Monday, 29 July 2013

Comic Book Pin Up

When Pin Up meets Comic Books - Maria Danalakis

At Pinupzania we obviously love all things vintage or retro pin up but we also love comic book culture, so finding an amazing artist whose work combines a classic pin up feel with a strong comic book/cartoon/pop culture twist wasn't something we could ignore.

Maria Danalakis is an illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born and raised. When she isn't drawing cute pin ups, she is a graphic artist for a children's clothing company. She also loves going to museums, checking out burlesque shows and hanging out in Coney Island.

We asked her a few questions on how she got started and on her love of pin up and comic book culture and this is what she said:

I have always loved art and going to museums and pouring over art and design books, but I didn't really start getting serious about art until my first year in college. I took one art class and was hooked and knew that I wanted to pursue art as more than just a hobby. So I applied and got accepted to the School of Visual Arts in NYC and graduated with a degree in illustration. Learning with some of the world’s top illustrators and artists changed the way I viewed and made art.  At the time I was doing a lot of realistic style oil paintings and drawings but was still was not sure what direction I wanted to go in with my work. After graduating, I stared working on children’s graphics, which inspired me to be more experimental with my work and to let myself have more fun with it, so I started to work with new techniques that truly expressed my interest in pin up, cartoons, comics, pop culture and fashion a lot more than my realistic style allowed me to before.

I often wonder what is it about pin up art that really resonates with me, and it’s kind of difficult to come up with one simple answer! Ever since I discovered the art of Gil Elvgren during my first year at SVA, I wanted to know more about this subversive style that existed in such a seemingly wholesome time period. I delved deeper and learned more about female politics and sexuality of the 40s and 50s. Pin up art also led me to discover todays thriving pin up and burlesque scene, which I also really love. The women (and men) who participate in burlesque today are doing what they love for themselves and by themselves. It’s very liberating to watch these confident artists with no inhibitions.

In 2010 I joined an artists collective called Girls Drawing Girls and got the chance to participate in conventions for the very first time. I was so excited to be part of a group of female artists who were making a name for themselves in the very male dominated world of comics. My first convention with GDG was New York Comic Con  and it was thrilling to be part of all that energy and excitement and to get such good feedback from people looking at my work, both artists and fans.  I think that is what I like most about conventions, all of the energy going around, and its always so refreshing to see so many people with such genuine passion expressing it freely. Having all of that artistic and literary talent under one roof is also very motivating for me as an artist.

My ultimate combination of pin up and superheroine would be Bettie Page and Barbara Gordon Batgirl. I chose Bettie Page for her fearless confidence and charm, and Barbara Gordon for her incredible intelligence, courage and strength.

Here is a selection of Maria's wonderful work:

You can see more of Maria's work at

Go and take a look, it's amazing!!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Burlesque Assassins

A Proper Burlesque Movie!

Admittedly this is a bit of shameless promotion but we think that this is something you might like.

Burlesque Assassins is a film that has been produced with the support and assistance of the Worldwide Burlesque Community - It's a great, fun, sexy film, so why not take a look at the trailer to see what you think.

Monday, 15 July 2013

North America's Best Pin Up Photographer?

Cat Tetreault

In the latest in our series on characters and businesses from the pin up industry that we admire, we are delighted to present an interview with Cat Tetreault, a Canadian photographer specialising in Boudoir, glamour and pin up photography. Cat is someone whose work we have long admired and she is someone that Stuart, in particular, has followed since he went full time as a photographer. Stuart says that her work is fresh, original and technically superb, yet is unmistakably influenced by the great, classic pin up artists. She also works with some amazing models. She primarily works on location and her reasons for loving and undertaking pin up photography are very similar to ours.

Cat started up in Sooke BC, but from August 2013 she will be residing and booking shoots in the Chilliwack, BC area.

Cat is a mother of two beautiful daughters and wife to an amazingly supportive husband. She has always been drawn to art (painting, photos, a beautifully lit landscape) - it's always been a part of her life. So, when she realised that she could make something beautiful with a camera, it was set in her mind that being a photographer was HER.

Here is her interview:

How did you start taking Pin up style photographs?

When I moved to BC I started looking up photographers and models that I could meet and work with to get to know my surroundings and help get my name out there. I found the beautiful Miss Bianca Bombshell's Facebook site and wrote her about my interest in shooting to build my pin up portfolio... it was a match made in heaven.

What is it you love about the Pin up style?

Everything... Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and pin up photography brings to life a flirty, and usually fully clothed (but not always) way for women to show their sexy, beautiful selves.

