Week 39-52: A New Hope

Oh 2016, what a complicated beast you were. You took away great artists. You exhausted election coverage and then provided devastating results. You delivered heartbreaking news from all over the world. I wanted to avoid repeating the masses by simply stating “you need to end,” but the passing of real life Princess Leia (rebel leader against a fascist regime)—along with her mother merely one day later—may have been my breaking point for throwing in the 2016 towel.

“You broke my heart. You broke my heaaart!” (said like Douglas Reyholm)

The drawing above illustrates where my head was at right after the election, which was not a good place at all. I’ll keep a lid on politics, but a silver lining is how much I learned this year. I learned a great deal of compassion for myself (which is difficult when you’re super hard on yourself) and a great deal for others. I also worked an enormous amount on my art and illustration, and feel like a different person because of it.

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.


(I hear Rebel Girl when I look at this. Photo credit by Anne Jenkins)

A new year gives me a renewed sense of hope. The important thing about hope though, is that hope needs a plan. We can’t passively drift down the current from one year to the next and expect anything to change. In the spirit of Star Wars, “do or do not, there is no try.” I am kicking off the new year by asking myself: what can I actively work on? What is within my power to make 2017 a better year for myself and others?


(new project in progress)

Good things happened too, of course. I covered as Art Director for Tablet Magazine, May through December, and worked with some really stellar folks. I attended Creative Works in Memphis and met great designers. I illustrated the Gender Cards for NARAL, which was not only one of my biggest art projects to date, but they even sold out and are being reprinted again in the new year. People seem to find my Instagram and either follow me or commission my work, for which I am immensely grateful, especially given that I post so little (thank you so much to everyone who reached out this year! I plan to post more in 2017). My MFBA class—led by illustrator & podcaster extraordinaire Andy J. Miller—is coming to a close and it was a total life/art changing experience. I’m excited to share this new project on the complicated topic of ’emotions’. Here’s a sneak peek:


(new project in progress)

To wrap up 2016 on an upbeat note, TV shows of note: Fleabag, The OAInsecureMr. RobotLady Dynamite, Take My Wife, and Atlanta. A quick sketch from my favorite scene in S2 Mr. Robot):


Week 16-38: Where The Wild Things Went

Last time I blogged we left off with drawing prompts and sea monsters. That was April and it’s almost October! Since then I have illustrated Diana Vreeland for Harper’s Bazaar Español, painted over 54 portraits of trailblazing women for NARAL Pro-Choice America’s playing deck Gender Cards (including our next president, Hillary Rodham Clinton!), illustrated a unicorn t-shirt for PBS Idea Channel, updated this website, started a 16-week art class led by Andy J. Miller (Creative Pep Talk), and became an art director for Tablet Magazine. Whew! My #Sketchbook365 project had to take a backseat, though I really miss the extra time for sketching.

I wish I was a animal.

Before you correct my lack of the indefinite article “an”, this was overheard on the subway. Tim came home with the story and we’ve been repeating it ever since. “I wish I was a animal.” The woman who said this was referring to the desire for an easier life, to which another passenger replied, “being an animal doesn’t make it any easier, you would always be worried about survival.”


(the real beast)

160920_artsparrow_tiger5Sometimes I feel like an animal. Artists worry a great deal about survival; can we make the art we truly enjoy and still pay the bills? I’m drawn to the animal world and their symbolism in art, so I figured the best way to bring this website back is with some philosophical questioning and a little pink tiger zest:160920_artsparrow_tiger19124034658660461083-account_id=1

Speaking of wild beasts, I fell in love with this horse pin from the Rhinebeck Antique Market which feeds right into my obsession with flying animals and their apparent hypermobile joints:


Week 9-15: Beautiful My Monster

Strange craving to watch Creature from the Black Lagoon last week…even stranger was his graceful swimming moves! He was ridiculously obsessed with Kay + a total stalking creepo the entire movie. Beautiful costume though.

