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January Diaries 2019: Week 3

January 2019 Diaries: Week 2

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January 2019 Diaries: Week 1

The Kindle looks great and all the illustrations are included. You can find a copy on your Amazon online store. 


Please leave a review if you purchased and enjoyed this book. 



Happy New Year

Happy New Year, with lots of health, happiness, creativity and love.


I can't believe 2018 is over, it was so full of every possible color. I made wonderful friends that made social media be so much interesting and fun. No more frustration. We push each other up and become constantly rewarded with the art we create every day. 


I have so many plans for 2019. Short and long goals. 


Longest Goals:

...have the next novel ready to publish next September 2019 and share the process

...publish Never Give Up spring time

...share my already published books with those who don't know me yet.

...create all the art for the game Polly and the Black Ink Doorways


 Short Goals:

...January Polly Doors Watercolor collection

...February Polly Old Masters mash up collection

...Keep up with daily updating social media, instagram and youtube

...Participate in more art challenges



Catalog Site


Amazon store


Instagram Polly challenge Doors

Instagram Sketches Creatures

Instagram Fantasy Art




Prints Christmas_Nostalgia2018


Starting today to celebrate each Christmas Nostalgia 2018 entry I'll upload the illustrations to my Redbubble store so you can order tote bags, cards or prints


Get it here.


See daily challenge here.

December 2018 News




This has been a really great couple of months and ready to close another year. 


This is what I've been doing...


Finished #inktober challenge


Finished #folktale challenge


Finished #huevember challange


Finished #childhooweek challenge


Hosted my own challenge with two artists and friends on instagram : #christmas_nostalgia

(from December 8 to 14)


Started to add Youtube videos twice a week, sketchbook tours, funny art challenges and process.


But the most important part of it, is that the daily challenges allow me to gain muscle to work a lot of hours each day and because of that I was able to finish my book Beyond the Cliff & Courage. 42 chapters of epic adventure with more than 350 black and white illustrations.


To celebrate I recorder the first chapter that you can hear on my Youtube Channel. I never done this before so please be kind. 


The proof copy of Beyond the Cliff and Courage will arrive this Thursday or Friday and I'll be able to check and approve it. The goal is to have it available on Amazon worldwide day 11.


 And now painting and hosting a challenge for everyone to participate. 


Inktober 2018 Done! Next!

This challenge was a lot of fun. My IDEA theme was challenging too but I put it out. I had the chance to make new friends, struggle with old and new friends and create a habit of working daily and faster. It was also a great opportunity to revive my Youtube Channel from the dead and it was very appropriated doing it during Halloween. 


You can find sketchbook tours, long videos and the process of drawing, inking or even coloring it.


November is already here. So let's say Hi to a new challenge, full of color this time, only makes sense that I make it with Polly and the Black Ink project.


I will be posting daily art on the @pollyandtheblackink instagram account and one video in the middle of the week with the entire process of one of the watercolor paintings, and the usual sketchbook tour of the previous week on Sundays.


Now speaking of winners. As a way to thank with your constant comments and likes on my posts, here are the three winners for your loyalty to my art, lot's of activity and support. I might do the same with #huevember and Polly. : D

Oinkers For Art Auction



Our little pig made to the newspaper! What a proud pig mom I am. This was a great collaboration with my mother in law Lisa Marling to celebrate the love for the theater. And our little oinker raised $500. Isn't that awesome?


#inktoberideas #inktober

Taking a break from work this October to participate in the challenge #inkotber


I needed some excuse to make ink exercises. So I'm combining character design, humor and will be sharing what I've learned during these past years on HOW TO have IDEAS. 




I'll be loyal to the #inktober2018 prompt list but I'll keep the same theme for all entries, making the words adapt to IDEAS and how to have them, find them, cultivate them or catch them all! Let's get it started! See you tomorrow on instagram @vanessabettencourtart!


👻For those who don't know what #inktober is: 



Quoted from his site:

"Every October, artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. Created by Jake Parker.

Inktober rules:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).


2) Post it online


3) Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2018


4) Repeat


Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. Whatever you decide, just be consistent with it. Inktober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better."


Click if you want to find more about my upcoming activity book that will keep those ideas flowing, help you start, continue and finish a project. Subscribe to get a free pdf sample of the book and activities in your email soon.

These tips and activities apply to more than drawing or writing. 

What about a Free e-book to get you started?

🆓 Get your FREE e-book sample by SUBSCRIBING to www.thevioletwest.com 


Never Give UP! is a How To... book about 150 pages to be released at the end of this years, with lots of tips and activities to help you start, continue or finish a project, have more ideas, keep you productive and organized.


Subscribe and don't miss a thing.


I would like to share my experience in fighting my ups and downs, and how I got to a method that keeps me creating daily.


