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Soboleva - Illustrator - Bournemouth, UK

Julia Soboleva

Bournemouth, UK




My name is Julia Soboleva and I am a freelance illustrator. I have accomplished BA(Hons) Illustration at Southampton Solent University with the First Honour Degree and have a professional experience in book cover and poster design, book illustration, art installationI and editorial illustration. I am always open to challenges and new approaches.


Illustration for Weimar Cabaret: A Dance on a Volcano

These drawings are preliminary sketches of the later cardboard cutouts for my art installation Weimar Cabaret: A Dance on a Volcano. Here have tried to represent the various sides of the Weimar society, the dark sides which are hidden from the day light. There are bourgeois representatives choked by their prosperity and perversity – the reference to the outcome of the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic. There are bawds and women of easy virtue, desperate creatures, finding their escape and salvation in the bottle of rum. There are gays and lesbians and transvestites, stunned by their freedom which is enclosed in the dark streets and cabarets of Berlin, and singing their manifesto of the sexual revolution which already passed ahead the sexual revolution in 1960s USA. The norms of morality and the previous perception of the gender issue were broken. Among the tables, there are few mutilated figures with no legs and arms – the creepy victims of the World War One. These characters are the reference to the Otto Dix’s ‘War Cripples’ – the shocking painting of four mutilated war soldiers ( the painting disappeared after the Nazi’s Degenerate Art exhibition and it’s location is currently unknown and it is presumed destroyed.) Also, there are few figures wearing Nazi uniform. They are observers so far, but they slowly penetrate into everything which can cause troubles for their intentions and in couple of years when they come to power and the Third Reich is established, they will destroy and crush this evrything. There are some lonely men and women sitting around the tables as well … Because ‘the life seemed disappointing’, ‘they left their troubles outside‘ and being lured by the Emcee’s welcome, they came to the cabaret, where the life and the girls and even the orchestra – everything is beautiful!

Weimar Cabaret: A Dance on a Volcano (art installation)

The project reflects the flourish of the Weimar Cabaret, which was a feature of the late 1920s Germany. It is based on Christopher Isherwood's 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin and Joe Masteroff's 1966 musical Cabaret. Inflation and political instability issues together with liberal ideas, new forms of expression, hedonism and sexual revolution characteristic for the late Weimar era, found their artistic expression on a cabaret stage. It happened just few years before the World War Two, it was a dance on a volcano, the last dance before the world changed forever. Welcome to Cabaret!

Book Cover and poster Design

A selection of experimental digital collages exploring a dark side of human nature.

Digital Collages

A selection of experimental digital collages exploring a dark side of human nature.

Illustrations for Nikolay Gogol's 'The Nose'

A current project reflects the story of the great Russian author Nilkolai Gogol (1819- 1898) called ‘The Nose’. Gogol was one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism and a great destroyer of prohibitions and romantic illusions. He undermined Russian Romanticism by making vulgarity reign. His work has a ‘sense of boundless superfluity that is soon revealed as utter emptiness and a rich comedy that suddenly turns into metaphysical horror’. ‘The Nose’ is a satirical short story with strains of Absurd, Surrealism and the grotesque, written between 1835 and 1836. It tells a story of a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of it’s own. Further, the protagonist confronts his nose in the Kazan Cathedral, but from his outfit it is obvious that the nose has acquired a higher rank in the civil service than the main character and refuses to return to his face. The main anxiety of the protagonist is focused on a danger to loose his reputation, his rank, and his popularity with women, but he does not even question the whole absurdity of the situation.The whole narration is recounted in the matter-of-fact voice of a newspaper story, including the information based on rumour and gossip.Gogol showcases the vulgarity of the society and Russian bureaucracy, where the highest values were the rank and the status, and when it is lost, there is nothing left.

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