Helen tells Metro.co.uk she started drawing as a child when her parents would take her to church three times a week.
‘To keep me quiet they give me paper and pen,’ she explains. ‘I kept drawing because I like it.
‘I never want to draw realism. It was really something that I like to do because it makes me happy and makes people happy.
‘I never thought I could be an artist. My parents had struggled a lot in life so they thought art careers are for rich people that have connections.’
Helen explains how she started embracing her unique style and now teaches art classes as an illustrator.
But she still finds the time to upload her latest creations on Instagram and doesn’t just stick to tattoos to show off her work.
‘I have given as gifts for friends the things I was doing, from zines, comic books, to T-shirts, bags and mugs with my drawings on it. I have even sold it for those who asked for it. I have painted walls and made flyers for events like small concerts or parties. I have even drawn on nails.
‘When I hurt myself and have a plaster, I draw on it. I love customizing things, even pencils and stuff.’
Though initially, it started off as a hobby whereby Helen would ink her close friends, it soon became a business venture and Helen started charging for the tats.
She has been featured on tattoo publications and her work is loved all over social media.
‘I think my customers are captivated by the cuteness or fun. They get so happy, like, they smile when they look at it. Maybe it’s nice to feel it daily and forever.
‘Customers have told me that people stop them on the streets and say: “Oh, is this an original Malfeitona”? Some customers have even asked me to sign the tattoo with M.
‘Also, tattoos are a very personal and invasive process so when choosing a tattoo artist, most people don’t just think about the style but who is marking them forever. I take care so that the whole experience is very personal.
Helen also notes that Brazil is facing a complicated political moment now and is very polarised. She hopes to use her art to bring people together.
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