Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Featured artist: Vanessa Ly


Please tell us about yourself:

My Name is Vanessa Ly. I attended Massachusetts College of Art for my Foundation Studies after high school in 2002. After a year, I decided to transfer to Rhode Island School of Design to study architecture and graduated in 2007.

Post graduation, I began work in the architecture profession. It was a field I loved passionately, because I saw it as opportunities where architects and designers could create environments that could possibly promote diversity and community development; it was a field that allowed spaces to communicate with people. For almost two years, I have acquired knowledge from all ends ... starting at the early stages of design to final product of construction; it was an experience that left me more and more fascinated with the field as I began to understand the impact designers can impose in society.

Gradually, the aspects of design sparked a light in me, pushing me to find ways to express the mind and its creativeness in other areas besides architecture. Over the course of the past year, I began doing personal side projects of my own, mainly illustrations and graphics. Whether on paper, skate decks, t-shirts or etc, if there was a surface I could design on, I would not leave it blank. Designing and drawing became outlets that allowed me to give life to the imagination. What I enjoy most about it is being given the opportunity to create an item memorable to someone.

Umbrella Jellie, 8"x16", Ink on museum board.
Image courtesy of
Vanessa Ly.

We would love to know more about your work:

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 follow.

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

Urban, 2"x8", Ink on museum board.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Ly.

Would you like to share your art making process with our readers?

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 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; I guess I could say that 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 finite 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.

Loner, 32"x7.5", Custom Long board, stenciled & spray-painted, 2008.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Ly.

Battlefield, 8"x8", Ink on Museum Board, 2008.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Ly.

Bike Clouds, 18"x18", Stenciled & spray-painted on wood panel, stained, 2009.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Ly.

This was a piece donated to the Children's Hospital for The House on Kent Street. In partnership with the Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Children's sent out a call-for-art to the local community in December 2008. The theme for this call was "Home is where the Art is". Artists were asked to reflect on what makes them feel at home, and over 100 original artworks by sixty-five artists were created in support of The House on Kent Street!" The Family House at 241 Kent Street has scheduled to be opened in June 2009. To learn more, please visit www.kentst.org and www.childrenshospital.org/art.

Any upcoming events?

The HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS Exhibit has been touring around the community and are now on display at Logan Airport and at Brookline Public Library. Please join us on May 16th, from 2:00-4:00pm for a reception at Brookline Public Library, Floor 2, Hunneman Hall. RSVP to kathleen.puzo@chtrust.org or call (857) 218-3155.

Bike Plane Skate Deck, 32"x7.5", stenciled & spray-painted, 2008.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Ly.

Two colleagues of mine and myself will be participating in a live paint show in Harvard Square at a shop called Proletariat Skate Shop on Tuesday, July 7 from 5-8pm. Every summer, artists are given the chance to do a live paint show that spans for three hours for their walls! Lucky for us, we have a chance this summer to express our creativity.

http://www.arevolt.com/Proletariat.html That's the website for the shop we'll be designing for! It's quite exciting! Hope to see you there.

There are a few events in the process, but I do not have the details for them yet.

Contact Information:

I am open to designing custom requests in all areas. Please email me at vanes.n.ly@gmail.com or visit my website www.v-ly.com