Today on the MFBA Spotlight we have Andrea Sparacio and her project Beautiful Monsters! The MFBA Spotlight highlights a past MFBA student from our online class. Andrea was in our first semester of the class.

Andrea's work is elegant chaos. It's raw and human, yet very clearly sophisticated. It's an extremely difficult balance to strike, but she seems to do it with ease!

In this course, Andrea dug very deep to reveal a deeply personal project, but delivers it with a light hearted approach. It's my pleasure to introduce you to this exciting new project! (P.S. I LOVE THE ANIMATED SKETCHBOOK PAGE!)

1 - Could you give us a brief summary of your ‘story’ AKA who you are, what do you do?

I was created from two great balls of fire and unearthed from a hospital in Manhasset, New York. Today I’m a freelance artist and illustrator living in Brooklyn. I received my BFA in illustration at FIT, though my career took a multidisciplinary route around it—graphic designer for tv & print, home decor writer, photographer, art director—all before coming full circle and landing back where it started. I am currently focusing solely on art and illustration, a place where my true passion resides.

2 - Tell us about 1 or 2 major breakthroughs in your work.

Letting the weird out. For a long time I thought I was supposed to fit in and be ‘normal’ like everybody else. Even though I grew up feeling different, I was fighting with it in a way that I’m only recently beginning to understand. Some people want to be unique and stand out; I strangely wanted to blend in. It took years to discover the enormous strength that being weird and authentic brings, so I’ve since changed my tune. This major breakthrough is playing out in my work right now by exploring sides of myself that I’ve been running from, especially emotionally ugly and tragic things, and the illustrations I’m drawn to making these days are a result of these personal revelations.

Another breakthrough is wanting to see my work transition into more than two-dimensional; I really want to see these illustrations move and tell stories.

3 - Tell us about the project you’ve developed in the class.

Beautiful Monsters is an illustrated column around the topic emotions. Since I was working so much on myself, tackling all these internal monsters, I wanted to draw them out, play with how they look, accept their imperfections. Name them, make them tangible. The project gives room to play and explore this idea while incorporating things I love: weirdos, fashion, psychology, humor.

The title came from an amalgamation of a few cultural favorites: Edna St. Vincent Millay’s biography Savage Beauty (after finding a magical free copy on the curb), this vintage photo of Millicent Patrick’s epic Gill-man that I swoon over, and Husky Rescue’s super pretty song Beautiful My Monster.

4 - What’s your favorite pizza?
Nostalgically, Rosa’s Pizza in Middle Village where my grandma used to live. The ‘red slice’ is like biting into a 1600 thread count pillow made of sauce and cheese. I dream about it.

Check Out Andrea's work and follow her project on social media!

In Andrea's own words:
ANDREA SPARACIO is a freelance artist + illustrator in Brooklyn, NY.

She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in illustration, as well as studying art + design at School of Visual Arts and abroad. She enjoys drawing monsters and is currently teaching herself animation under the careful watch of a tailless cat. Her illustrations are a mixture of gouache + digital.