Where I’ve Been

I would never be so ungrateful in this economy as to complain about having too much work to do, but I can at least say this: I miss blogging! It’s been a few weeks now and so much has happened: T & I got married at NY City Hall, we spent some time in New Orleans, had a vegan Thanksgiving with total strangers, took a lot of art & food photography, a few more of my illustrations have been published, and I’ve got some cool new design projects on the burner. I am also buried under piles of work, wrapping up the SVA Typography class, and spend most of my days in front of the computer with a cat who steals drinks from my water glass and spreads across my Wacom tablet only when under deadline. Things could be a lot worse, I know it, but it’s time to play catch-up. I will be back shortly with drawings, photos, animations, designs, and my first musical instrument since childhood (hint: it’s weird & awesome).

Zombie News! Illustrations, Movie Adaptation & More

It has been 7 months since the book I illustrated The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse (Grand Central Publishing) came out, and there is already a buzz it might get picked up for the big screen. Making a zombie movie is one thing, but rumor has it that zombie legend George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) is currently writing the script! iO9 was the first to start buzzing, and my illustration was right at the top. (See article &  2-page illustration spread here). Other websites & sources have been talking about this film adaptation since then, so fingers-crossed it will truly come to fruition!

In the meantime, I was approached by the art director of Stanford Magazine to illustrate an article on 88′ alum Steven Schlozman, MD (author of Zombie Autopsies) for their November/December 2011 issue. The illustration was a full-page print, but can also be seen on the web right here. Ann Marsh, who interviewed Steven, also takes note the movie adaptation in the Stanford article:

“The most exciting part of his second career is that Romero has taken him under his wing. The director sends Schlozman old horror movies to watch and is working on a script for a film adaptation of The Zombie Autopsies. In Toronto, where Romero lives, they went to see the premiere of Survival of the Dead together. In Boston, they took in a stage production of Richard III. It was a modern interpretation in which the deformed king dispatched one victim with a chain saw. “It was an homage to every horror movie ever made,” Schlozman says. “At one point, I leaned over to George and said, ‘You know this is your fault, don’t you?'”
“Sometimes,” Romero responded ruefully, “even I want the classics to stay classic.”

Steven also had some very kind words to express towards me as the illustrator of Autopsies:

“Andrea’s exquisite attention to detail coupled with her unparalleled ability to put into drawings what I saw in my own mind’s eye made her an outstanding artistic collaborator and a potent creative force. Without her careful work, I wouldn’t have had a novel. It’s that simple.”

-Steven C. Schlozman, MD, Author of The Zombie Autopsies and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

And lastly in zombie news, I have finally given into Walking Dead. It began airing around the time I was coming to a close on the book illustrations, but I stayed away from all zombie material in hopes to bring something fresh to the book. Contrary to popular belief, I was not a previous zombie affectionado and had little experience with them, but the book brought me closer to understanding the infatuation. When I first began illustrating I originally had nightmares (due to the autopsies & graphic medical content), but recently I had a dream that I fought off the zombie apocalypse with large mural paintings. While it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in my waking hours, I do know one thing is certain: art is always the answer. Happy drawing! -as

illustrations © 2011 artsparrow (Andrea Sparacio), Stanford Magazine © 2011 Stanford University

Halloween Part 3: Edward Gorey’s Gashlycrumb Tinies

I attended Shanghai Mermaid’s party in Brooklyn this year for Halloween, and although the theme was 1930’s, the invitation had mentioned Edward Gorey. Once I saw his name, I didn’t need to look any further! Homemade costumes are my absolute favorite, and I instantly imagined painting the children on a black skirt to represent the “tines” in this Gashlycrumb tale. While I didn’t have enough time to finish the skirt painting, the impression got across just fine. It was also blogged by my awesome new pal Rachel Fershleiser on Tumblr. Check it out at this link here.

“A is for Amy who fell down the stairs” (-1963, Gorey) A is also for Andrea & artsparrow & all things artistic. Which letter are you?

all photography, costume design & photo retouching © 2011 artsparrow (Andrea Sparacio), except for The Gashlycrumb Tinies book cover (Amazon)


Halloween Part 2: Carlos the Dwarf

My first experience with D&D was being the little sister of a brother who didn’t let me anywhere near the game. Not only was the game itself magical with fire-breathing dragons and half-elves, but even more so as I watched in my pj’s through a tiny crack in the door hoping not to be noticed. My brother humored me a little (I am six-and-a-half years younger) by playing what he lovingly referred to as “Dungeon and Dragons,” but it was merely just hiding his 20-sided die (which I thought of as jewels) to keep me busy and out of his hair. It was more like hide-and-go-seek with sparkly things. Occasionally, my brother would wrap himself in a blanket and pretend to be a monster, but I had no real experience with what the role-playing game was actually about, nor would I find out for a long time.

Not until I began dating a nerd (or do we say “geek chic” these days?) did I learn anything about role-playing as a truly creative game, and he was really serious about it. After being begged to give it a try for over a decade, I finally budged and agreed to play at least once in my lifetime. Tim rounded us together and called it “the virgin sacrifice.” We were hand-chosen; first for never having played before, and second for something he saw in each of us as being an asset to the game.

After some squirming, giggling, and one hell of a vegetarian brunch spread (thanks gang!) we began to get into it. We made all our own characters, and I went from begrudgingly mumbling “I’m a tiefling” to exclaiming “I’M A TIEFLING!”

As the game unraveled, so did my reservations towards it. I can see the fun once you get past all that paperwork (my least favorite part). I enjoyed the fighting, the storytelling, and the united team efforts. Dare I say it, but I would play again sometime! A perfect fit for this near-Halloween rainy afternoon.

In other news: unbeknownst to me pre-game, one of our D&D guests was also author of Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure Rachel Fershleiser. The amazing coincidence is that I was designing a cover for my Gourmet Typography class at SVA on this very same book! From the moment Rachel walked through the door I knew I liked her, but when she saw my homework (ie. her name!) up on my home office cork board – it completely sealed the deal. Here’s to new friendships, BT McWizardson! ♡

Sneak peek at my book cover typography class assignment:

photography & retouching © 2011 artsparrow (Andrea Sparacio)

One final D&D note: other experiences I’ve had with the game were through comedy. The It Crowd, Community, and Freak & Geeks. One of my favorite scenes of all times is when Daniel Desario (James Franco) names his character “Carlos the Dwarf.” His first experience was all too familiar!