About the Artist


Vanessa Bettencourt is the author and illustrator of the following books:


Graphic Novels:


Polly and the Black Ink Book 1-5 


Notfrombrazil Volume 1-2


Titans Island- Sally's Quest




Beyond the Cliff and Courage







Where can I buy your books?

All my books area available on Amazon. For especial signed and doodled copies contact me ahead of time.


Are you an illustrator or an author?

I'm both. Writing helps me draw new characters and worlds, and drawing makes me create new stories. I began to developed both skills at the same time since I was thirteen.

Years later, I started to work as a freelance professional illustrator for big publishers in my country (Portugal) while I taught in public schools.

I used to illustrate covers for the Portuguese editions of famous books like Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Now I only illustrate my projects and my husband's novels and games. (www.theveiolwetwest.com)



I love your artwork. Will you draw my characters, book cover,  graphic novels or children's books?

Since 2016 My artwork is www.thevioletwest.com excluvisive.  It makes me very happy that you consider my work.  

You can still collect my artwork with my artbooks, merch, prints, stickers, or commission me an original Artist Card (watercolor or ink) see examples here.


Would you teach me how to draw my children's books?

Sure. I accept private students (online only). I'm also available as a consultant (rate per hour) to give you tips and answer your questions. For prices contact vanessabettencourtart@gmail.com


What are your main influences?

Fantasy illustration, comic books and animation. These are just some of the books that played an important part in my life: Neverending Story, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Prydain, The Redwall, Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance Series... and many more. As for animation: Studio Ghibli.


Was Polly and the Black Ink your first book?

It's funny that I decided to publish my most recent projects first when graphic novels were meant to be just for fun. I used these projects to understand better the world of self-publishing. 

Although the process of publication using KDP doesn't quite translate from a graphic novel to a novel, it helped me to grasp the concept and understand better the different stages. After experimenting with 9 books, I felt ready to push forward and publish my first novel with more than 200 illustrations (Beyond the Cliff and Courage).


I wrote my first book when I was about ten years old. I chased people around the house, reading it out loud. They still quote passages from that project. 

I never stopped writing. I wrote daily about 20 to 40 notebook pages until I was 20s. 

While working as a teacher and a professional illustrator, I kept writing and finishing manuscripts, but never had the will to share them with the public. 

I finally feel that I'm in that place. 

At first, I wrote only in Portuguese; then I started to write only in English.

I have about 12 manuscripts finished that need to be edited and published.


Did you go to college?

Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa  - Linguas e Literaturas Modernas Ingles/ Portugues ( Portuguese and English Literature)

Universiade Autonoma de Lisboa - Ciencias de Educacao (like a... Teacher's License)

Sociedade de Belas Artes - Pintura e Desenho (Painting and Live Drawing)

Faculdade de Belas Artes - Pintura e Escultura (Fine Arts and Scupture)


What about sports?

One day I was very sad so I decided to try Kendo in a dojo in Lisbon. When I realized, years later, I was representing Portugal in the Kendo European Championship in Bern. Sometimes things like that happen. 





All Past Events and publications:


2020 Working on new series.


September - Art Teacher (After School Program Young Rembrandts - Several public schools is Chicago)

September 2019 - Titans Island - Sally's Quest - Graphic novel release 

June 1 2019 - Book Signing - Challengers Comic book Chicago

January 2019 - Polly&Paws 4 a Better World campaign (4 Seasons - stickers fundraising for the Lincoln Zoo)


2019 - Dosmestika - Online Courses ( Cartoon and Children's Books)

2018- One year of Schoolism self-taught classes ( Andrew Hou, Bobby Chiu, Victoria Ying, Thomas Fluharty, Nathan Fowkes, Jason Seiler and watercolor )

December 11 2018 - Published Beyond the Cliff and Courage

July 15 2018 - Published Volume II NotfromBrazil

March 31  2018 - Awesome Con Artist Alley Washington DC

March 11 2018 - Beatley Library Alexandria - Book signing


December 4 2017 - Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 5

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 

August 30 2017Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 1

August 28 2017 -Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 4

February 2017 - Katsucon Artist Alley Maryland

April 25, 2017Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 3

February 5 2017Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 2


September 10 2016- Published Polly and the Black Ink volume 1

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

August 2012 -2013 - A turma - educational project and show for kids including children's book.


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


2004- 2009 - Kendo


Teacher - 2002 to 2014 - Escola Poeta Joaquim Serra, Escola Louro Artur


2007- 2009 - Fine Arts - Painting & Sculpture - Faculdade Belas Artes de Lisboa

2004-2007 -Drawing & Painting - Sociedade de Belas Artes de Lisboa

1997 - 2003 - Portuguese and English Literature + Education - Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa







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


Follow me on social media: