Vi Luong: Pen & Ink Popes

Brooklyn-based illustrator contributes to ADC 95th Annual Awards campaign

The ADC 95th Annual Awards are here! Yes, the Call for Entries for one of the oldest and most respected industry award shows in the world has been launched, with the help of BBDO New York‘s “Rare For A Reason” campaign, featuring beautifully designed ads which highlight just how uncommon it is to win a top honor. 

To create the campaign, BBDO New York tapped into the talents of various artists from around the world. We at ADC love to shine the spotlight on creative talent, and so we will be featuring the artists throughout the Call for Entries season.

Next up: a Brooklyn-based illustrator who describes his style as “pen and ink meets mild OCD.”

viluongVI LUONG
Illustrator/Creative Director
Brooklyn, NY



Let’s start at the beginning. How’d you forge a career as an artist?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I used to draw on the walls of our house as a kid with crayons and markers. My parents must not have minded because I don’t remember ever getting into much trouble. For the last 15 years I was an art director/ACD at an advertising agency here in New York and left recently to join a start-up and devote more time to illustration.

If you said your work has a certain style, what would it be?

I would say it’s pen and ink meets mlid OCD. I love the minimalism of a black and white drawing and the challenge for me is how to render very detailed things in just ink.

Walk us through this project.

BBDO approached me with the factoid and asked me to interpret the headline in my style and please throw in a Popemobile. Right away, I was inspired by the detailed illuminated manuscripts monks created in the Middle Ages and wanted to do an updated version with a bit of humor.



What various mediums did you bring to the finished piece?

For this I used only pen and ink. And a piece of paper.

Any thoughts on the finished work?

I enjoyed the research that went into the piece. It was fun looking through old manuscripts that inspired the typography for the headline.

What’s on the horizon for you in terms of other projects?

I recently completed a cover for the book The Embalmed Head of Oliver Cromwell: A Memoir and will be starting a children’s book with the same author soon. In the meantime, I have an ongoing instagram project to complete 1011 drawings which I’m half way done.

What are the pros and cons of winning an ADC Cube versus being the Pope?

Obviously the pro of winning a Cube is all the fame without having to kiss random babies. The con, however, is there isn’t a Fiat to ride around in, but you can always buy yourself one with that sweet, sweet bump in salary.

The ADC 95th Annual Awards Call for Entries is now open.