Back in Stock! Good Vibes prints and postcards.

Hello! I just restocked my Folksy Store with ‘Be Happy’ and ‘Chin Up!’ postcards and A3 posters

The A3 posters are printed on beautiful, 235gsm satin photo paper with a semi-gloss finish. The postcards come in packs of six and are printed on 100% recycled, 280gsm matte card stock. I made them as an antidote to rainy day gloom, and I recommend tacking them up above your desk for those days when grumpiness sets in!

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Head over to my store and have a look!

Green Screening: Photography with a little somethin’ extra.

Hello! Did I tell you I published a book? Well, I did…sort of.

These images are from a personal publishing project completed in April. They are the result of a dress-up photo shoot set against a green screen backdrop (actually a cheap tarpaulin, ahem) + a fair bit of unsubtle image manipulation. I created the images as a special gift for a friend who – despite being in the photo shoot – had no clue what I was going to do with the photos! The final set of images were published in a beautiful, glossy, hard backed book using the excellent Blurb BooksHere is a tiny selection of my favourite shots*:

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Below: one of the ‘before’ shots, where you can see the faaancy green screen in the background.

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Things I discovered while making this book: I really like making books. Apart from the sheer playful joy of taking photos and creating composite images (some of which featured gorillas and robots), I loved designing the layout of the 50+ pages. I’d happily do it again, so if any of you are feeling inspired…you know who to call!

*re. pixellation: This is partly for my friends’ internet anonymity, but also because I like occasional dramatic use of Photoshop filters. (The images in the published book are uncensored, of course, because a memento with unrecognisable faces is a useless memento.)

Double Thefties: Mirror Images and Pattern Play.

Hello! Today I dug up one of my old paintings, a self-portrait that I made many moons ago. You already know how much I adore patterns and portraits, but did you know how much I enjoy reinventing old pieces? Because It’s a lot. In fact, while some people relax in front of the telly, my afternoons off are spent playing around with Photoshop. (My sore back is a testament to how much time I spent hunched in front of my monitor.) Anyway, enough chatter!

Here are some fluoro Double-Thefties, disco style!

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Mr. Turtle: My colourful plastic sculpture

Hello! This is Mr. Turtle, my latest in a series of colourful turtle sculptures (see here and here). He is the result of a private commission, and is destined to hang in the sunny kitchen of an Oxfordshire home, swimming for evermore through the air. The sculpture is made almost entirely of up-cycled materials, including plastic bottles and old shopping bags – his snouty little face is made of a ginger beer bottle! Have a look:

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena Maratheftis

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena MaratheftisSince the sculpture is going to hang from the ceiling, I focused on decorating the underside. I went for bold stripes and contrasting colours. I wasn’t given a particular colour scheme, but was simply told to make it as colourful as possible.  He’s covered in many, many coats of acrylic paint, and embellished with splashes of silver ink. 

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You know, I’m pretty fond of this guy. He doesn’t have a name yet (and could be a Ms. Turtle for all I know). I handed him over with the request that he must be given a name! I can’t wait to find out what it is.

Memento Mori: Death, tarot cards, and a strange photo booth.

Hello! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll remember the funny/macabre tarot cards I designed for Moving Dust Productions. I finally got my hands on a set of cards, after the first set mysteriously vanished in the post (that’s what you get for messing with the occult). Anyway, Here they are! I’ve alsoposted some snaps of my very own brush with Death, for your enhanced viewing pleasure (please take extra note of my glamorous veil).

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The cards are for The Box, an installation where participants get to meet death…in his photo booth. (Yes, you read that correctly.) I was invited to take part in the latest incarnation of The Box and, let me tell you, Death was a hoot!

If you fancy your own (harmless) brush with death, follow Moving Dust on Facebook for updates.

Thefty and the Blog & Buy Sale Spring Wishlist!

Hello! I’m very excited to announce that two of my prints have been selected for the Blog & Buy Sale Spring Wishlist! You can see my items here and here.

The wishlist is a showcase of ‘the very best creative products from independent artists & designers’, and runs until the 5th of May. I’m thrilled to have my posters selling alongside the work of so many other brilliant designers – If you want to see some of my favourites, scroll to the end of this post.

Helena-Maratheftis-blog-buy-sale-1 Helena-Maratheftis-blog-buy-sale-2It was very difficult to choose favourites from the wishlist, as there are too many great items to choose from. However, here’s a small list of items which really caught my eye.

Thefty’s Top Picks:

Beardy Man Malcolm Cushion, by Laura Gee Illustration

Sign Language ‘Well Done’ Card, by JollyGoodStudio

Miss Floral Hand Illustrated Shoes, by Sam Pierpoint

Badger Stud Earrings, by A Girl Called Boz

Woodland Critters Temporary Tattoos, by DB Illustrations

Knit & Loop Mug and Plate Set, by Room 39

Cheetah Says Fuck Off A4 Giclee Print, by Laura Gee Illustration

Solitude Screen Print, by Enclosed Spaces

And, of course, don’t forget to check out my posters!

Be Happy A3 Poster, by Thefty

Chin Up! A3 Poster, by Thefty

To Dry For: A Design Competition.

Hello! This is my entry for To Dry For’s annual design competitionToDryFor is an online boutique specialising in designer tea towels, and I love them in the way I love anything that combines illustration and puns! Below is a mock-up of my tea towel and me. (I already own one of their lovely towels, so I had the perfect template!)

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All of the towels are screen-printed, so I needed to work with a limited number of colours. Naturally, I chose four of my very favourite shades of blue/green. The phrase ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ immediately sprung to mind when I started brainstorming for the brief, so I decided to go for a text-based design.

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In case you’re wondering: I don’t believe in god, but I most definitely believe in cleanliness.

Valentine’s Day Lovebugs

Hello! I’m partial to a good Valentine’s day doodle, but I thought I’d do it my way this year (by which I mean, insects were involved). The word ‘lovebug’ magically popped into my head while editing these photos, and a little while later I’d created these:

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I hope you have a lovely day, no matter what you’re doing.

New Posters In Store!

Hello! I’ve revamped my online store and I have a new set of posters in stock!

If you want something on your wall that oozes colour and good vibes, then you’re in luck! The posters are printed on beautiful, 235gsm satin photo paper with a semi-gloss finish, and come in two sizes (A3 and A2). Check them out here.

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Death and His Lady: Tarot Card Illustration.

Hello! I’ve been working with Moving Dust on their latest project, The Box, where viewers are invited to enter a photo booth where they can meet Death and His Lady. (If that sounds morbid yet playful…that’s because it is!)  Apart from designing the promotional material for The Box, I also created a set of ten illustrated tarot cards:

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The cards are the size of an actual tarot card, and are printed on proper, plasticized playing card stock. The front (above left) is adorned by a photo of Death and His Lady. The backs of the cards (above right) feature one of the ten pieces of writing which were commissioned for the project. Some of the writing is painfully funny, and some is painfully to the point. The cards were given to participants as a memento mori, aka little reminders of their inevitable deaths! Nice!

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Above: Death and His Lady, behind the scenes.

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What I’ve shown you here is 80% of the design…there’s a little something extra which I’m not going to reveal! I don’t want to spoil the performance. It just wouldn’t be fair! If you want to enter The Box for yourself, make sure you follow Moving Dust on Facebook to find out about future performances.

Death and his Lady: Design, Photography, Skulls & Bees.

Hello! I’ve been working on graphic design and photography for Moving Dust, a London-based dance and performance company. Their latest project, ‘The Box‘, invites viewers to enter a photo booth where they can meet Death (and his Lady). Needless to say, it has been a fun and unusual project to be involved with.

Below are a series of shots from our e-flyer photoshoot – Danielle, John and Kate were so amazing to work with that I just had to share some out takes.

Helena-Maratheftis-death-and-his-lady-01Above: the final e-flyer design I ctreated. Below: Death’s self-portrait.

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Helena-Maratheftis-death-and-his-lady-09Kate (the director) styling Danielle and John (the performers).

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Portfolios and GIFs

Hello! If you haven’t visited my portfolio in a while, you might want to take a look – I made quite a few changes today, including a new animated GIF on the homepage:

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Here are a couple of screenshots:

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I’ve been doing a lot of new year reorganising and redecorating, so I didn’t see why www.helenamaratheftis.com should miss out!

What have you been spending time on in 2013? Whatever it is, I hope the new year is coming along nicely for all of you. (Yes, I’m feeling particularly chirpy and friendly today.)

Christmas Cootie Catcher, Again.

Hello! I first published this Cootie Catcher last Christmas, but it was so popular that I thought I’d share it again for those that didn’t see it.

If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you’ll find a printable A4 Cootie Catcher (aka paper fortune teller) template. I think it would make a funny little stocking stuffer, or a cute decoration on the Christmas table! I hope you like it.

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The template below can be printed straight onto A4 paper (click here for full size version). All you need to do is print it, cut off the excess at the bottom, and fold it up! (Folding instructions here.)

Happy fortune telling! Let me know if you decide to print some – I’d love to know what you do with them!

p.s. Don’t forget – I’ve also got a bunch of Christmas cards and Poster Calendars in my shop, in case you haven’t bought yours yet!

Christmas Cards a la Thefty

Hello! I designed some cheeky Christmas cards last year, and they’re back in stock! They’re bright and festive (and frankly, a bit silly) while remaining totally non-denominational.

There are 4 designs: Dino SantaFroggy Pudding, Gingerbread Robots, and Christmas Cupcakes.  They can be purchased individually (with hand-embellished rhinestones) or in packs of 6 (2 designs per pack).

They are A6 (10.5 x 14.8cm) when folded, and are printed on environmentally friendly paper from FSC certified sources.

Please click here to visit my shop!

Drawing on my face: Halloween Make-up

Hello! Last week was Halloween, which is my annual excuse to do weird things to my face. (I don’t only draw on paper, you see.) Below are photos as well as some diagrams to help you create the looks – bookmark them for next year!

This is me as a six-eyed mutant. This look was inspired by this image. I opted for a more natural look (ahem), and chose to duplicate my eyes rather than completely transforming my face.

For this look, I used white face paint to draw the eye shape, black liquid eyeliner for all the outlines, and taupe eyeshadow to colour the irises (choose an eyeshadow colour closest to your own eyes. Cream shadow or a chubby pencil will work best.)I did this freehand, in the mirror. You don’t have to bother with realistic shading – just try to get the size right and it will look terrifying from a distance!

My second look was a rather glam zombie face, inspired by this image. Scary, yet oddly flattering, no?

I used the following products: white face paint, taupe cream eyeshadow, a palette of brown eyeshadows, black kohl pencil, grey/black eyeshadow (to enlarge and fill in your eyebrows), gold highlighter, red lipstick.

Oh, and here’s a token scary photo where I appear to have no iris. Enjoy!

What did you dress up as for halloween?