Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Take on Our Haunting Holiday

Daisy Pushkin & Claude Graves doing
The Zombie Stomp

Everyone I know loves Halloween.  

For artists especially it is a time to revel in interpreting all the icons of the season in a variety of wild and crazy ways.  My former partner and I designed characters complete with costumes and makeup.

But everyone else also becomes super creative while indulging in costumes, makeup, decorations and food like hot apple cider, caramel apples and pumpkin pie. 

Halloween has its roots in early religions but has evolved into a time that ushers in the winter months when we want to be cozy, well fed and lifting our spirits with parties and celebrations.  Besides all that, this first holiday of the season indulges our need to challenge the things that scare us the most like ghosts and goblins and even death.  We meet them head on, enjoying the thrill. 

Tee Shirt Design

The costumes, decorations and artwork can be scary, downright ghoulish, but also satirical and even funny. Add horror films into the mix and you have covered the whole spectrum.  I spent several Halloweens past doing professional makeup and costumes for partygoers.  The most popular looks back then were Zombies (still hot I understand) and Cats from the Broadway show.   I photographed and sketched a lot of this work and some of it evolved into digital images I created for amusement and sometimes for Tee Shirts and such.

 Claude Graves & Friends for Tee Shirt design

Dancing Zombie Bride & Groom for Tee Shirt design

Zombie Bride prizewinning costume & makeup

Vampire makeup for Tee Shirt design

Funny Frankenstein Monster makeup

So, Halloween for me has always been fun and very creative.  One year we spent the evening up in Jerome, Arizona in an abandoned and very spooky old hospital which had been rented out by the city for the night to a group throwing a huge party.  My partner and I did makeup on location for everyone attending the celebration and even helped stage some grisley scenes in a couple of the old operating rooms.  It was quite a success.

Daisy Pushkin at the Jerome Hospital Bash

It is a rather eerie but very expressive season and I hope all of you reading this enjoy it to the fullest!

Al of the images in this post are copyright protected 2010 by Elinor Mavor.    


  1. Ellie, you really capture the Spirit of Halloween (pun partly intended). I love your creatures!

  2. Wonderful images! But it's really taken me by surprise that Halloween is made so much of in America! It's perfectly possible to not even notice it over here in the UK!

  3. Thanks Em and Judy. Judy, we tend to go totally overboard with this holiday in the USA: Parties all over town in homes and night clubs,
    contests for best costumes and amazing decorations. When I was a kid, it was all about Tricks or Treats and kid stuff, but it has really bloomed here as a major holiday for adults. Many businesses even encourage the wearing of costumes by employees to celebrate the day.

  4. Hi Elinor, I love your Halloween characters. Adore the names too. Daisy Pushkin and Claude Graves. How clever and fun. :-)

  5. Thanks, Vanessa! I have partied with most of these characters on Halloween. One of them is me. A group of us Zombies once won top prize at a convention doing a line dance on stage to the tune of "Stayin' Alive".

  6. These characters are fantastic, Elinor! if I would have read this post before Halloween, I would have dressed as something more interesting than a doctor. I hope I'm not becoming more dull with age. It wasn't that long ago that I dressed as a pirate and a pimp! I'll be reaching out to u for the interview. Thanks so much dear.

  7. The dancing zombies for t shirt is the best one.I like it.