Hello from Joe Sparks of 2018

Welcome to the new JoeSparks.com! I’m an indie creative publisher again!

I made this new wordpress site by myself over the past couple months or so (using the “Music Lite” theme). I haven’t made a site in a VERY long time, so this was a learning experience  all over again. Making a website is much easier today (compared to when I started joesparks.com 21 years ago), but it still it can be very complicated! Tying together Social Media, YouTube, Tagging, Analytics, Advertising, and the endless extra options is a new challenge.

Maybe you are here because you remember me from the days of yore, or maybe you have a similar creative career. Here’s my reasons for writing:

  1. PROFESSIONAL My stories are of interest to other creative professionals (and some fans from way back when). Telling my stories keeps me closer to the creative tools business & marketing (Ex-Macromedia Evangelist here!). More importantly: As an artist with a long historical background, I need to do a better job as archivist for the future Joe Sparks Museum.
  2. PERSONAL I have two sons who are growing into young men. I want them to have better records of their Dad’s crazy history. They may have heard most of these stories before (when we were younger), but I think I can tell them better today (with a pinch more wisdom).

I’m kicking of this new site with a few pages about my past and what lead me to go independent once again. I repeat myself a few times as I talk about my origin stories, and I hope you can forgive that. If it seems like too much info, try to remember I’m answering questions that have been asked many thousands of times over the years (and mostly ignored for more than a decade).

Who are you? I’m a slightly famous artist/engineer with some big hits along the way (wikipedia, NYT) . I used to make wildly popular and award-winning things like Radiskull & Devil Doll, Total Distortion, Spaceship Warlock, the “You Are Dead” song, and more. Then I started working for other companies and fell out of the public eye for more than a decade (except for the occasional interview ).

In the 90’s and early 2000’s I was all over the place:

some Joe Sparks press

Some highlights from my archive, Spaceship Warlock, BusinessWeek, Entertainment Weekly, New York Times

What are you up to now? I am making music, video, characters, and animation and putting that together as “music video stories.” I’m adding arts and crafts into the mix, combining live action and puppetry on video, composited with 2D & 3D animation.

Why so long to update this site? Making my own stuff was no longer my business. I was out there working at various companies, including an 8-year stint at Google (longest I’ve ever stayed anywhere).

So why now? I knew I had to get back to it someday, and that day was in 2017. I have returned to my roots as an independent creative and after I made a few videos and cleared my head, I realized I HAD TO clean up joesparks.com and resurrect my personal email list. (For much more see:  “Joe Sparks, where have you been since the Radiskull Days?”)

Do you mean business this time? As proof, here’s my new business card:

Joe Business Card

I made this Business in After Effects with elements from my music video “After Effects, I Love You” http://bit.ly/AFX-ILoveU

Have a look-listen to what I’ve been up to since I’ve been out on my own and left to my own devices (literally):

After Effects, I Love You

Thumbnail for After Effects, I Love You

After Effects, I Love You MUSIC & LYRICS (C) 2018 JOE SPARKS
https://youtu.be/ZC6kCw-PoOY
I wrote a country-western love song to After Effects, and then I made this music video for it.. in After Effects, of course. 

 

Sometimes I Draw

Thumbnail for “Sometimes I Draw”

“Sometimes I Draw” SHOW, MUSIC & LYRICS (C) 2018 JOE SPARKS
https://youtu.be/vkiXRCVy3oA
I made a song about DRAWING and made this music video for it featuring drawings old and new. I also show some old storyboard sketches and the end-result animation I made based on those drawings (including some original Radiskull & Devil Doll art). May be of interest to artists who want to make videos using their static art scans.

 

Radiskull Threatens Christmas

Radiskull Christmas Rap Carol 1 (the first song in a new holiday tradition)

RADISKULL CHRISTMAS RAP-CAROL MUSIC & LYRICS (C) 2017 JOE SPARKS
https://youtu.be/rZUEb7R9kus

This is my first new Radiskull music in a very long time (it’s not bad, a very old-school 80’s style rap). Radiskull returns to threaten everyone at Christmas. I had this Christmas song idea for Radiskull right before Christmas and I “wrapped it up” 2 days later on Christmas Eve 2017. I wanted to animate it, but there was no time. I had to post in time for Christmas! (so I made this lazy long loop of Radiskull in the sky outside my home as a backdrop).

Want to see more Radiskull and Devil Doll? Subscribe to my channel on YouTube.

Babette Bleu Interview

Thumbnail for my ambitious art film “Babette Bleu Interview”

BABETTE BLEU INTERVIEW SHOW, MUSIC & LYRICS (C) 2017 JOE SPARKS
https://youtu.be/HE8UJNWJnNE

In December 2017 I released “Babette Bleu Interview” on YouTube. I have not worked this hard since Total Distortion. It is truly bizarre. It helps to think of this as an artsy short film by David Lynch. “Babette” is a future cult classic. I do parodies of 50’s sci-fi films, 70’s TV cop shows, and modern-day “musical tributes” to cinema stars. The whole frame work is a parody of “Inside the Actors Studio” with James Lipton. The host is a hero-worshipper, and Babette is a hipster-granny star like Betty White. In the end, it goes full-psycho and we learn Babette is not even human. My 70’s cop show theme music: I nailed the era pretty well. I’m strangely proud of my opening titles, music and animation/design.

After the main show, I added a long chatty musical message to my “fans of yesteryear ” and the people who have written thousands of emails asking about my past works. I also explain why I have returned to the creative life. If you wonder why I added that “bio” part, then you are not one of the thousands of people who have written questions about that stuff.

Citizen Kane of Puppet Shows

“The Citizen Kane (of puppet shows on YouTube) Launch-day promo poster for “Babette.” I think it is hilarious!

Extrovert seeks attention

Another promo for Babette “Extrovert shamelessly exploits wife” series

Babette MONSTER

Yet another Babette promo “MONSTER”

Too MUCH (music video story)

Still frame from the final “Too Much” music video

New Pages of Interest

I put up a few permanent pages to go with the relaunch of JoeSparks.com:
Where have you been since the Radiskull Days? ~ Explanation of my disappearance from the animation/music scene
Joe Sparks’ Creative Tools 2018 ~ Notes about my main software and hardware tools for 2018
Radiskull & Devil Doll Episode 9? I will finish it. ~ Yes I will, but there’s additional details
The Ancient JoeSparks.Com is Still Live as a Museum Piece

Thanks for finding my website, and I hope you will enjoy my new work! As time goes on, I will post stories of work in progress. Please subscribe and stay in touch!

Joe Sparks, San Francisco July 2018

Subscribe to my Private Email List

So thankful to everyone who adds their email to my private email announcements. Subscribers will be first to know of my new works, including Radiskull & Devil Doll shows. THANK YOU. ~Joe Sparks

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Sincere thanks to you for signing up for my announcement emails! ~ Joe Sparks

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