John Helvin has a BA (Hons) in Humanities with Classical Studies and is an artist and writer. He has written articles for various magazines on subjects as diverse as magic, history and literary criticism; selections of his translations of ancient Greek poetry have been published in journals. In 2011 and 2012, he interviewed a number of British magicians including Paul Daniels, Paul Zenon and John Archer for a series of articles in magazines. Regarding his artwork he has been praised as "an extremely talented artist" (Highlights), "a huge talent" (Magicweek), and "dazzles us with his portraits" (Magicseen magazine). Helvin's portrait of James Randi was described by astronomer and author Phil Plait, when he was president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, with the single word "Wow!"