After the “matchbox made into a bedroom” prompt I became infatuated with tiny houses and have been playing around with diormmas ever since. Extra inspired after seeing teeny architectural models at Cooper Hewitt + the work of Talwst at Spring/Break Art Show. More three-dimensional art to come.


My birthday was a bit of a wash; I had a fever on the day-of but still managed to eat cake through my tears.

64/365: It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to. #sketchbook365 #art #illustration #birds #drawinginbed #sickday

A photo posted by Andrea Sparacio (@artsparrow) on

Now you're awaking; it's so beautiful, my monster. (Husky Rescue)

Smush helps me play catchup with drawings by sitting on them. #sketchbook365

A photo posted by Andrea Sparacio (@artsparrow) on

Week 8: Godzilla + Things

I just added 642 Tiny Things To Draw into the #sketchbook365 mix; it’s the perfect miniature version for traveling. Also, how funny would Godzilla be in a pair of little heeled boots?

Week 6 & 7: Playing House

Home is abstract idea. It's a setting; a state of mind. (George Carlin)

Playing a little #sketchbook365 catchup (aka. drawings created in-between paying gigs). There have been requests for prints, which is exciting and definitely coming soon! I was having fun with this theme; perhaps I spend too much time on Pinterest, or maybe it’s because I have been rearranging my home office (yet again) and editing down to the bare minimum where space is limited. It could even be that I am missing my Apartment Therapy work (had to take a hiatus to focus on art). Either way, I know home is wherever you make it, so why not make it beautiful?

@anthropologie meets @thejpetermancompany.

A photo posted by Andrea Sparacio (@artsparrow) on

An instagram post from last March; I never did buy that junk yard chandelier:

Junkyard find. #gowanus

A photo posted by Andrea Sparacio (@artsparrow) on

Week 5: Do You Believe in Magic?

Rabbits are guides into the shadow world, where our personal fears lie.

“When the rabbit shows up it is time to examine those deep reflexive fears that hold you back from growing. Do you keep bounding for the safety of your old patterns every time something new or challenging presents itself? If the answer is yes, the rabbit asks you to face your fears with compassion for yourself. You must accept that it is part of human nature to feel fear at times, but also believe that our fears need not paralyze our growth and movement.”–Ina Woolcott

Week 4: The Truth Is Out There

Maybe we're just beasts with big brains.

This has been one hell of an X-Files week. The revival premiered Sunday, January 24th, one day after being holed up from the first NYC “blizzard” of 2016. In preparation, we finished watching Season 8 & 9 of X-Files – painfully, since we could never get through them before (nothing will make you miss Seasons 1-5 more than the later seasons!) I love the show regardless though, and Scully + Mulder are in my top favorite TV characters of all time. I used my fandom of X-Files as art inspiration, which could possibly Tooms its way into next week’s drawings as well.

Week 3: Warhol & Astley

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you.


Week 2: Ziggy Played Guitar

And if you say run, I'll run with you.

Monday I awoke to the sad news that David Bowie passed. It’s a always little strange when a celebrity dies; we didn’t know them personally, but if they touched our lives in some way it can feel personal. I will remember Bowie as someone who stayed true to himself – his life, art, and vision – and didn’t care what other people thought. As the social media comments came pouring in, reflecting on his uniqueness, I couldn’t help but think “be the Bowie you wish to see in the world.” Later that day, I read the following excerpt from Caitlin Moran who put it more articulately: 

In 1968, Bowie was a gay, ginger, bonk-eyed, snaggle-toothed freak walking around London in a dress, being shouted at by thugs. Four years later he was exactly that - but everyone else wanted to be like him, too. If David Bowie can make being David Bowie cool, you can make being you cool.


Week 1: Sweet Cherry Pie

Day 5: A turtleneck. #712morethingstodraw #drawingaday #dailydrawings #sketchbook #art #prismacolor #illustration

A photo posted by Andrea Sparacio (@artsparrow) on