Artist Interview: Emmanuelle Ly – Illustrator

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
Hi, folks! My name is Emmanuelle LY, I’m a young french illustrator based in Lyon. I’ve been sharing my Daily Sketch Crossing online since 2012. I post a drawing a day on my blog mixing portraits, iconography, typography and animated GIFs in black and white.

How did you get started doing what you do?
It’s a childhood passion, I’ve always been drawing. Maybe my fascination towards drawing started at 6 years old. My sister and I used to draw handmade fashion catalogs, greeting cards, bookmarks and other DIY stuff like that.

What’s your inspiration?
Modern and contemporary Artists are a good source of inspiration. I also pin what I like on my Pinterest boards. But you know sometimes you fuel your creativity in unexpected horizons and there’s a perfect word to describe this random process, it’s serendipity!

What is art to you?
For me, art is a singular experience as a fleeting emotion. I think it’s mostly a subjective sharing of polysemic ideas and feelings. Art is a bidirectional bridge with several input & output terminals.

What does your typical day look like?
I draw everyday. Except that, I try to avoid routine. No two days are alike.

How do you keep motivated?
It can be hard to stay motivated but passion is the key.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Keep going!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
If I remember well, make yourself happy was a good one.

Emmanuelle LYEmmanuelle LY
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Samuel Beckett’s quote is a pretty nice mantra! “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

What are your thoughts on art school?
Well I think that a fine art school is a good place to learn basic and fundamental knowledge. You are in direct contact with real artists. Some of my teachers were like a “coach” or mentor like the Professor Xavier in X-­men! I also learned that less is more (cf. Mies Van der Rohe). And you really need a long time to understand this concept.

Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I would love to work with rad clients such as The New York Times, Vans or Rookie magazine! I’m always interested in new projects in any creative field.

What’s your dream project?
I have tons of dream projects! Just for you, I can reveal three of them: to create a miscellaneous artwork specially for blind people, to open a multidisciplinary arts space in Asia (maybe in Cambodia, where my dad comes from), to build an open source database of the memories of anybody (a kind of encyclopedia or anthology).

What art supplies do you use?
My technique is mainly traditional, I use black ink, watercolor, gouache, pencil and charcoal.

How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
Maybe it could be better with less cynicism, less absurdity and less greed!

Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
Daniel Johnston, Monica Ramos, Marc Johns and James Kerr are geniuses! And here are two blogs where you can find other good artists: Draw Draw Draw Draw Draw Draw and Contemporary Art Daily.

Follow Emmanuelle LY on TumblrTwitter, and Pinterest!

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  1. Emmanuelle’s use of Samuel Beckett’s quote – “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. again. Fail better.” is very good advise on not just how to be an artist but how to live your life…thanks Emmanuelle’s enjoyed seeing your work…Karen



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