Artist Guest: Dan Dos Santos
At an early age it was pretty apparent that drawing was what I was good at.
I had all the necessary skills; hands, eyes, and an incredibly compulsive personality that assured I would spend days on a single drawing until I thought it was perfect.
Growing up, I spent nearly all of my spare time drawing my favorite cartoon characters with my older sister. We would draw them on rolls of butcher paper, sometimes up to 4 feet tall, challenging ourselves with the long task of coloring the entire image. Three years my elder, my sister instigated a healthy, and sometimes obsessive, sense of competition. Forcing me to color better, faster and more "in the lines" than any person should.
By my teenage years I had moved onto comic books, a passion I still hold dear. I spent every cent of my allowance on those artists I admired so much. I would redraw all of my favorite panels, often times creating my own comic books. By this point, I was certain that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. My parents, however, took a little more convincing.
My local high school sponsored a program called "Careers in Art". The program placed students in a weekly internship with a design company or working professional. It was through this program that I met my long time mentor. Through him I learned the basics of illustration, and thus decided to choose that as my major when I would enter college.
After convincing my parents to help me pay for art school, I attended the School of Visual Arts from 1996-2000. Having only done one painting prior, it was there that I honed those skills and came to love the traditional art of oil painting. Once again, I thrived on the competition, some of the best the country had to offer. I graduated in the top of my class with a B.F.A. degree in Illustration, and received that year's "Special Achievement" award in my major.
After graduation, with some scholarship money in my pocket, I embarked on what would quickly turn into my career. I started painting portraits out of my parents' basement. Eventually, I was making enough to rent a studio. I found a gallery to represent my fine arts, and starting pursuing my dream of becoming an illustrator.
Dan's work spans a variety of genres, including novels, comics and film. He has worked for such clients as Disney, Universal Studios, Boeing Aircraft, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scholastic Books, Ace Books,The Greenwich Workshop, Penguin Books, Random House, Bantam Books, Tor books, UpperDeck, Wizards of the Coast, and Dark Horse Comics. Aside from freelance illustration, Dan also co-hosts a series of instructional demonstrations called 'Art Out Loud'.
See more at his website: http://www.dandossantos.com
|Artwork © Dan Dos Santos|