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