Emmanuelle Ly

Emmanuelle Ly is an enthusiastic Tumblr addict and a rising illustrator based in Lyon, France. Since 2012, she post a sketch a day on her blog mixing portraits, iconography, typography and animated Gifs in black and white.

Kaltblut: When did you start drawing?

Emmanuelle: I’ve always loved handcraft and DIY artwork. I’ve been drawing since my early childhood. And I remember as a kid I used to create handmade fashion catalogs with my sister. We created our own collections of clothes for our dolls.


Kaltblut: What is your favorite Medium to use?

Emmanuelle: It depends on what I’m trying to create. I mostly mix traditional techniques such as acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink or charcoal. But for me there’s nothing better than ink on paper !


Kaltblut: Since one year, you post on your blog one sketches per day, including typography, GIF, portraits… What was/is your inspiration for this project?

Emmanuelle: The inspiration comes from many different sources: movies, books, music, exhibitions, internet…Inspiration is everywhere ! It usually comes when I’m making something totally trivial.


Kaltblut: How long will pass on this daily sketches?

Emmanuelle: My process is really simple, I try to draw as quick as possible to keep the same fluidity that requires a sketch. I’m not looking for straight perfection !
 Have you ever seen how Karl Lagarfeld draws ? That’s absolutely amazing how he does it so fast! Simplicity is not so easy !


Kaltblut: What was your principal motivation for this project?

Emmanuelle: At the beginning I wanted to realize a 365 day challenge to make a kind of illustrated time capsule. Then I thought that sketchbooks, travelogues, personal diaries and blogs were basically good ways to look back. I was seeking something it could evolve with me catching the atmosphere of an era. I wished to share my pproject and spread it all around me.

Kaltblut: Do you have any mentor, artist that inspires you?

Emmanuelle: There’s too many genuises in art history ! Well I have an unconditional admiration for Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Harring. You know, lot of people forget that Andy Warhol began his career as an illustrator. I love also Frida Kahlo’s self portraits and Henri Matisse’s paper cutouts. But above all I like artists who devote their entire lives to their work like Roman Opalka or On Kawara. Their works are beautiful metaphors for human existence. And from the actual scene, I’m very impressed by Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François   Moriceau and by the talented Shantell Martin.

Kaltblut: After a full year doing it, how do you feel when you look at all this work you achieved?

Emmanuelle: I build my own visual archive day by day and after all this time I feel a kind of fullness when I see my all drawings compiled in a glimpse.
I had also the opportunity to exhibit my illustration work in different places and each time it’s a new discovery, a new installation, a new cultural map and I really enjoy it !

Interview by Nicolas Simoneau.

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