Tim Sparvero is an artist born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is currently based out of New Jersey. He attended the New York School of Visual Arts and Rutgers University. Tim currently works for the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper as an artist and has done work for Strange Aeons Magazine and The Times of Trenton. He runs a weekly webcomic called Infinity Roads and enjoys collecting anime figurines and building models.
TS: The works of H P Lovecraft started me up. I began drawing adaptations of his works around 2007, and from there formed my own horror style. This has since grown into some of my own horror comics and is an influence in my science fiction work.
What’s your most famous work and what are you most proud of?
TS: I am best known for my work as an illustrator for the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, my adaptations of H P Lovecraft tales for Strange Aeons Magazine and my webcomic Infinity Roads. Out of the three I am definitely most proud of my webcomic. It has been a dream of mine to draw that comic since 2006, and it has finally taken a physical form.
Talk us through your artistic style.
TS: I have numerous, but the two I am most known for are my black and white style and my webcomic style. The black and white style employs stark contrasts and relies on abstract shapes to show form, space, and tone. The webcomic style is similar but relies more on lines to show form, along with what I would call ‘industrial colours’.
What are you working on at the moment?
TS: Currently I’m doing a small collection of science fiction comics for Small Press Expo. In addition I’m working on my science fiction webcomic Infinity Roads.
Which horror artists do you most admire?
TS: Two horror artists have always been my favourites. H R Giger and Junji Ito. Giger’s work is incredible in that it shows another world of nightmares and terror. I haven’t seen many artists who are so convincing in their depictions of a world so completely alien to what we know. Junji Ito is difficult to explain. His comics are so disturbing I can’t help but read them, and once I start on one I have to keep going till the end. Junji Ito has written some of the most unsettling things I’ve ever read.
How much detail do you like to put into your graphic depictions of horror and how much do you imply?
TS: I leave a lot to the imagination of the reader. My horror work relies heavily on atmosphere and implied situations to show terror.
TS: The chance to travel into the unknown; to walk between the stars, experience nightmares waking and ride with the gods through my comics.
What makes a good piece of art?
TS: That’s a hard one. Something being good is so dependent on the person looking at it. But for me, something good is a piece that has an obvious point of view from the artist. Something that shows the artist isn’t trying to simply go through the motions, but actually cares for their work. I think an experienced artist doesn’t need to consciously try to give their work a point of view; it comes naturally. Things such as skill, anatomy and ability to draw are all nice, but if the work has no opinion, no message or voice, it can be boring. A point of view, or the ability for the artist to show their emotions through their work, is essential to success.
Do new digital technologies such as the iPad and Kindle provide an opportunity or threat to traditional art?
TS: I know many artists who produce work, comics or otherwise, traditionally, and these new technologies are a new way to promote their work. If anything new technologies provide greater freedom for creators and a path to creative independence. It’s sort of like what Image comics bragged about in the 90s but without the constantly late books.
Recommend a graphic novel.
TS: Adam Warren’s Bubblegum Crisis, Grand Mal; great art and story. He gets the personalities of the characters down flat.