Inside The Portrait Studio: Amy Poehler & Tina Fey

Tonight was a great night for the ladies in Hollywood, or as Amy Poehler put it, “only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people in television.”

While I may not big on Hollywood, I am big on these two funny ladies!!! My comic role models hosted the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, and they were armed with some side-splitting zingers: “When it comes to torture, I trust the woman who spent three years married to James Cameron,” and, “I have not seen someone so alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars” (to Anne Hathaway).

Many great wins and nominations for some seriously fierce ladies, with Lena Dunham taking home two Globes for Girls. “This award is for every woman who didn’t think there was a space for her. I found my space.”

Jodi Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, although her speech left a lot of people confused. Did she officially come out? Was it a retirement speech? Considering her plea for privacy, I guess we’re still left wondering. And it’s really none of our business anyway.

Kristen Wiig & Will Ferrell were absolutely hilarious! I really hope Amy & Tina come back to host again, but if they don’t I would love to see these two co-host in their place.

My only complaint of the night was not enough Amy & Tina; so much talent, so little joke time! But what they did get in was pure comedic genius: Damien Francisco in Dog PresidentDarcy St. Fudge starring as “a psychic who solves her own murder,” and “Hilary Clinton’s husband!” Sigh. In the meantime, I’ll just have to go back to my Parks & Recreation marathon, drawing portraits as I laugh…

I will leave you with Amy’s last crack as she was signing off for the night: “We’re going home with Jodie Foster! Goodnight!” 

Hello, 2013!

There are so many things this new year to look forward to and be thankful for; I started my new design job as a Graphic Designer & Project Manager for The Office of Katie Osborn. Katie and I met over 5 years ago working together at the Park Slope Food Co-op; I have also freelanced for her in the past, and we’ve gotten to know each other both as friend and colleague. She is growing her environmental design firm and I’m super excited to be part of her team! And speaking of the environment,  I can walk to work! This new schedule also allows me time to keep my illustration business running, as I have some really exciting projects on the horizon. But what would a New Years post be without my latest planner review?

My deepest, dorkiest love is for paper planners. Try as I might to go completely paperless, I always end up back with a pen in my hand. Maybe it’s the traditional artist in me that still loves the tactile feel of writing, drawing, and crossing things out. I sync Google Calendar with my smartphone, but I have surrendered to the fact that I can’t toss away the good old fashion to do lists just yet.

I have done my homework researching planners for many years but none of them seem to fit my personality type. I was recently introduced to Planner Pads and, finally, I had found my match. If you get easily distracted like I do, this planner is definitely for you! Planner Pad uses something called the “funnel system,” separated into 3 parts:

1. The top section is what I call the “mental dump.” I’m the kind of person who sits up at night, hamster spinning, coming up with new art projects and laboring over (probably neglected) regular routine maintenances. This section is where you freely jot down everything you would like to do, even if it’s not going to get done that week.

2. The middle section is where you start to delegate your projects and to-dos, dispersing them into more manageable parts.

3. The lower section is the most realisitc part, your actual appointments, meetings, and schedules; some of which may be pre-planned and out of your control. I will still use Google Calendar for appointments, but I look at this section as “how much time do I realistically have to get these things done?” As dorky as this all sounds, my personality type (spontaneous and headstrong) calls for such a structure.

Back at the office (below), Katie’s cat Bella welcomes me with some paper clips and relaxing purrs:

May 2013 bring you creativity, health and happiness; Happy New Year! xo, artsparrow

photography © 2013 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow)

A Merry Copic Christmas

I ♥ art supplies! This year I asked for Copic Markers (since the few I had were all dried out) + non-photo blue pencils, but I never expected to receive as many I did. The first time I learned about Copics were from Tim’s brother Mike Mucci, and no pen or marker have been the same ever since. I am now armed with a 6-Piece Skin Tone Set, 6-Piece Gray Tone Set, and a surprise Black Ink Pro Wallet. I will never stop drawing!! Thank you so much to Tim, Mike & Sandy. xo, artsparrow

photography © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), except for last photo © Copic Markers

Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart

I received a great gift two Christmases ago from my Dad. He found out that I wanted this cotton bag by TippyThai on ETSY (or, as my  Dad pronounces it in his accent, “Eatsee”) where he then proceeded to make his first handmade purchase. I loved this bag so much, until one fateful day an ink pen exploded inside of it, sending my beloved bag to its unwearable doom. I never got around to getting the stain out properly and by the time I did it was probably too late. Much like my Dad though, I am scrappy and never let a good bag go to waste. So this is my first attempt at RIT fabric dying to see if I can successfully hide the messy ink stain. Here we go!

I had to move from the tub to the kitchen sink since the dye was at high risk of staining the white porcelain. After a long time of rinsing, wringing, and washing the bag with detergent, things were looking pretty good.

I had to dye the bag black to cover the stain, even though my original attraction to gray was inspired from Clementine (Kate Winslet’s) pleated bag in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


Despite using the entire bottle of black, it came out a darker gray. I can still spot the stain but it’s not as bad as before. I think one more round of dying should do the trick, and something old becomes new again. Happy Holidays! xo, artsparrow

photography © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), except for first photo © TippyThai

New Site Design, New Portfolio

After spending endless hours offline to update my site design, I am very excited to be back! Thanks so much for your patience and I hope you enjoy the new look, portfolio, blog & art shop. I will be adding prints to my ETSY store, but in the meantime, I am gearing-up for my vendor table at Tinderbox Box Music Festival tomorrow.

Check out the amazing line-up (with headliner CocoRosie!!!) and get your tickets today. Hope to see you there ♥

illustration & photography © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow); band photo © CocoRosie

Jugs & Capes: Radioactive Dirt Candy

I had to miss this month’s Jugs & Capes. Life got in the way and I never read it in time, even though the book was my suggestion.

R a d i o a c t i v e  is a biography about Marie & Pierre Currie, written & illustrated by Lauren Redniss. While I did not make Sunday’s meeting, I finally picked up my copy at the library and I’m super excited to finally dive into it. The illustrations and design of the book are simply beautiful, reminding me more of Maira Kalman than a comic book. Illustrated books that appeal to the adult demographic which mix gorgeous typography and drawings are definitely my soft spot. Just look at these stunning layouts.

So while I missed the comic ladies of J&C for September (and their ever-awesome food spread), I attended the graphic novel launch party for Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, coordinated by Amanda Bullock (Jugs & Capes creator) at Housing Works Bookstore.

“Amanda Cohen’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its currently being one of the hardest-to-get reservations in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel.” (check out the book trailer here!)

Onto the food! Free booze, free appetizers, free giveaways. Too good to be true? We didn’t think so at first, up until the rest of Manhattan showed up to grab some free veggie cuisine. For all the trays brought out to the crowd, and despite being super early, here are the two little bites that Tim & I got to sample (left, Popcorn Pudding: salted caramel corn, and right, Pepper Appetizer: smoky red pepper mousse, yellow pepper soup, jalapeño chips).

Stangely (and unintentionally) our hands mimic one of the spreads from Radioactive.

The crowd got a little feisty once the free food came out. Below is just a snippet of the insanity, even though this photo doesn’t do it justice:

Since I couldn’t capture the craziness, I’ll leave you with my own drawing that pretty much sums up the food experience in one panel. (Or, because all NYC roads lead back to Seinfeld, think George Costanza pushing through the crowd in The Fire, only this time to snatch up some seriously delicious morsels). Enjoy!

photography & zombie comic © 2012 Andrea Sparacio (artsparrow), Radioactive illustrations © 2010 Lauren Redniss, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook illustrations © 2012 Ryan Dunlavey, book by Amanda Cohen & Grady Hendrix


U P D A T E  The photo below was emailed to me by Grady Hendrix from Dirt Candy! I call it “The (zombie) view from up here.” I also found myself in the crowd, just in case you were wondering: