Julia Petrova is an artist and illustrator based in Moscow, Russia, whose work is striking for its unusual way of representing people, places and utopian/dystopian landscapes.

Her work feels decidedly retro, for all its sci-fi leanings, and reminds us of the works of legendary design studio Hipgnosis, which created images for bands like Pink Floyd, XTC, Black Sabbath and ELO.

In the strange eyes, mysterious heads and desert backdrops that seem to be common motifs, there’s also a lot of Alejandro Jodorowsky here, too.

“While it’s tempting, I don’t think I’m present in my illustrations as any of the characters,” says Petrova. “In these worlds they navigate, I’m more of an invisible entity always standing next to them and giving them a sense of understanding even in the most unexpected situations. By characters, I don’t only mean human, or even animate, ones.”

Her works are mostly created using watercolour, ink and liner pens; giving a sense of both craft and texture to the often eerie, but always beguiling scenes that are packed with detail and a dream-like sensation—you’re not quite sure what’s going on, but it gets etched into your mind.

The pieces force you to suspend your disbelief (no bad thing); presenting often-familiar motifs in totally new, odd scenarios. Check out more of Petrova’s work on Instagram.

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Author:

Emily Gosling

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