Tara Helfer is a Pittsburgh native, drawing inspiration from the convergence of urban and rural elements surrounding the city.
While flexible with the pen, the bulk of Tara’s work involves meticulous line work, violent whiplash curves and varying line weight. Her technique originates from an attraction to organic form, movement, pattern and composition. The subject matter of her work emerges from childhood fears and curiosities growing up in the backwoods of Pennsylvania where development is sparse and a hunting culture is prominent. Narrative illustrations often appropriate symbols and characters from folklore, urban legends and myths which are conveyed in a medley of diverging elements ranging from what is considered to be beautiful to the typically undesired, what is considered natural or man made, and what is believably alive or long past dead. Tara’s work blurs the assumptions of what is beautiful and desired, embracing abnormalities and impossibilities alike.
Tara Helfer is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. She is an editor for the comic anthology Unicorn Mountain and is currently working as a freelance artist in Columbus, OH. Her interests include taxidermy, graphic novels, character design, petroforms and pictograms, visual music, reptiles, insects and everything lurking under the bed.