I hope this will reduce your time of research and trial and error to search for valuable tips by giving you a sum of actions and activities that I've gathered over the years. 


As my students would say: "Warning comes with homework and positive results from it."

Dialogue with thoughts: Something about me

Something you don't know about me. I love school and homework.


It's back to school time. I loved it when I was a student, then when I became a teacher. I was inspired and then had the opportunity to inspire and again to be inspired, it was always a win-win for me. 


Homework was the best way to teach me discipline and create the habit of practicing immediately what I just had learned. 


It was also a collection of challenges that pushed me forward


It taught me to acknowledge work in artWORK


Research, writing and executing all those activities became steps of a quest and there was only reward at the end. I became more knowledgeable in the subjects or got used to set daily goals and practice enough to see a quick evolution. 


Diverse activities taught me to select the right classes or to take none at all and become self-taught in some subjects. Because I had the tools that allowed me to quickly search, research and find the right book, tutorial or lesson in books or online, it pushed me forward


It taught me that taking action is moving forward.


A new upcoming book (How to...) will be a collection of activities that will help you to start, continue or finish a project and teach you where to get ideas.

Subscribe to new website and you'll get a sample of the new upcoming How to book in your email very soon.



Dialogue with Thoughts: Bad Ideas

18:01 Tuesday ...


Sometimes I just start to listen to all my playlists on shuffle and take random notes of all possible ideas, the ones that look the silliest, or ready to erase are the ones that I pay more attention too.


They can be inverted, transformed and reinvented in the next best idea. The more you let them out, the easier it is to have more and better ones.


Keep those dialogues with your thoughts going and your sketchbooks closer.

Dialogue with thoughts: Fall is near

Working from home allows me to wear comfortable clothes, but it does not mean I do not put the same effort and working hours during the day as other jobs.


I just have the option of sometimes working more hours than a regular job while wearing my pajamas. :D


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So many thoughts become ideas at the end of the day.


I keep my notebook around so I can dialogue with my thoughts and don't forget a thing.


Something I see, something I think, something I need to rethink, a sketch here, a sketch there. Get a little memo pad and keep it in your pocket. Ideas generate ideas and bad ideas generate even better.


Keep those thoughts flowing.

Stay close for news on the next project "Never Give Up!" a How to... book just for you. 


Visit www.thevioletwest.com and subscribe so you won't miss a thing.




The anthology is a final nominee. I'm delighted to be part of the theme with one of my notfrombrazil exclusive episodes (for the Magic Bullet) This portraits the time that we expected an inspector from the immigration to knock on our door for a surprise visit to check out if we were married.


Unfortunately, he didn't appear, but I tried to bake fresh cake every day... just in case.

Dialogue with thoughts: Diversity

16:15 I do understand that often people in social media follow an account because they only love sketches, or they only want to see the webcomics, maybe just see the digital art, and that is ok I do it too... but that is the same as asking them to be made only of hair and nothing else, or eyes...or fingers. I love all parts of my favorite artists. Their sketches, their video, their happiness and sadness. I kinda like to let them surprise me. The human body is complex... The human mind is worse, but a creative mind it's impossible to keep simple, limited and monotonous. We fought to accept diversity. So yes to a diverse feed too.

Dialogue with Thoughts: 26 August 2018

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Think outside of the... tablet!


Think you didn't do much the past week? Take your little notebook from your pocket or bag and check out the intense and pages full of good ideas, bad ideas.


The worst ideas are my favorite because they challenge me to search for a solution and come up with twenty other ideas - to prove the first bad one was not a dead end. Start those dialogues with your creative brain.




Subscribe to the new website, all my books, and news coming soon.


Dialogue with Thoughts: 24 August 2018

6:30 mind is full of ideas for a new story.


It's my brain fighting the 42 chapter illustrations remaining.


I have a schedule to keep, a focus and a goal to accomplish.


Let's stay in that path.


Working from home requires discipline.


You put your personality to the test and intensifies some of the weakest traits one might have when you are developing a project for yourself - when you are your boss.


It took me some time to adapt to a schedule that made sense to me.


August always makes me stumble. However,  it's also impossible to keep the same one hundred percent perfect energy and creativity going daily.


Art is not about doing something relatively just ok every day.


It's about evolution, process, struggle, failures and the sweet rewards that come after it. 


So let's do that five minutes a day or 10h of little steps forward... towards success


Thank you for keeping up with this blog. Don't miss the next events, projects or book releases. Subscribe to The Violet West.

Dialogue with Thoughts: 23 August 2018

7:30. Have my water and oatmeal bowl.


Sitting at my desk, shoving demons and disappointments away from my mind.


Warming up for a day of full chapter illustrations.


