Unrealistic Scenes in a Realistic Way by Bárbara Llinares

Bárbara Llinares based in Valencia, Spain has always loved creative activities, especially drawing and painting, although she enjoys anything that involves making; handicrafts, sewing, or even bricolage. With the support of her parents, she developed her artistic interests from a young age. A while after her studies as a Mechanical Engineering she started painting on a regular basis just for fun. That was the time she discovered that there was a wide range of creative professions. Illustration seemed to be more appealing than any other, so she decided to turn what she liked so much into a profession and redirected her career.

Bárbara attended drawing and painting classes for two years at a studio in Valencia to improve her techniques. She studied the first year of a Graphic Design Degree at the university (UOC), took different online courses to learn specific aspects (use of software, digital techniques), attended pottery lessons, and recently this past year, she did a master’s degree in editorial and advertising illustration (LABASAD).

For the past two years, she has been working, in parallel with her engineering job, on building a solid portfolio focused on editorial and commercial illustration. She is specialized in painterly illustration as this is the way how she expresses herself most naturally.

Bárbara likes to represent ideas figuratively, seeking to express complex concepts with a realistic style, with a touch of surrealism and magic at times; She enjoys creating unrealistic scenes in a realistic and vivid way.
She has done some commercial illustration work and occasional commissions, however, she has only been doing illustration work professionally for a relatively short time, so she is still at the beginning of her career.

In 2020 Bárbara was the winner of the National Stamp Design award (Disello VII) and as a result of that, she illustrated different pieces for the National Post Service (Correos España) in 2021. One of them is a candidate for the Best EUROPA Stamp Contest 2022 (Stamp by Spain “The sleeping dragon legend”).
Bárbara Llinares has also been awarded as a finalist, in the XVII Painting Contest “Ciutat de l’Alcora” organized by ÍES Ximén d’Urrea and has exhibited her work on many occasions.


As an artist, my aim is to create pieces that are not merely decorative but that make us think and feel. Art for me is a way of expression and self-reflection but also a medium to awaken thoughts in the audience. I would like to be able to contribute with my art to raise awareness about important problems in our current society where we can take daily action, such as the climate crisis, mental health, or inequality.
Most of my current work focuses on digital illustration and oil painting, although lately, I am exploring the possibilities of ceramics. I find it difficult to define or classify my work as I am interested in different artistic branches; I constantly use and explore different techniques. I believe that style and technique are only a means to strength diversity and allow full expression.
My work is mainly related to nature and human figures, generally in a colourful and realistic style. I am fascinated by the beauty and complexity of bodies and believe that their representation helps to create an immediate connection with the work and with ourselves, inviting us to reflect. I like to represent ideas figuratively, seeking to express complex concepts in a realistic style, perhaps with a touch of surrealism and magical realism at times. I enjoy creating unrealistic scenes in a realistic and vivid way and it is a challenge for me in every project to achieve striking and artistic compositions rich in meaning.


Maria Papaefstathiou

VISUAL DESIGNER since 1996 and blogger since 2010. Living in Athens, Greece. She has been focusing her research on poster design and particularly on social poster design and portrait design. Her main poster project is a series of posters celebrating great personalities of traditional and popular culture in Greece and Jamaica. These include actors, singers, musicians, poets etc. This is an ongoing project. “I believe that design is a powerful tool that we designers can use to spark enthusiasm, change mindsets and bring positive actions to our world and our culture”. FOUNDER AND EDITOR OF GRAPHICART-NEWS.COM BLOG. She carefully curates high-quality designs, illustrations, and art, from all over the world that will teach and provoke other designers. Many consider her blog to be an exceptional educational tool. CO-FOUNDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL REGGAE POSTER CONTEST which was launched on December 2011, partnering, the creative activist Michael Thompson aka Freestylee. (www.reggaepostercontest.com)