Professor Mark Sparacio, a professional illustrator who worked for Marvel and D.C. comics and is a self-published comic book artist, offers professional insight to enlighten students going into the art industry.
“I graduated from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York,” said Sparacio, artist in residence, fine arts. “I studied under industry professionals, not professors, and was taught real-world practices, not theory.”
Initially, Sparacio’s intent was not to become a teacher. However, an opportunity arose 11 years ago to teach at Digital Media Arts College, which Lynn University subsequently acquired. Although he had not received a formal education in teaching art, he realized his real-world experience in the industry offers more value to his students.
As the arts industry is ever-changing with advancements in computer graphics technology, new media being developed and becoming mainstream, the illustration curriculum has changed.
“The industry has changed quite a bit in the 11 years since I started teaching,” said Sparacio. “In my experience as a teacher and as an active Illustrator/Comic Book Artist, it is that today’s students need to have skill sets in both digital and traditional art to compete in today’s industry successfully.”
Sparacio hopes to teach his students everything he learned from his 38-year professional career. His way of bringing knowledge and good fortune to young, eager artists.
“I teach my classes how I was taught at the School of Visual Arts, in a professional manner, which is to get the student prepared to enter a very tough industry,” said Sparacio.
Sparacio speaks highly of Lynn’s teaching process, as the program allows him to be himself simply. He has raw professional experience and knowledge that he takes great joy in passing down to young aspiring artists.
“And most importantly, I do what most of, if not all, my teachers at the School of Visual Arts did: I bring my commissions and professional assignments into class. Explain to the students the entire process, some background on the job and the client, and work on the assignment in class,” said Sparacio. “[The students] hear my insights firsthand and see for themselves that it is possible for them to reach this level, with the correct work ethic and persistence.”
Sparacio shares that teaching has improved his learning process and philosophy. He finds it exciting to pass on information, knowledge and experience to his students, whom seem to appreciate it greatly.