Only Julie Filipenko, an artist from Tel Aviv, Israel, could turn Little Red Riding Hood into a straight up steampunk dream with her signature twist. Pearl paper is what she prints copies of her original images on after they are formed with her loose-hand drawing, pencils and paint. The pearl paper adds that beautiful glow to her characters and details, which possess an already beautifully bizarre design.
The females in Julie’s illustrations have a childlike, devious appearance while they cuddle woodland creatures super close. These animals include rabbits, foxes and owls with eyes so deep and sparkly, they resemble a wondrous universe of magnificence. This fascination with animals has a great deal to do with her childhood dream of becoming a zoologist, which is still just as magical and endearing all these years later.
Titles like “Swamp Child” and “Dusk in Your Eyes” make up many of the limited edition prints available for sale in her Etsy shop. It’s so hard to choose just one if you’re looking to purchase!
There’s no doubt the girls in her work are a tad mischievous, though. A blonde little girl with rosy cheeks and a red bow in her hair is still capable of cutting a fresh tentacle off of an octopus in the midst of a stormy sea (while blue skies and seagulls soar above, naturally). It’s the perfect coat of sweet to her subtle dark contrast and connects the viewer to feelings of nostalgia and personal experiences. That is no easy feat for an artist, and yet somehow Julie dominates with flying colors.
Although an art scene does exist in Israel, Julie’s specific genre of “pop surrealism” is still not as recognized there, which is why most of her art prints and original drawings are shown abroad.
As far as work ethic, she is a true advocate for utilizing the internet for self promotion and exposure. Her advice? Never. Stop. Working. The more dedicated an artist is, the more time they will devote to their craft, and the more they will excel. Take note, dreamers!