July 22, 2015
Illustrator Sprankenstein ‘cannot draw real life faces or hands’. Not that it matters – her swoops, swirls, tentacles, and other worldly creatures tell a story all of their own. I came across Sprankenstein’s work thanks to her recent Instagram-based project. Simply tag one of your images with #INSTASPRANK and in due course you will be tagged in the re-imagined version of it. After seeing a number of images with the tag, I was intrigued and tagged one of my own; an editorial image for TEETH Magazine. Sprankenstein (or Jade Spranklen as she was dubbed at birth) then worked her magic on the image, adding her trademark rays and a beautiful, dark heart. Of course, I loved it and gushed about it on every social media platform I have, and therein lies the route to Sprankenstein spreading to an ever widening audience.

The #INSTASPRANK tag and Sprankenstein’s reputation is quickly gaining ground, so I wanted to find out a little more about the artist behind the hashtag…

“While I had always spent a lot of time doodling and generally living in my own little world, becoming an illustrator never consciously entered my head until I failed quite spectacularly at my Further Maths A-Level and had to pick up another subject super quick. I immediately took A Level art and that’s pretty much where this all started becoming a reality. I’d get in a lot of trouble for doodling my characters in lessons instead of painting still life and not sticking to the rules of traditional rendering or scale in general! One teacher even called home about it!”

After this quick change in direction, Jade went on to study the subject further, first at Hertfordshire University, and then at Portsmouth University. She says it’s here that her style became ‘unforgivably more creepy, eerie and playfully sinister.’

After graduating she moved straight into freelance work, illustrating under the guise of Sprankenstein in order to achieve that separation that allows her to illustrate without restrictions. “When clients see the name Sprankenstein, they know what kind of thing they’re getting into.”

So, with an already impressive client list under her belt (Levi’s, Polydor, Latitude Festival, and Clean Bandit to name a few), how did the #INSTASPRANK project come about?

“A friend of mine, Whinnie Williams, asked me to illustrate over one of her Instagram pics. She then shared it for me and other people quickly got involved! I will get tagged in a photo from people all over the world and I go wild on it. It is such a great project because I never know what I’m going to get tagged in, and each photo generally sets the theme of what kind of imagery I will use. Once I’ve illustrated it, I will repost and then the recipient will share on their feed and spread the word. My waiting list is getting bigger and bigger everyday. It’s overwhelmingly special!”




With such a creative and individual approach to her work, it makes sense that her self promotion (perhaps accidental but nevertheless very effective and super fun for all involved) would follow the same pattern. By enlisting her Instagram users to supply her with endless inspiration, Jade has managed to create a playground in which she can be free to experiment with, and explore, her imagination and illustrative style. In her own words, “I think that if my imagination were a human, this would be its time to party”

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