Blogstagram: The week in Instagram Pictures.

Hello! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve had a very colourful few weeks! Spring is coming and it’s a total relief to see the days  getting longer. Flowers are appearing, as is the sun and the blue sky. Hell-freaking-yes. All this colour and light has put me in a the mood for drawing and decorating, so I’ve been filling up my sketchbook with doodles and filling up my house with patterns and flowers. And, of course, I’ve been packing Retroviral mug orders…which never gets old! Here are a few recent Instagram snaps.


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Thefty HQ gets the Retroviral Treatment

Hello! The Ohh Deer Pillow Fight competition has been extended, so you can now get your Retroviral Cushions until December 1st! I ordered one of each design for myself – Herpes, HIV, Rabies, and a collage – and can confirm that the colours are lovely and bright, and the cushions are nice and fluffy. Of course, in addition to cushions, Retroviral mugs are still in stock in our online shop.

THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-04THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-03THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-08THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-10 THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-06 THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-07THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-05THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-12 THEFTY-Retroviral-cushions-lifestyle-11

Shop Retroviral cushions here

  Shop Retroviral mugs here


Blogstagram: The week in Instagram pictures.

Hello! What a week it’s been! As you may have noticed* I finally launched my first ever collection of illustrated mugs. Woohoo!

The collection is called Retroviral, and is as retro and as sciencey as it sounds. So many lovely people have already ordered mugs online, and I’ve been up to my eyeballs in bubblewrap and boxes. I love it! Parcels have already been dispatched to Hawaii and Las Vegas and other far flung locations. (My mugs are clearly leading a more exotic life than I am.) Here are a few of my Instagram photos, documenting a week of the best kind of chaos:












In case you’re wondering: Of course I made time for technicolour tea parties and bouquets of lilies despite the madness. Those are the things that keep me sane. Here’s to another good week (and yes, I know it’s Wednesday!).


* Ahem – If you’ve managed to miss my constant posting, I salute you.

Beetles! A new collection at the NHM.

Hello! Welcome to my Beetles! series. I take photos for the beetles department at the Natural History Museum (aka the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’). There are plenty of photos to share. Stay tuned!

Last week was extra-exciting, as the team unveiled thousands of new specimens acquired for the museum collection. I was invited to take a peek at the new material…and encouraged to take lots of pictures, as usual. Here are some of my favourites. (You’ll be entirely shocked to discover that my favourites were the most heavily coloured and patterned beetles of the bunch!)



Helena-Maratheftis-NHM-new-collection-600-03Jade greens and dusty blues…spots and stripes and abstract prints…gloss and matte and metallic finishes… these little guys give me so much inspiration for my artwork. They are just too cool.


Helena-Maratheftis-NHM-new-collection-600-09Row after row of little white boxes, filled with specimens from all around the globe. These will soon be integrated with the museum’s current collection.



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Theftypix on Instagram!

Psssssst! I recently joined Instagram, and as predicted, I’ve become a total Instajunkie.  Fortunately, I’ve managed to keep the food shots to a minimum (I swear). I’ve been having a lot of fun snapping at my palette and works in progress, and I’ve posted some of my favourites below.

Come and join me @theftypix!








Are you on Instagram? Leave your handle in the comments so I can follow you back!

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. 

Plastic Turtle Sculpture by Helena Maratheftis


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.

Weekly Inspiration: Fruit, flowers and feet…in Cyprus!

Hello! This is a weekly feature where I share my photos with you. I carry my camera everywhere, and I constantly take pictures of things that excite me. Prepare to see lots of colours and patterns through my lens.

I spent the first two weeks of May in Cyprus, and I had a pretty rosy time: We visited the mountain village of Agros, which is famous for it’s fragrant Damask rose plantations. I’d always wanted to go but somehow always missed rose blooming season. We visited the rose water distillery, where there were huge piles of pink roses with a smell sweet enough to knock you out! I came home with a bottle of rose liqueur and a bellyful of rose sorbet (my childhood favourite). Below are a few of the most colourful photos from my trip.



Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour22-11Above: Jacaranda petals and geometric markings. So much colour!


Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour22-09Bare toes and bougainvillea petals. Oh man, I miss the Mediterranean summer.


Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour22-06The next few photos are from the local fruit market, selling fresh fruit, veg, cured meats and flowers.



Helena-Maratheftis-weekincolour22-01Below: A few quick snaps from a wedding I attended. I couldn’t resist those colourful legs!

Have you ever visited Cyprus? It’s a very small but very beautiful island, and on grey London days I dream of its pristine beaches and blue skies. I love it there.

