The other day, I was sitting on a bench with one of my friends, staring through a small cluster of trees. I reached over and poked him on the shoulder and pointed out the tree in front of us. I proceeded to explain how the one in front of us, which was a lively green with petitely-groomed pink flowers, was the girl. The other four trees around her were men seeking her attention. I explained how the one behind her was a creepy old man that was clawing after her, the one that was totally straight up and down, with nothing pretty about it except for its symmetry, was a jock or a pretty boy, the one without any branches or leaves was the outcast who she would look right through, and the one behind him was the nerdy kid peering over at her from afar to get a good look. I then pointed to two other trees in the distance who were reclining on a building. I said, “and those two are the two of us, watching this whole interaction.” A smile came over his face as he pointed out somebody walking by and said, “Oh, that man over there is the jock tree.” “Exactly!” I said, and we fell back into our own separate ponderings.
My imagination has always been the driving force in my life. When something comes to me, I have to design it, figure out how it functions, and put it on paper so that others can see it too. My imagination is beautiful, grotesque, terrifying, and joyful all at the same time, and above all, it doesn’t ever shut off. When I was a little kid, I believed in gnomes and I would write letters to them and set out food for them every night. One day, my friend and I came up with a way to deliver messages from house to house using the gnomes as mail carriers. We determined exactly how long this would take, what obstacles the gnomes would encounter, and after weighing the dangers, we decided to try it. When our parents asked us our plan, we told them in such exquisite detail that they were able to produce the exact results we expected.
Now, all of this discussion of imagination is not to say that I am unrealistic or have a loose grasp on reality - quite the opposite. I merely believe that if our reality is filtered through our perception and our mind, that imagination should be given just as much attention as chemistry and mathematics, both of which I also study and love. I breathe imagination on a daily basis just as much as I breathe air, and since about fourth grade, it has been my aspiration to be able to show my reality to others in the same detail and beauty that I see it. What I mean to say is that I want to be able to draw from my imagination so photo-realistically as to convince my viewer that my imaginings are truth.
I cannot imagine something I would rather do than wake up and go to sleep every day with a pencil in my hand and my imagination sculpted on a canvas, flickering on a computer screen, or dancing in a movie theater for the whole world to see. And no matter how long it takes, I don’t intend on resting until I am working as an equal amongst the best artists in the world.
After studying illustration and animation at San Jose State University, Alexander Sparks became a concept artist working at Brazen Animation. When he was not designing characters, environments, and styles for commercials and shorts, he was storyboarding, matte painting, and supervising the look of the projects in the pipeline. He is currently a matte painter at Original Force 3D Animation. When he is not painting, he is programming and developing tools to make the Nuke pipeline more efficient. He is passionate and insatiably curious, constantly sharing the new things he learns with his coworkers and friends. He is kindhearted, generous, and brightens the room with his genuine enthusiasm. In his free time, he paints, sculpts, makes video games, mentors artists, and plays his ukulele.