee or tea and have a really pretty set. Girl, you can't tell me anything when I'm in some lingerie and having a cup of coffee out of my China cup. Can't tell me shit. The past, nobody, my phone is off. My phone is off. No one can get ahold of me. You do not belong here. I don't have time for you, I'm having tea in my panties, that's lace, with my $300 set.
For me it's the moments of preparing it, because so much of our life is on autopilot, trying to get things done and move quickly. But you find that the juiciness in the moments between the actual enjoyment of the luxury is luxury in itself...
I highly recommend everyone just get a simple tea cup, like a nice mug. Get a little coffee or tea set... Turn your phone off first. Set everything up, put yourself in a nice quiet spot in your favorite space, whether it's in your bedroom, your home or outside in the park. Creating a moment is basically what you're doing. You're creating moments. You're filling the room with your love and your energy, your calmness, your stillness. Simplicity. Create the present moment… you're in it putting the creamer in your coffee or the honey in your tea. Stirring. You're totally focused on that one tiny movement. Everything else in the world stops except for what you're doing and that's the only thing that matters. It's a lovely moment to have.
And why maybe your mom says that the most important moment is a cup of coffee.
Yeah, I got it from her. We're Southern, from Georgia, so tea time has always been a thing. But I would always just watch my mom in the morning when she could be doing all the things, watching TV, talking to my dad. She would literally turn everything off, make a cup of coffee and stare out the window for just a good solid 15, 20 minutes. Just looking at nature, because we live in the woods. Just looking at nature in silence. She was having a moment. She was truly present in those times.
"Once you understand your worth and your value, you are victorious and that is where you find peace and happiness and not much can really break you when you truly feel victorious. It's the outcome of the value."
Beautiful. So sexiness, how would you define sexy for you? What is it for you?
Well, new word of the year, unapologetic. Being unapologetic for your actions as long as they are not hurting you or others... And acceptance is sexy. That's something I'm learning. Acceptance of everything, your age, your body. Your life choices. And just simply being yourself. Just keep it basic. Acceptance. I keep saying acceptance, because it keeps popping up in my soul. Acceptance. That's sexy… it's never about the physical.
And what do you do when you want to turn on your feminine power, because I know you've got it?
Well, the main aspect of it, if I really just want to do some quick start, put that lingerie on, girl. Put on those cute panties and that bra, that matching set. You have to put that on first, you want to turn on that feminine, because that's when I feel the most feminine. I really do. The physical act of just putting that on helps ignite my internal, which is why I used it when I was auditioning. It helps ignite my feminine. To be honest with you, it usually starts with my undergarments and then I just take it from there naturally. If I don't have my cute matching set, it's a struggle. I'm not going to lie. That's what I need. I can't be sexy without it. So I've got some soul searching to do on that one. Because if that bra and that underwear ain't together, I don't know. I'm just going to stay home guys. I don't know what to tell you. I'm going to stay right at home. I could wear whatever and not have on makeup and barely do my hair, but if I have my little secret on, I just feel alive. I feel confident. I feel amazing. You can't tell me nothin'. Nothing.
And then last question, we spell ‘fvck' with a V,’ and there are so many delicious V words. So many. What’s your favorite and why?
Let's do two words. Value and victory, or victorious. I like those a lot. I meditate on value and worth a lot. Value can mean so much to so many people, but yet it just has a very simple definition and it comes down to worthiness. What is worth and who determines it? What determines it? And I think going back to just simply value, valuing yourself and valuing other people and the spaces that you're in... it truly goes back to simplicity for me. Keeping things simple, being present in the moment and valuing who you are in that moment and the others in that moment. And victory or to be victorious is the outcome of value. Once you understand your worth and your value, you are victorious and that is where you find peace and happiness and not much can really break you when you truly feel victorious. It's the outcome of the value.
How did Faren Collins inspire you and your creativity? 👇💋