Monthly Muse Interview- Toree Arntz of F A U X T A L E

Photos by Scarlet Mann

When I met Toree, many years ago, I was immediately enamored by her sense of style & confidence.  She was not a conformist as a lot of cute girls are.  She held her own space in time and existence which is a rare trait these days.  A couple of years later, I saw her insanely amazing collection for her launch of Fauxtale.  I was even more blown away.  Toree has seemed so mysterious to me in that she is so young, yet so professional and in touch with something that is out of this material world.  She has always been one of my favorite muses since I first saw her.  I asked her if we could do an interview and shoot around her house on the mountain with her raccoons and other animals.  It was a day in heaven and away from the city.  

1) Your work is so beyond intricate, unique & amazing; yet surprisingly very wearable.  What would you say is your most influential muse, or where do you draw your inspirations from for these heavenly designs?

I am very much inspired by the natural beauty of our world and by our animals.  Nature has an amazing way with combinations of color and function and form.  Science has used nature and animals to inspire our technology for years, and I use it for form and beauty.  Nature is the true artist that has billions of years of practice, and I draw a lot from it.  I am also lucky enough to work with a sanctuary, called the Wildlife Way-station, where I get to work very closely with animals and collect naturally shed or molted materials from them.  Often times, my work is evolved out of the materials themselves.  Using materials from my animals gives my work a personal story, and makes each piece very special to me.

2) I love your connection with nature and animals.  What would you say turned you on to this part of life?  And has it been something that you were always drawn to?

I have always been drawn to animals and nature.  As a child, I was constantly bringing baby animals home, whether they needed rescuing or not.  My mother was constantly tasked with trying to re-locate birds nests or otherwise to replace babies that I had picked up along the way. As a kid, I was always making sculptures out of found materials and I had this odd habit of carving little animals out of baby carrots.

3) You have a partner in Fauxtale, Kate.  How did this partnership come about?  How do you plan to continue to the future of Fauxtale?

Fauxtale was founded by myself and Kate Thompson. Before the inception of Fauxtale, we were both doing similar things separately, making art out of nature. When we met (in 2010) it was a creative match made in heaven.  We decided to combine our visions and move forward together.  Kate had a strong role in the aesthetic development, design and production of Fauxtale for the first two years.  Kate left Fauxtale 2 years ago to venture into developing her own collection, Fauxtale's sister company, Amaroq.  We still work on collaborative projects from time to time.

4) How is a normal day at the office of Fauxtale?

There is no such thing as a normal day at the Fauxtale office. It is usually some combination of hiking to look for new materials, creating new wearable collections of clothing and jewelry, designing costume pieces for one of our performers, doing photo-shoots, and doing interviews with beautiful people like Scarlet Mann ;)

5) What would be your biggest dream for the future come true?

My dream has always been to be able to live my life exactly how I want every single day.  I get to hang out with animals almost every single day and make a living from creating and doing what I love, so in that respect my dreams have come true.  I think the dream of any creative is to have the freedom and the means to create whatever you want on any scale. So my dreams for the future are to continue creating, and eventually to have to means to do it in a much bigger way.
Toree Arntz