7 Dec 2011

Artist 118: Helena Maratheftis

Feature time again with the exuberant work of Helena Maratheftis aka Thefty, Helena's work comes at the viewer with a visual assault  of colour and pattern, her hand drawn typography one of the keystones of a style that blends a range of influences from Mexican tribal patterns to naive characters in a complex melange of colour and life. It's great to see such a unique style not afraid to use colour and intense patterns to bring her work straight to the fore. There is no mistaking her work and it is worth noting that throughout the many forms of her work, whether graphical or illustrative her keen eye for colour and the way she uses her distinctive palette always gives her work a vibrancy and edge. Helena creates movement and drama with her work but does well to contain and direct it making sure she can always get her message across. With best wishes for the future it's the wonderful Helena Maratheftis!

Who are you:
My name is Helena Maratheftis, and I draw, paint, and make colourful things. I am sometimes called ‘Thefty’, which is a nickname that became my creative alter ego. (‘Thefty’ comes from Maratheftis, not from any illegal tendencies!)

What do you do:
I've always drawn and painted, but I’ve recently had the opportunity to work with some very cool people on some fantastically eclectic projects. For example, I created life-sized plastic turtle sculptures for Selfridge’s Project Ocean, and I was involved in the art direction for an edible horror installation…for none other than Alice Cooper! I believe that colour makes everything better, so I try to take on any project where I can express that.

When I’m not painting or drawing, I’m either wielding my beloved camera, or baking a cake.

How did you start:
I took the scenic route to get here! I studied biology at university, and I quit my day job less than a year ago. After years of cramming my creative projects into my spare time, it’s great to finally be able to focus on them all day long!

A Personal statement about you or your work:
‘Helena Maratheftis is an artist/illustrator with a weakness for neon, rhinestones, and hand drawn text. Helena has always been enthralled by the visual world, and is enchanted by bold pattern and dynamic use of colour. She lives and works in London.’


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