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Art Watch : Teo Zirinis

Teo ZirinisHands off my Dinosaur’ is in focus for our Art Watch for today. This section is brought to you by Art From Us and Divvya Nirula. The Artists we spotlight here can be from any field, across any discipline, and using a variety of media. We share here why we think they are important and worth watching. Be it genius creators of eras gone by. Or the upcoming contemporary artist who is yet to have their first show. All come under the purview of Art Watch.


I first fell in love with Teo’s unique brand of funny in 2012. With his series that illustrated the everyday problems faced by famous monsters. Be it Medusa complaining that she is ever hairdressers night mare, to Frankenstein exclaiming that he feels so “re-used”! His creative alias is HANDS OF MY DINASAUR and at Art From Us, we love everything he comes up with. Spotlighting the everyday through wit and humour – he constantly is surprising laughs out of us!

It is worth wondering what a piece of fruit would say if it could speak? Or what if the garden flowers had personalities?

Well look no further as this Athens-based artist Teo Zirinis has created a series of illustrations that personify the banal items. Revealing the hilarious conversations, investing them with personalities. Making one think about what they might have if they came to life. Trained as an architect and a tennis coach this was a calling of the heart that he followed through with. As over becoming an architect he wanted to become an illustrator.

“More than often, I find inspiration in food and objects that surround us in our everyday lives,” Zirinis admits. “I wonder what it would be like if they had a voice of their own. What would they say and how would they interact with each other?” says the artist.

Why Teo Zirinis ‘Hands off my Dinosaur’?

Teo says that he has a characteristic funny bone. And that he has enjoyed the process of humour and creating jokes ever since that he can remember. It comes from easing up and not taking oneself too seriously. It then that the everyday will regain the shine and charm that gets eroded.

Sometimes it is hard to imagine that life is simple. Not easy but simple and there are very few who have the capacity to harness a certain lightness of being. And it transports them to a place of being able to just ‘be’. Teo is anomalous to the norm that torture produces great art.

“I write down and do rough sketches of pretty much every idea that comes to me, no matter how silly, dumb or random it might sound in my head, and then I pick my favourites and work on them until I’m happy with the result.” Says Teo. He admits that there is always something that will come out of the process, and no content, idea is ever worthless or wasted and the result is there for all to see as he brings a smile to many faces !

He is fun, silly, hilarious and most importantly instantly gets under the skin of his audience.

Even the fact that he has a catchy tag line has a funny and simple backstory. When he was in the first year at university, and was setting up his art blog; through the process of brainstorming for a name. he remembers making ‘a super random doodle’ with the caption “Hands Off My Dinosaur!”. It was the ludicrousness of what he had created that made him giggle and think, that he was going to keep the name. He added the characteristic blue blob with a moustache and a suit as a mascot instead of going with the dinosaur, to add to the humour.


For more Artists handpicked by Divvya Nirula – explore the ART WATCH archive.

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