The deadline is close and my high expectations of the quality of my own work makes it harder to get it done quickly or have fun. I'm still proud of it.


I just can't look at the total of illustrations required to finish the book without panicking. 43 chapters and 4 to 5 illustrations each. Instead of doing math... I have to look at small steps. Small goals to reach the larger one.


Set the limit for maybe 2 or 4 a day, maybe a chapter in the morning and another after lunch. That's about 8 to 10 full drawings. The journey is a lonely path but so are the rewards. 

Start small... One little goal at the time.


Maybe today I'll do one illustration in the morning and another in the afternoon. After all I was the one who set the impossible and short deadline to start with. One month for all? Let's see what happens just today.


I'll let you know...


For news or events, new projects and book releases subscribe to The Violet West.

365 Character Expressions Videos Challenge

Started a 365 character expression doodling project.


Drawing character expressions anime style, different moods and with some tips.


A collection of expressions to help you create more. Check out daily videos on Instagram or Facebook page.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vanessabettencourtart/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessabettencourtart/


Visit www.thevioletwest.com for my published books and subscribe for news on upcoming events or book releases.


Music Credit goes to: http://www.freesfx.co.uk

New Publisher Site


This is what I've been working so hard the past weeks. It's finally live. One site, all the books. The epic fantasy series catalog from the author Jacob Falling and author and illustrator Vanessa Bettencourt on a single site. Follow THE VIOLET WEST for updates on upcoming projects and events.

Shipping the books!

Books arrived and are perfect. I can finally start making my shipping preparations! Yay!

Drawing inside my "pizza-boxes-slice-of-life-favorite-pizza" to deliver soon to those who pre-ordered Notfrombrazil Volume II.
The book is available worldwide on Amazon online stores . 

Making of...

Moving... Foward

New city, new life, new projects!

Chicago is a great city and I'm loving all the art and diversity. In less than a month we decided to change our lives and here we are. A great change for the better. There is so much to see and do that we can plan for something different every weekend for the next two years at least. 


I never lived in a place where temperatures drop below 0 more than 5 degrees so I'm almost excited and fearing the cold. I can see Mr. Blizzard showing up in a Not From Brazil panel and freezing  into a Popsicle. I just can't imagine the beach (Lake Michigan frozen... but it happens) -Ojibwa Indian word mishigami, meaning large lake

Chicago- Lake Michigan - Summer
Chicago- Lake Michigan - Summer
Google photo of Chicago Lake Michigan Winter ( copyrighted to corresponded photographer)
Google photo of Chicago Lake Michigan Winter ( copyrighted to corresponded photographer)


I'm still trying to catch up with everything. We didn't have much time to plan and execute, so settling down and restarting will take a bit more than I expected. 


All seems new and sort of vacation and not at the same time. Different sounds, smells, temperatures and people. It's exciting and the adrenaline of it exhausts me and makes me want more at the same time.


Taking a lot of notes and saving all the inspiration to start creating soon.


It's so much that makes completely sense to start sketching and outlining a third volume. Who hasn't experience the stress and hilarious moments of moving into a new house? 

Check out Not From Brazil official site from now on, I will post some of the episodes as I outline the Not From Brazil volume III - Nesting: the art of moving without... divorce!



WE made it in a single day!



Today we celebrate more than the beginning of a new chapter. I am blown away by your kindness and generosity. Everyone has been so lovely.


It's been three years in a new country and new city, but I already carry so many friends ( close and virtual) with me to my new location. It only makes me grow as a person an artist even more. 


Thank you so much to those who donated and in a few hours made my goal possible. 


To those who donated $20 or more, I will mail a personalized copy of NFB volume II ( first copies and edition). 


We met the goal, but you can still use this app to make pre-orders of Notfrombrazil Volume II ($20)

I will be publishing it July and shipping your books in August.


I can't wait to make more and share more with you.


Thank you for the Holy pony moment today between the coughing, the medicine, the packing, the checklists, the dust, the running away from spiders, the packing of all cutely before time ( we still need for the next six days...) making this goal was a great start!


So... Yeah! Thank you! ! You know who! Yes you!

Reaching a Goal before September!


"Buy me a coffee!" because there is no app for "buy me an ice cream" instead.


I have to thank the team of "Buy me a coffee" for giving artist and fans a secure and easy way of supporting out art. With just a simple button have the option of sending me $3 to my PayPal.


This motivates me and shows I deserve a coffee for my efforts so far : D Thank you!


A special thanks to the people who since last Friday used the app and helped me to come closer to my goal.

If I meet my goal soon, I will publish Notfrombrazil Volume II earlier than Summer. YAY!



All with your help I can also continue to post longer free episodes on notfrombrazil.com official website. A good way to celebrate 3 years of 500 free webcomic episodes so far.