Clashing Colours & Video Cameras

Hello! I spent a day last week playing with cameras, tripods and video editing software (the latter being a first for me). I really enjoyed styling up my house  – and myself – and jumping in front of the video camera! The aim was to create an ‘about me’ video, hence why I went crazy with the colours and bright details. Here are a few stills:

Helena-Maratheftis-filming-day-2Above: As you can see, the bookshelves behind me are loaded with art books and cook books. I’m guessing you’re not surprised! My house is full of books, and what you can’t see here is the science section and the fiction section. Seriously. (Unfortunately, what you can see is my Argos catalogue. Classy.)

Below: I used my mobile to take a photo of the camera set-up…and later in the day, used my camera to take a picture of my phone! (Confusing? Yes.)


Below: The full backdrop for the shoot. I took some of my favourite objects and art prints form around the flat and piled them onto the shelves. I wanted the backdrop to be bold and cheerful, but I didn’t want it to overwhelm me (which explains my choice to wear super-bright and block-coloured clothing).



Oh, and, here’s a little GIF I made (Yep, that’s me!).


You know what? I’m at my happiest when surrounded by colour.

Jungle of Colour: A Private Commission

Hello! I’ve just finished working on a very colourful and highly detailed piece. The brief was to create ‘a woodland landscape with animals/figures doing stuff.  And the landscape features trees … which don’t necessarily have to look realistic. I am thinking colourful and vibrant’. That was literally the brief, word for word, and it was right up my street. Here is what I came up with:

As you can see, I decided to create a lush, tropical forest canopy, filled with dozens of little characters. It’s hard to see the details here (the canvas is huge – 120 x 80cm) so I’ve zoomed in on some of my favourite bits:

I started off by painting stripes onto canvas, then layering on branches and leaves. When that was complete, I got to work on all the animals. I love adding all the details, down to tiny caterpillar eyebrows (above) and curly proboscises (below):

So, to summarise: Fluoro colours, gold ink, rhinestones, and stylised little beasties. It’s a Thefty piece, through and through!

I hope you like it, Miss C!

A Very Thefty Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick reminder that my online store is open for Christmas shopping, with the last UK orders going out on December 17th. There are Christmas cards galore, as well as colourful art prints and postersphotographic prints, and original paintings too!

You could get these for a dinosaur lover, or this poster for someone who’s an Apple junkie! There’s a print for a book lover here, and something for a sweet-tooth over here. Oh, and what about your lover? Wouldn’t they like this? (The answer is yes.)

Prices start from £1.50, and a large A2 print is less than £33. I try to price my prints and cards so that people like me can afford them!

Thanks to everyone whose already done their shopping in my store. If you fancy anything, please get your orders in quick! There’s only a week to go!

Rainbow Aztecs

Hello! For Halloween, I thought I’d show you my ‘Aztec Mask’ drawings.

I don’t know why I gave them this name, as they bear very little resemblance to Aztec masks. Maybe it’s the toothy grins and precious stones?  Either way, mine are more colourful and less…sinister.

I have made a blue version and a rainbow version, and you can find them both in my print shop. Click here!

Stylist Magazine Cover Competition

Stylist magazine is celebrating it’s 100th issue by allowing readers to design the entire magazine for one week! This is my entry to the 100th Issue Cover Competition. The theme is ‘celebration’, so it made sense to go for happy colours and oversized cakes!

I didn’t take this photo specifically for the cover – it’s one that I happened to take recently, and I thought it would make an excellent cover photo (I am lucky because I have friends who are model material). I layered several of my illustrations on top, and added a good dose of extra colours and patterns. It looks happy, and I like it.

The winner has not yet been announced, and so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Scribbles on Fluoro

I spent yesterday afternoon on my balcony, eating marshmallows and scribbling on fluorescent paper (a friend had given me a pack for my birthday, and I couldn’t wait to play with it). I really like fluoro, but I often use it as an accent in my work, rather than starting off with such a bright background. Here are the fruits of my labour:

I put the rest of the photos on my Facebook page. Click here to see them!

Repeat, repeat

Hello! I was feeling a bit ill yesterday, so I rested by playing around with Photoshop (it’s as helpful as Vitamin C, I reckon). All of these images feature my photographs and drawings layered on top of each other. The only recurring theme is the candy-striped background – it’s my favourite pattern at the moment. Anyway, let me know what you think!

P.S. This blog was featured on Freshly Pressed yesterday, and I’d like to extend a big thanks to the WordPress editorial team, as well as to all of you who stopped by to look.