Geek Week

Another fun promotional poster for Housing Works Bookstore Cafe! After showing about 12 concept sketches for Geek Week, the pocket-protector idea was chosen for the final.

Above & below are my work-in-progress shots; below is the first illustration with hand-lettering (I nixed it & ended up tightening the drawings); Housing Works chose the Star Wars typeface (Jedi Rounded) over Helvetica. Font geek out, yes!!

Working on Geek Week has conjured up my own geeky past. As a kid, I was fortunate enough to have access to my older brother’s Commodore 64 and we would play some pretty no-frill games for many years (Dino Eggs or Spy vs. Spy, anyone?) until the day our cousin gave us a cracked copy of Maniac Mansion on floppy disc. We popped it on the C64 when we got home and our jaws immediately hit the floor right from the animated open (see game open here). It all seems so silly now, but for 1987 these were some pretty advanced graphics. The fact that I could control more than one character in a point-and-click game totally blew my mind! We were so crazy about Maniac Mansion that we would fake going to bed until our parents fell asleep, only to reconvene and try to crack all the codes and puzzles. This started my love (and budding geekdom) over adventure games, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders & The Secret of Monkey Island just to name a few!

My geeky childhood (and absolute love of British comedy) probably explains my flat-out obsession with Channel 4’s British sitcom The IT Crowd. I cannot get enough of this show and usually have it on in the background while I work. I’m still hoping for a Season 5 (fingers-crossed) or at least the dvd complete series for American viewing. In the meantime, I burn out NetFlix Instant with my favorite nerds of all time.

In honor of Geek Week, my next Inside The Portrait Studio will be portrait paintings of IT Crowd characters. Cavort!!!

illustration, photography & design © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); for more info on Geek Week, please visit  Housing Works Events; © 1987 Maniac Mansion screen-grabs, The IT Crowd’s poster & t-shirt (Moss)

Sugar & The Rumpus Poster Design

I have been dutifully keeping an juicy secret for months (which has now been released to the public): highly esteemed Dear Sugar from The Rumpus has revealed her identity as none other than Portland-based author Cheryl Strayed! The party is in celebration of her new memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

I designed & illustrated the poster, overseen by a team of some really great people: Rachel Syme (the host), Amanda Bullock (Housing Works Events), Knopf (publisher), and Cheryl Strayed herself! Tickets to this event also include my printed poster, along with some other awesome goodies.

“All tickets include a commemorative poster by illustrator Andrea Sparacio, and entry into a raffle to win prizes like copies of WILD, “Write Like a Motherf—ker” Sugar swag, and a chance to win a one-on-one advice session with Sugar herself. We will also have a “Dear Sugar” box on site, where you can drop your secret questions and inspire one of Sugar’s future columns.”

What goes into making a poster design? Personally, I love seeing work-in-progress photos, so I thought I would share my own. I am in the middle of rearranging the furniture; below is my little Brooklyn home art studio #2 (see my first set-up here). But already as I type this, I have since moved into studio #3, with the most surface space & natural light I’ve ever had to date. Sometimes a little bit of rethinking (and furniture shifting) are all that’s necessary to get the most out of what you already have. I’m so in love with my new art space; updated photos definitely to follow!

I hand drew the detailed trees (below) in a light 4H pencil before digitally overlaying them on a separate gouache background.

Here is the final illustration without any text added, which Housing Works has chosen for t-shirt & cloth bag designs for more giveaways. It’s going to be such a fun night; I can’t wait!! Hope to see you all there, xo Andrea (artsparrow).illustration, photography & design © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); for more info on the event, please visit  Housing Works Events

Block Printing at Brooklyn Artist Gym

Brooklyn Artists Gym (BAG) is an artist studio & gallery space in Gowanus, Brooklyn. They are literally down the block from me (7th street) only two avenues away, and it’s just crazy that I don’t frequent there more often. I have three Groupons for workshops at BAG that are expiring this month, so it’s time to take a walk over and get creative! Tuesday night I took Intro to Block Printing with Katerina Lanfranco (artist/instructor extraordinaire!) and had a blast getting messy with Speedball ink. My print below states exactly how I feel about it all:

First we got our concept drawings down together, transferred, and carved out the negative space from a rubber block.

We then inked and stamped at the inking stations Katerina set up for us with two-color choices, rollers, and baren.

Viola! My first rubber prints (above) along with some classmates (below).Then it was time to move onto linoleum, which was a little tougher than rubber-carving, but I liked the end result much better. Roar!

I really love the Brooklyn Artist Gym and will be going back for more workshops + a 10-session card for Figure Drawing Nights. See you there!

cell-phone photography © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); for more on Block Printing classes, visit Brooklyn Artist Gym & instructor Katerina Lanfranco

A Foxy Valentine’s Week At Housing Works Bookstore

Check out this foxy poster I designed & illustrated for Housing Works Bookstore. Come to these fun events during Valentine’s week while supporting lifesaving services for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. Your heart will feel better & all that soul-cleansing good stuff. See you there! ♡

illustration & design © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); visit Housing Works Bookstore Cafe