Vanessa Ly graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in architecture, a discipline that instills in her mostly black-and-white drawings sharpness, clarity and an optimistic sense of space that celebrates human diversity with imagination. Vanessa Ly currently lives in Malden, Mass.


The majority of my work is black and white. For me, there is a sense of simplicity and sharpness in working with ink that allows me to give the content clarity; I love details, and I really do enjoy spending unimaginable hours drawing every hatch line. 

There is no such thing as perfection, and never do I imagine attempting to perfect any piece of art; more so, it is the feeling of accomplishment in finishing a piece and the satisfaction it brings when a drawing opens the door for interpretation. Some say many of my pieces are slightly feminist, political, or something that resembles an era; normally, when a drawing is completed, a series follows. 

I often get stuck in a time frame ... one can say that my artwork can be broken down with a time line. 

The mind is simply filled with randomness. When an inspiration comes, whether from watching television or going to a concert, research begins. You can never force an idea to surface; the more you think, the more difficult it becomes to create anything worthwhile. 

The majority of the time when asked to do projects for friends or events, a theme is usually given. From there, I work around a concept that envelops the theme in terms of what feelings conjure up to express the depth and meaning of the given project; my art is developed as a response to a statement. 

When an idea is formed, there are sometimes days of research done and series of sketches in the working process to hone the concept. Once determined, I normally just take a marker and a piece of paper and start drawing until what is needed to be said is on the given surface.