About the Artist

Vanessa Bettencourt is a Portuguese professional author, fantasy & children's books illustrator and a graphic novelist living in Chicago with her husband and imaginary friends.


Vanessa loves creating fantasy and new worlds full of epic quests, magical items, breathtaking spells and fantastical creatures.


She learned drawing and painting by attending Fine Arts and Live Drawing classes. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Vanessa moved to the U.S where she now lives in Chicago with her husband Jacob Falling, author of the Heir of Scars series.


Always drawn to books, stories and art, she started to write and draw very young, experimenting as much as possible with all sorts of art mediums and techniques to achieve new results and better ideas.


"I loved to draw with pencils. When I was a child the black and white illustrations from the Lord of the Rings inspired me for life."


Participating in contests and attending local shows helped her to develop a stronger connection with people, gather fans and knowledge in her search of what best defined her as a storyteller and an artist.


It was crucial as she was growing as an artist to share her process with her community, using her art to educate and appeal to people, regarding the importance of knowledge and imagination.


As a teacher since 2003, her contact with different ages and different minds helped her to become better with her goals and to be part of creative projects, designing stages and co-writing and illustrating shows and books for children. 


"I want my imaginary worlds, creations and stories to become real and my characters to come to life so they can be part of other people's lives."


As a freelance artist Vanessa illustrated national and international covers and books for several publishers since 2006, independent authors and is now also working on her personal projects. (Portuguese cover for Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore)


As both independent authors, Vanessa and her husband are just now starting publishing their projects under the banner of their own publisher: Violet West Entertainment.


The following titles can already be acquired in Kindle or paperback formats. Although Vanessa has been illustrating fantasy for most part of her life she developed some comic book projects.


"It's funny that I decided to publish the most recent projects first and that they are graphic novels."


Polly and the Black Ink written and illustrated by Vanessa Bettencourt is her debut Graphic Novel. The first arch of the story will be completed with a total of five volumes.


Vanessa is the author and illustrator of the free webcomic Notfrombrazil.com. The web series began in 2012 as a long distant relationship creative way to communicate with her fiance. It's been online since 2016 now. A transatlantic comic adventure made closer with time. Now she draws about her daily struggles and adventures in full color and humor of her new life, with her better half, in a new country, writing and creating art.


"But my passion is fantasy and I continue to illustrate my husband's novels."



Heir of Scars I epic fantasy series by Jacob Falling (her husband's pseudonym) and illustrated by Vanessa Bettencourt.


In the summer of  2016, Vanessa taught a Workshop on "How to Draw a Comic Page," to children and their parents. A fun co-op activity with families at the Duncan Branch Library in Alexandria opened to all ages.


Vanessa has been participating in artist alleys with her husband and her art and their books since June 2016.




March 31  2018 - Awesome Con Artist Alley Washington DC

March 11 2018 - Beatley Library Alexandria - Book signing

October 9 2017 - Del Ray Street Festival

September 23 2017 - Beatley Library Alexandria Fall Festival - Live Drawing 

September 16 -17 2017 - Small Press Expo 

September 9 2017 - Hooray for Books  - Local Author Book Signing 

June 2017 - Awesome Con Dc Artist Alley Washington DC

May 2017 - Hooray for Books - Workshop "How to draw a hero and a villain"

May 2017 - Hooray for Books - Local Author Book Signing 

February 2017 - Katsucon Artist Alley Maryland

July 2016 - Workshop "How to draw a comic strip" Duncan Branch Library in Alexandria

June 2016 - Awesome Con Artist Alley Washington DC


Past events in Portugal:

September 2015 Book Signing (as an illustrator) - Publisher Verbo - Author Vera de Vilhena

July 2014 Lisbon Book Fair (as an illustrator) - Publisher Verbo - Author Vera de Vilhena

December 2012 Festas de Almada - Musical  - Stage designer

July 2009 -2011 Book Fair (as an illustrator) - Publisher Objectiva


"My office is the world and my mind. The world provides me with inspiration, and my mind creates from the puzzles of notes and ideas born from ideas. It's a non-stopping process where nothing is discarded or abandoned for it might play a starting point sooner or later."






Contact me for an event at your location with Polly and the Black Ink a free drawing demonstration.


Follow me on social media: