Monday, December 24, 2012

Alligator Running Shoes is a band over in The Netherlands! I created this logo for them as an initial online identity; hopefully they'll get to use it in an album design as well. :) Here's the initial logo:

The background above is all watercolor; here's the alligator skin layer:

I'm going to try to stay away from logo designs in the future, because most often the amount of interest they have for me vs. the amount of time they take up in revisions and nit-picking is just not worth it.  But these guys were great to work with. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fanart Friday - KEVIN

If you follow me on twitter, you might know I wanted to try doing fanart drawings on Fridays to be sure I'm drawing regularly, inspired by my husband's daily drawings that he posts almost every day.  (he makes me jealous.)  I made a list of things I'd like to draw at the outset, but today I found out about Kevin Ray's birthday earlier this week. SUBJECT FOUND. :)

Photo of ink sketch:

colored photo:

YAY. that was really fun.  But it made me realize how terribly out of practice I am with drawing.

This blog's been long due for an update, and there are a couple things I've been wanting to post, but I guess I'm still learning how to juggle taking care of house and keeping things tidy and making the husband eat vegetables.  Thank you so much for being patient with me, if there's anyone still reading. :)

-the Winged Elf Girl

Friday, November 9, 2012

This is what I look like

I found this drawing from back in 2010 in one of my little sketchbooks.  Much hasn't changed... but it has.  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Swishy, Swishy cloak

Happy Halloween!!!  My husband and I are going to dress as Joker and Harley Quinn, steal our own candy, and run around outside handing it out.  Because evidently sitting around and handing out candy is for old people.  :D

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Adventure Time

Graph paper Adventure Time doodles!!  Marceline, Princess Bubblegum and Finn.  (And some acorns.  Acorns are ADORABLE!!)  Was fun ti figure out some hairstyles that would be possible with sticky gum.  Drawn with ballpoint pen.

Drawing this way reminds me a little of this older project.  :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Sword of Myst and Memory ON AMAZON!

OH YEAH - Of course my name is nowhere on the page, but the book I created a bunch of illustrations for last year is finally up!!!!


Also, today is my baby brother's birthday; he's turning 16.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY BEN.  I mean Charizard kid.  :D

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Logos for Sparkses

Have I ever posted my logo here before?...  It's on my current website, and the new website design I'm making is based around it!  Yaaaaaaay.  That's assuming I'm ever able to finish it. 

My husband has been trying to come up with a logo for his own works for many months, and yesterday/today we worked together and were able to come up with something AWESOME:

The fonts used in Matt's final logo are both from the Lost Type Co-Op (SHOUT OUT) which has a bunch of AWESOME fonts available.  YAY INDIE TYPEFACE DESIGNERS!

Allez oup!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Album Design for a guitar player

Want another album design?  I gotcher 'nother album design!  For this rather talented young gentleman (from the post below).  :)

This design is for Ben Lapps' new single Giraffe, which you can go check out here!
I really liked some of the other concepts I created for this project, so here are a few of them as well:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Business card for a guitar player

For this guitar player. :) I could watch this kid play all day.
Also, go listen to this song by Lord Huron. BECAUSE.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Public - RED Album Design

I said I had some album designs coming up - here's the first!  This album was released a few months ago by the local Cincinnati band Public.  (I have some videos of them to upload to my Youtube account...)

Here's the original concept:

The band used to be named Crown, and this concept was originally created as an idea for a T-shirt design.  They went with another idea, but still liked this one...

And ended up using it on the cover of their first EP.
I created the imagery for the album in watercolor, and composited the images together digitally for flexibility (Loin on one layer, Lion's background on another layer,  a couple different versions of the inside cover which were combined, etc.)

Here's the outside cover without the text (all of which was hand-written):

And here's my autographed copy of the final album.  BE JEALOUS.  :)

There have been a couple album designs now in which the musicians have asked that I hand-write their text.  I can't help but  be amused to see my own handwriting both in comics and on stacks of CDs. :D


Monday, August 20, 2012

A Sword of Mist and Memory: COVER!

Last year I embarked on a trip to make as many illustrations as I could for the book A Sword of Mist and Memory by Stan Davis.  Now, it finally looks like the ball is rolling to get this thing printed and published online!!

Here is the cover design, in honor of the occasion:

(and illustrated by Lauren Sparks.)  :)  I shall post more info on this release as it comes to me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rain Dance Trailer!!

OH MAN!  I completely missed this - the wonderful Tyler Kupferer of Base14 posted the trailer for a film that I painted backgrounds for!  (Holee cow, was that a whole year ago??)

Check out this sweet sneaky peek at Rain Dance:

Rain Dance - Teaser Trailer from Base14 on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Those of you who know me know that I dabble in all sorts of arts and craftiness. One greatly enjoyed pasttime is photography. and what with my recent trip to the Appalachian Mountains with my spanking-new husband, I do have some photos to share. :)

One memorable occasion that got Matt delightfully sunburnt was our hike to the top of Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in Smoky Mountain National Park.

The Appalachian Trail passes over the top of this peak and intersects a couple other trails - the most notable to us was the Mountains-To-Sea trail, which does indeed wind its way across North Carolina to the Atlantic Ocean.  We followed this trail for a ways out of curiosity.

Long story short - the forest was pristine.  And it was insanely, unforgettably inspiring.

One thing I like to do in general with my photography is to manipulate the "eyes" by forcing new perspective and in the process creating new landscapes that were always there.  Macro is my friend.

Often when I'm drawing, I hit a block trying to come up with interesting but natural landscapes, and I've found that often all I have to do to find inspiration is to lie down on the ground and pretend that I'm an ant.

Playing with perception up in the beauty makes me think of Andy Goldsworthy and his natural sculptures (there's a wonderful documentary about him called Rivers & Tides).

So... Anyway.  I know many other people do similar experiments, and I'm sure most of them are better than me.  But I guess the reason I don't mind is because... this is for a different purpose. 
Woo, cameras.  :D

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, AMERICANS!!!!  :D  Another entry from my coloring book project from this past fall - "Joy" is the theme of this one.  Original sketch above, final lineart below.  The subject is based on a child with a ridiculously contagious grin that I haven't seen in a couple years.  Love you, Gyptian <3

Friday, June 29, 2012


Yeah, this blog has been very dead lately - that has to do with the recent moving to Kentucky, acquiring a husband, and still not having internet in our apartment.  YES - I am now officially, in the eyes of the law, LAUREN SPARKS.  But always the Winged Elf Girl.  :)  You'll hear more about all that later.  But hey, this is an art blog and I actually drew something:

The hopefully obvious reason for this post is the release *ahem* last week of Walk the Moon's new self-titled album.  (A little late on the uptake, Lauren?  A little distracted by that new husband?)   This event has caused some interesting thoughts to surface from the depths of my brain, so sit back with me as I open a bottle of Green Apple Smirnoff and reminisce a bit. 

I first heard Nick sing a song he wrote in 2005-ish - 12th grade.  It was called F# Train, and at the time, I thought it was stellar - I had no idea what was to come.  :)  Sometime in 2006, I think, is when I got invited to a concert for: "it's our new band!  We called it Wicked in the Mix!  We're in this battle of the bands at The Underground, you HAVE TO COME VOTE FOR US OMG!!!"  So, I got to see Nick, Adam, Ricky, Rob and Sam all rock their  17-to-20-year-old skinny butts off, and it was awesome.  And it was pretty neat that I was the "artist friend" who got to design the covers of their first few album/EPs - I remember for the Wicked in the Mix album WM, Nick had drawn this thumbnail sketch of what he wanted; it involved the blank corner of a room.  I took a photo of one of the high, white ceiling corners in my life drawing classroom at SCAD's Anderson Hall, and it went on the cover.  SWEET.  Happy freelance memories.

My memories are kind of mixed up for the following couple years - transferring colleges from Missouri to Georgia, etc.  Somewhere in here, Nick asked if I would make an animation of a character I'd put on the cover of their EP for a concert DVD; that was pretty nerve-wracking but good experience.  Some sucky things happened with WTM in these couple years too, but I only know some of it because I was down in Georgia most of the time.  It was as though Nick and co. were climbing a huge staircase - they'd get up a few steps and then some setback would happen, punting them back a few.  Bad things happen, and are still happening.  Life, basically. 

But even with all this crap going on, Nick kept writing, and damn if he didn't keep getting BETTER.  I've been reading a book lately called Imagine by Jonah Lehrer (AWESOME book), and a common thread throughout the research presented is that general uncomfortableness, strife and frustration spits out some of the best art.  I remember sometime in 2010, I went to a WTM show down at Newport on the levee.  Mr. Founder Nick was the only original band member left - my younger brother Jamie was playing bass, a guy named Martin Diller was on drums and some new dude named Eli Maiman was on guitar.  Nick's mom was there and told me he was switching out musicians for every show because he couldn't find anyone who would stick with him.  She sounded offended; how could anyone NOT want to be in Walk the Moon?!  But, some of the songs that I first heard played at that sidewalk performance with borrowed musicians are now polished up and on that new self-titled album.  Had to wait two years to hear them that way, but the wait was totally, totally worth it when I finally got to hear those songs last week.  :)

In summer 2009, I drove down to Anderson for a living room concert.  Classy.  :)  Adam was the only other original band member left, and the concert was at his house.  I brought my camera, as had become my habit - I didn't know if anyone would actually watch them, but I hoped if I posted some videos of these guys on Youtube maybe it would help to get the word out?  You never can tell with the internet.  And they DESERVED TO GET NOTICED, DAMMIT.  At least, that was my (incredibly biased) opinion.  In Adam's living room, I think, is when I first heard the song Anna Sun.  I'm certainly glad I brought my camera. 

So anyway, 2010 - with just Nick, the video for Anna Sun was made.  Then the current lineup got nailed down, and it seems like it's been all up-up-up since, and I am so, SO glad.  If I sound sentimental and you don't like it, well, BEAT IT.    Do not dare bash Walk the Moon in my presence, or I will END you.  Me AND my husband, who wants to buy several copies of the new album so he can give them to people.  These guys totally deserve every awesome thing that is happening to them now, and it's just that much more amazing (for me anyway) after everything it took to get here.  It's really, truly inspiring, and keeps me plugging along with my art and stories, to say the very least. 

Soooo where next?  The moon?  :)  My literal-minded 21-year-old self came up with this design for  The Anthem EP in 2008:

It's still one of my favorite album design projects.  And, favorite music in general.  So, I raise my now-empty bottle to you, Nick-Eli-Sean-Kevin!!  Enjoy success.  I am glad I could be your artist friend. <3

-Elf Girl

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Recently did a T-Shirt design for local Cincinnati band CROWN

Initial concept:

After printing a larger copy of the concept and doing a very light lightbox trace, WATERCOLORING commences.  Obviously, my work area is very high-tech and fancy.  Warm Colors first:

 Cool colors second:

And the final ink last.

One other concept created in preparation for this design may be used for a future project for this band.  Wait and see.  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coloring Book

Doing a series of coloring book illustrations for a friend! Here is a first look:

And, the final lineart.

Because, there is nothing cuter than little kids checking out picture books from the library. And let's face it, most daddies are shaped that way. :)

Happy April 1st. I hope you are not made victim of mischief.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Unfortunate Development

So it turns out, working full-time with a two hour commute, packing and cleaning up junk in preparation for a move, planning a wedding, probable minor surgery, and taking freelance and babysitting jobs for extra dollars do not bode well for extracurricular drawing. We can see very clearly Blanche's reaction to this development:

You've probably already noticed this, what with the increasingly infrequent posts. This is still my favorite place to post my work, but even taking the time to get things scanned and writing something is .... eh. My priorities are pretty scrambled at the moment, and probably will not settle again until after the big day at the end of May.

I've got a few things planned which I will schedule to post when I can. Until then, reader, thank you so much for your patience!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Spent some time in the basement of the office yesterday, with the tornado warnings. Saw a bit of the damage on TV today... So horrible. If you want to help some of the people affected, here are a couple ways to do so.

Drew this while I was stuck down in the basement - characters for a hopefully upcoming story, three siblings. Added a splash of color today. They look a bit too old, but hey; first time they've been put to paper (outside of the script).

Also, working on the program for the Savannah International Animation Festival!!! And hopefully I'll get to go, too. :D

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Evidently there's going to be a bridal shower.

Check out this guy's photography... gorgeous :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sorry for two posts in one day - some quick design work for the Northern Cincinnati Youth Orchestra. :)

Awww, idn't dat sweeeet.

Happy Valentines day, everyone! :D

Illustration from A Sword of Mist and Memory.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Grasshopper Band

A fictional band that totally exists!!!

Watercolor, 12x18.
Lovely lady on the right is Carter Calvert, whose babysitting money I will use to pay for my wedding dress. <3 THANK YOU!!!!