Name a past photographer/pin up enthusiast who has inspired you

Pinup passion... I seriously love everything about Sorelle

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Photographing... I don't want this ever to stop, I'm seriously in love with showing women how beautiful they are!!

Who influences your work, past or present?

Any kind of art... I find myself constantly on the net looking at new ideas and themes... if only there were more hours in the day.

Tell us about your favourite model that you work with.

Again, Miss Bianca Bombshell. Not only have we had a chance to work closely together on a number of shoots, but we just get on with each other. She knows what I want, and I know what she likes. We can come to a shoot with two totally different ideas and they mold perfectly together.

Here is a selection of Cat's wonderful photographs

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

House Of Wonderland

Pin Up Jewellery - House of Wonderland

In the first of a series of features on independent designers and small businesses that we admire, we take a look at House of Wonderland, designers and manufacturers of some great, quirky and fun jewellery and customised accessories and clothing.

Tessa Shearer studied Art & Design whilst at college in Skipton, Yorkshire.  After the birth of her first child, Tessa returned to college to continue her professional development in Theatre Costume Design.  A frustrated designer, Tessa left college before finalizing her qualification, keen to establish her own business.  Tessa has developed an array of experience in fashion, jewellery and website design. In addition, Tessa creates pop art, comic book, illustration paintings and limited edition art prints. Tessa was also pre-selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition in London.

Tessa’s passion for innovative craft and design, inspired from Japanese and vintage styles, is also inspired by her two young children, and has resulted in the launch in the spring 2012 of House of Wonderland.  Her aim is to offer unique, colourful designs, whilst supporting independent companies, designers and suppliers, with most supplies from independent UK stores to provide a “proud to be British” product.

Tessa has a vast reservoir of knowledge and experience and is extremely hard working resulting her being intimately familiar with all of her products.  Tessa is determined for HW to be successful.

We asked Tessa some questions to find out more:

What led you to form House Of Wonderland?
I have been making jewellery and clothes since I was very young and was selling them in shops when I was just 15 years old..
What is it you like about the pin up style?
I love how the style is able to be classy but still retain its naughty twist. 
Name someone from the past world of pin up who has inspired you?
From a young age Betty Page has obviously been a huge inspiration to me and my work. Being a pioneer in the risque and breaking new ground whilst popularising an underground genre over such a short time has always inspired me to aim high in life and business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years I hope that I can continue running HOW, We are planning to expand the business and bring it lots of new designs;  Which will hopefully in turn increase our exposure and stockists worldwide.

Who currently inspires you?
Seeing all the awesome designs that I see other UK shops selling constantly push me to try harder and to explore new areas of work. I also find a lot of inspiration from artists of all forms as they generally have the same vast imagination as I do which helps me to turn my ideas from thoughts into jewellery.

Who influences your work, past or present?
John Galliano has always been a massive influence in my work from the start because of his quirky style. Andy Warhol is another huge influence as his style is the opposite to Galliano's but it is still "out there", and he was amazing at making the mundane interesting. 

House of Wonderland have a website at and a facebook page

We are delighted to say that we will be selling a selection of comic book/movie/pin up inspired pieces from House of Wonderland at our stall at the London Film & Comic Con from 5th - 7th July

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hi Guys

Just wanted to say Hi to all our followers, 

My name is Hannah aka Ruby Secrets. 

I will be posting on behalf of Pinupzania every now and again, so I thought it would be rude not to introduce myself formally to you all. I am a pinup model but I also help out with some behind the scenes stuff. So expect to see reviews, news and just general chit chat here from me ^.^ There's a picture of me at the bottom of this post so you can all put a face to my name! 

I hope you all appreciate all that we do with Pinupzania and we really do love to hear from you!

Much love to you all

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Our week in Wales

A week by the sea

Here are some images from our week in North Wales last month.
Firstly some beach shots, featuring swimsuits from the wonderful Lady K Loves

And now a selection of shots featuring outfits from the lovely Heyday

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

We're currently having something of a much needed rest, but keep an eye on here as we have some great things for you in the coming weeks.

Next Week we have a feature on and interview with one of our favourite pin up photographers from North America. Also coming soon  an interview with a fabulous UK pin up who is really 'nailing' Elvgenesque style photo shoots, with plenty of lovely photos for you in both cases.

Looking slightly further forward, it's only 5 weeks to the London Film & Comic Con at Earls Court 2, we had so much fun last year and this year is going to be even better, with more of our girls and more amazing costumes - if you are in London the weekend of 6th/7th July and have the odd few hours free, do drop by and say hi to the girls.

