Manli began art studies at Queens College, New York. She studied under the renowned New York painters Gabriel Laderman and Robert Birmelin; both professors had a great impact on her development of art skill. In 1987, Manli spent one year studying full-time at New York Studio School in the SoHo area. In 1988, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area of California and began working as an art instructor as well as free lance painter. Manli returned to her studies at the Academy of Art University and received her Master of Fine Arts in 2001. She has exhibited works at numerous venues, including Sutter Gallery, Triton Museum of Art, Museum of Art Los Gatos, Euphrate Museum of Art, Axis Art Gallery and Silicon Valley Asian Art Center.