About Me

Barbara Graetzer, or Barbtropolis, has been working as a Creative Art Director in some of the world’s leading advertising agencies for over 15 years, but has recently begun focusing on her personal work and emerging as a contemporary artist. 

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but having lived as a modern-day nomad, Barbara spent many years of her life living in different countries and cities throughout the globe and became interested in art after finding herself unable to properly communicate in languages she didn’t fully understand. She believes that only the visual language can be truly universal and has devoted her life to creating a multitude of expressive images. 

Barbara was formally trained as a graphic designer and illustrator while earning a BFA in Visual Communications from The Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago and an MA in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Lately, combining her newfound passion for surfing, she's been experimenting with a new visual language that consists primarily of cheerful characters and creatures. “Surfing takes me back to my childhood state of mind and these characters do as well. I like bringing back that doodling inner child and producing images that are happy and positive."

Barbara’s artwork has received a wealth of accolades and has been published in several publications, including Graphis Advertising Annual, Graphis Poster Annual, Drawn: Leaders In Contemporary Illustration, Pictoria: The Best Contemporary Illustrators Worldwide, Applied Arts Magazine, Creative Quarterly Magazine, CMYK Magazine, and 3x3 Magazine.

She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.