This is a shot of the lovely Roxy Love with a friend, from last year

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Pin Ups on the Road

Pinupzania are heading off for a little roadtrip on Saturday, heading out into the countryside, mountains and maybe hitting the beach. The weather isn't looking great but hopefully we'll be able to produce some great imagery for you.

Heyday are supplying some wonderful vintage style for the girls and, as long as the weather is kind, we should have a lot of fun.

We'll be away a week, so watch out for some behind the scenes shots and some sneak peeks at what we get up to.

We'll also be making the most of any spare time to develop our plans for our big project this year, the first shoots for this will be next week. We can't say too much just yet, though you might find out more as the year progresses and we'll reveal all, so to speak, later in the year.

Just who is Betsy Jane? You might find out towards the end of the year.

Monday, 13 May 2013

How do I become a Pin Up?

How do I become a Pin Up?

One of the questions we are asked most often is 'How do I become a pin up?'

Now, if we were to consider the strict definition of a 'pin up' as 'someone whose images achieve widespread popular cultural appeal' then our answer would be 'you don't' as there are only going to be a handful of girls who become true pin ups.

But, if we take it that you are simply asking 'how do I get into pin up modelling?' then that is most certainly something that we can help with.

First off we would tell you that you don't have to be a certain body shape or size, there is a lot of rubbish about 'only curvy girls can be pin ups' which is generally meant to be seen as a good thing by the person saying it, indicating that they don't discriminate against 'larger girls', yet if they stopped to think for a minute they should realise that any kind of discrimination on the basis of body shape or size is wrong.  Girls (or guys) of any shape and size can be a pin up if they want to be. Of course, if you want to be a successful commercial model then you have to have a certain look and within mainstream fashion it is still generally the case you do have to be a certain shape and size, but sometimes, more often now than in the past, 'non standard' girls make the grade.

One of the reasons we started Pinupzania was to bust the 'myth' that you can only be a model if you are a certain shape or size - we use girls of all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful.

Today, it is easier than ever (and far, far more difficult, more on that later) to become a 'model' - You will almost certainly find a photographer reasonably local to you, who would be happy to take some shots for you, if you are a complete beginner you may have to pay a small fee, but that depends on the photographer. There are any number of 'model/photographer portfolio' websites such as Model Mayhem or PurplePort (google them) where you can set up a free profile once you have some decent images. If you have no images at all, then get a friend to take some, or using somewhere like facebook, find a friend of a friend who can actually take some decent images, again you may have to pay a small fee but having some professional looking shots to start with will help you get more shoots without having to pay. Most of these portfolio sites also offer forums where advice is available to new models, never be afraid to ask about anything you don't understand and always place your personal safety above everything else.

If you don't want to get into modelling as such but just want some 'pin up' shots then there are any number of photographers and studios who will offer exactly that (we do of course but there are also others)

So, you've decided that you're going to do a pin up shoot, but how do you actually 'be' a pin up?

Being a vintage/retro style inspired pin up is as much about attitude and confidence as anything else, if you feel confident then you can look confident and the reverse is also true, if you can look confident then you can feel confident. Look at the girls above, you just know that they know that they are dammed sexy, yet I have never come across any model who doesn't have some level of insecurity about some part of their body - you just need to banish all such thoughts when you are posing.

'Posing' as a pin up may simply involve showing that you are confident and sexy, or it may involve being a little cheeky, perhaps even a little naughty, or maybe even showing some vulnerability and coyness but will often (though it doesn't have to) involve showing a little flesh - especially if you want to pose as a 'cheescake' model

Whilst it is true that some will be a natural, for others it will be like many things, practice makes perfect, the more you do it the better at it you will get - look at old photos, especially of the classic pin ups, and watch their old films, look how they hold themselves, watch how they move, taking careful note of facial expressions, for a beginner, it can be the facial expressions which make or break a pose and this can be one of the hardest things to grasp. The advice we would give is to not try to hard, thinking of something else other than the fact that you are trying to pose might help, and smile, at least a little, pin up is fun, you don't want to look miserable. Though another trick is to 'smile' with your eyes, rather than just with your mouth - think happy thoughts.

Here are a few typical poses from some of our girls.

To come we have blog entries on 'make-up', 'hair styling', 'outfits' and 'posing' from a model's perspective. We'll also cover more on getting started in modelling, getting published and finding an agency.