In his native Mexico City, Bware Sparks often envisioned he'd one day become an architect. After dropping out of college in 2011, he believed he'd failed and fallen into a category of minorities trying to succeed based on a shiny American dream. His love of art, though, led him to a new dream.
“I gave up on the idea of the traditional American dream,” Sparks says. “I think it’s more important to do what you want rather than please people. I think that you can inspire more through being yourself.”
Sparks first began his artistic enterprise as a muralist, decorating the walls of several notable Dallas locations, from Deep Ellum Art Co. to highway pillars and underpasses funded by the city. You may have seen his colorful mural covering the center archways on Ross Street under U.S. Highway 75, where he combines illustrations of Dallas with music and art themes, lovingly representing the artistic hallmarks that belong to Dallas culture.
One of a few local muralists to make a name for themselves, Sparks' style maintains a surrealist, geometric graffiti feel that stands out in its use of color and extreme detail. His unique designs are what earned him the notoriety he's cultivated among the city's art community, a fact immediately evident when his name comes up around other artists. Notable Dallas muralist IZK Davies, who worked with Sparks to create the landscapes that adorn the walls of Deep Ellum Art Co., commends the artist as one of the best.
“He’s in my top 10 in Dallas,” Davies says, endorsing both Sparks’ talent and ethics. “But really in my top five, because only so many people know that depth of dynamics and what a wall is capable of. He thinks in more layers than all artists think of.”
It’s this recognition that got Sparks involved in various large Dallas works, including the 42 Murals Project, in which several local artists were chosen to complete 42 distinct murals throughout Deep Ellum in 2017. He also won the Art 4 Dumpsters project that same year at the Deep Ellum Art Festival, where four artists went head-to-head to transform dumpsters into art.
Before making his name as a professional muralist, Sparks spent years beautifying the city as a graffiti artist, which he still indulges in from time to time.
“There are designated areas or certain business owners who allow for the expression of street art,” the artist explains, “but throughout the year, there are several events that revolve around street art and urban culture, like hip-hop jams and graffiti events.”
Sparks took part in Trigger Finger Dallas, one of the largest graffiti events of the city, earlier this year. Both local and out-of-town artists joined forces to create graffiti and celebrate art as a community. Aside from graffiti and murals, Sparks also has an aptitude for fine art; he won a portion of last year’s Art Battle Dallas, a live art tournament where competitors are given 20 minutes to paint a canvas of vast proportions.
While Sparks’ work in fine art and as a muralist have let him keep his chin up in Dallas, it’s Sparks' multidimensional canvas that he says best represents him and sets him apart as an artist. In striving for “harnessing the whole package,” Sparks' diversity exemplifies a quality true and blue to the modern, millennial artist.
“Everything has been done already,” Sparks says, giving consideration to the way modern technology has brought about a new expectation in the world of art.
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“It’s all overpacked with saturation from social media and shit. You shouldn’t have to choose one outlet, you can do it all.”
Sparks also makes music and beats, competes in dance competitions and runs a private tattoo shop in North Dallas, which books only by appointment. His latest venture, though, is steering him into a new direction: graphic art and the graphic novel.
“My short attention span and ADHD is a reflection of my work ethic,” Sparks admits. “I have so many things I want to do that it’s overwhelming, but it’s good because it keeps you away from the bad shit. I just close my eyes and let my soul drive. And it gives me peace and keeps me going.”