Donato Giancola

2008 Hamilton King Award Winner: Donato Giancola

Multiple award winning artist Donato Giancola was born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont. He majored in electrical engineering at the University of Vermont, but left for Syracuse University to pursue painting in 1989. Graduating as a fine arts major in 1992, Donato resisted the temptation to get a conventional job. On his way to becoming a professional, he supported himself by working part time at the Society of Illustrators while simultaneously seeking work as a book cover illustrator specializing in science fiction and fantasy.

Donato’s first commissions were for the classic science fiction novels The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, and Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne: the sketches created in his coat closet ‘office’ at the Society. Donato has illustrated over 200 book covers, magazine covers and editorial pieces for such clients as Amazing Stories, Asimov’s SF, Dragon Magazine, National Geographic, Playboy and The Village Voice. His art has graced postal stamps, collectible card games and the packaging and concept sketches for video and board games.

His illustration and portaiture clients include Microsoft, Vivendi/Universal, Lucas Arts, Free Masons of Philadelphia, Milton-Bradley, Hasbro, DC Comics, The SciFi Channel, All-American Television, CNN, Danbury Mint, Franklin Mint, Avon Books, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkley, DAW , Penguin, Random House, Scholastic, Sega, Simon & Schuster, Tor Books, Warner, Iron Crown Enterprises, Five Rings Publishing, and Wizards of the Coast.

He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts, as well as guest lectures at some of the country’s finest art schools, conventions and institutions.

Donato describes himself as a ‘classical-abstract-realist working with science fiction and fantasy’ and lists Hans Memling, Jan Van Eyck, Velazquez, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Piet Mondrian, Waterhouse, Rubens and Titian as his favorite artists. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.