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At an early age it was pretty apparent that drawing was what I was good at. 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 larger than ourselves, challenging ourselves with the days-long task of coloring the entire image. Three years my elder, and much better at art than me, my sister instilled in me an intense passion to improve.
By my teenage years my love of drawing attracted me to comic books, a passion I still hold dear. I spent every cent of my allowance on those artists I admired so much. I would emulate their work, redrawing all of my favorite panels, and often times created my own comic book characters and stories. 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" which I was immensely fortunate to attend. 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.
I attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1996-2000. Having only done one painting prior, it was there that I honed my picture making skills and came to love the traditional art of oil painting. I graduated the top of my class with a B.F.A. degree in Illustration, and received that year's 'Rhodes Family Award for Special Achievement' in my major.
After graduation, with some scholarship money in my pocket, I embarked on what would quickly turn into my career. I started by painting portraits out of my parent's 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. More than a decade later, and with more than a hundred published covers to my name, I am still consumed by that childhood passion to improve.
Dan dos Santos' work spans a variety of genres, including novels, comics and film. He has worked for clients such as Disney, Universal Studios, Boeing Aircraft, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scholastic Books, The Greenwich Workshop, Penguin Books, Random House, Tor books, UpperDeck, Wizards of the Coast, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics.
Dan has been the recipient of many awards. He is a five time Hugo Award Nominee for Best Artist, has received both Gold and Silver Medals from Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, the 2007 Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist, and was the Chesley Award winner for Best Paperback Cover of 2007. His illustrations have graced the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller list numerous times and his covers are seen in bookstores in dozens of countries around the world.
Aside from freelance illustration, Dan also co-hosts a series of instructional demonstrations called 'Art Out Loud', teaches at numerous workshops and colleges throughout the country, and is the creator /moderator of the popular educational blog 'Muddy Colors'.