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Polly and the Black Ink free Stationary Paper

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All orders and thank yous are packed and ready to send. For more personalized signed books or portraits contact me directly : vanessabettencourtart@gmail.com


Here is a treat! Free Polly and the Black Ink 

free printable stationary... because I love snail mail.


Write to your friends or write to me I would love to get to know Polly's fans better. (subscribe and answer to the newsletter to request my address).


Free Printable Stationary Polly and the Black Ink
Envelope printable 8.5x11
Letter 8.5x11 and 6x9 sizes
Free Polly Stationary.rar
compressed file archive 2.3 MB

Blog Entry: Fan Art Mail!


Nothing like getting unexpected mail with fan art to brighten my day. 


I was just about to announce my new space on my official website for a gallery of Polly and the Black Ink when I got these beautiful drawings!


Notice how the young artist made a draft and planned the work first, this is too precious!

Thank you so much! 

See all the art I got today... click to enter gallery.

Do you want to send me your art? Contact me so I can provide the address or send a photo to:



Holy Pony! 


Heir of Scars, Polly and the Black Ink Volume I  volume II sold out! It was three Awesome days!


My heart raced with joy when parents and new fans came back the next days to buy the entire collection.


To see how kids and adults' eyes shone while speaking of Polly and Paws made my day. Three days of fun! More photos and news with the newsletter special edition at the end of this week. 


Polly and the Black Ink falls into the All-Ages category graphic novel (+7) with lots of mystery, adventure and superpowers. 


Studio Ghibli and animation fans understand  that it is not only for kids. They get it so well that they saved me from trying to convince them to get the books. Thank you!


P.S: Reviews are very important to us. If you can review the books on Amazon it will help us a lot. 

Review here.


I am setting up a gallery for Fanart. If you have art from Polly and the Black Ink that you would like to see in the gallery contact me.


I still have some of the FRIDGE MAGNETS available. 

I will send a free package to who buys a Polly book from me, or you can get it directly from me (free shipping) just send me an email

Commissions: Flyers & Posters

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When I am not making cartoons for Notfrombrazil, I create funny flyers and posters for individuals or companies advertise their events.


The next one is for the Cinco de Mayo Party event hosted by the theater.


Frequently Asked Questions:


How do you design the flyers?

A: I gather all the clients information and list of needs for the event.

Usually they already know my Notfrombrazil cartoon style and humor and they trust me to come up with a composition that expresses all their needs. Then, I send them the draft and they suggest changes if needed. It's a team work and my goal is to make the best end product. 

The more information I get from the client the easier it is to come up with something that pleases everyone.



Any other questions contact me: vanessabettencourtart@gmail.com



Saturday at the Library



We had a great time talking about our process of construction worlds and characters for novels and graphic novels.


Thank you so much for coming to see us and for all your input. And Alexandria Library for having us. (Some of you made into the funny pages - click cartoon)


Next event will be at Awesome con - check the event section for more detail.


March Events Coming soon

Supper Happy Valentine's Day!

Motivating! Energizing!

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Notfrombrazil climbing the ranks!

It's an official best seller graphic novel in Humor & Entertainment Category!

Looking at this past weekend's reports. This feels awesome. Thank you so much! Got your copy? Free with Amazon Prime.

Não do Brasil a escalar os tops! 
Ao olhar para os relatórios deste ultimo fim-de-semana. Muito obrigado a todos!

Ja tens a tua cópia?  Leitura grátis para quem tem amazon prime.



Collect and Organize. What do you collect for your work? Are you keeping those favorite recipes organized?


Build your library to quick access and get inspired.


I have lots of notebooks and sketchbooks with relevant information that saves me time from searching online for the right and appropriate term.


Today I am updating my onomatopoeia collection so I can use it while I create my graphic novels and comics.

Visual sounds are always funny and give a lot of motion and action to the graphic novel panels and pages.


For those who are not creating art, keep a journal of your memories and thoughts.


What are you working on?

St. Valentine's SALE!

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What a perfect St. Valentine's Day. A very funny and relatable Long Distance Relationship Graphic novel book with extra tips on how to survive a long distance relationship and how to travel without stress. All in comics format. 70 Pages full color comic book. On Sale. 

Great Reports!

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🥇Looking at the 2017 reports, I can happily say that the most adventurous and colorful graphic novel Polly and the Black Ink was definitely a BEST SELLER and Notfrombrazil made the TOP 100 in several categories.
All thanks to you.
Hope this year my art continues to bring you more adventures and fun!
Also, thank you for the new reviews, that is a great help to reach more fans. Don't let Paws fall... so keep them coming. I love to hear your opinion. Especially if your cat has something to say to PAWS!
Have a great week!