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Author: Tony D

Friday Fan Art!

November 2, 2007

This week’s winner came from Silas. And I can’t tell you how touched I was by this one. You see, Silas has copied a drawing from a book I created when I was 12 called Gondwanaland. It was about an island inhabited by bizarre creatures that I made up, along with dragons and goblins. The …

Designing Dragons: Spiderwick Dragons (Part 3)

October 26, 2007

Early on, Holly and I thought it would be cool if the Spiderwick books slowly immersed the heroes into an entire world of fantasy. So, by the end of book 1, they finally see their house brownie, Thimbletack. By the climactic battle at the end of book 5, they are battling an evil ogre, his …

Friday Fan Art!

October 26, 2007

Our family doctor is a swell guy. And not just ’cause he can make you feel better. He’s funny, loves Tolkien, and is very friendly, warm and caring – something you don’t always find in the medical field. Of course, I had to give him a set of Spiderwick books (along with my covered version …

Designing Dragons: Space Dragons (Part 2)

October 20, 2007

I first read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight in late middle (or early high) school. It was after I had read The Hobbit, and before I plunged into Piers Anthony’s many Xanth novels. And, even though it had a female protagonist (and her dragon), I really enjoyed it. Since it took place on another planet, it reminded …

Friday Fan Art!

October 19, 2007

I don’t usually get a response back when I answer someone’s letter. But Harrison sent me 2 cool drawings today as a “thanks” for writing to him. He sent a cool drawing of a knight and his castle, but this drawing of me was pretty sweet! He even got the hairline right:) Thanks Harrison! Keep’em …

Designing Dragons (Intro & Part 1)

October 13, 2007

Despite all the fantasy stuff I’ve done in my career, I never get very excited about drawing dragons. Seriously. In fact, I kinda-sorta dread it. Dragons have to be the most overwrought, over-rendered, over-exposed creatures in modern fantasy today. They are found in video games, books, toys, television and movies as they are integrated into …

Friday Fan Art!

October 12, 2007

My assistant, Will, comes in twice a week to help me answer my fan mail and scan sketches, archive art, etc. He and I have a little favorite custom that we do in the studio every Friday. We take our favorite fan sketch sent in that week, and post it on my bulletin board for …

Drawin’ Dinos

October 6, 2007

I’ve been thinking a bit about dinosaurs since the last post, and how much I do love drawing them. Like many boys, I was a rabid fan of all things prehistoric. Movies like One Million Years B.C., television shows like Land of the Lost, toys and models like the Aurora Prehistoric kits, and (of course) …

BOOKS: Dinotopia

September 30, 2007

The older I get, the more I am convinced life is but a series of circular motions. But each time your orbit returns to a pivotal point in your life, your journey affects it in such a way that you now see things in a slightly different perspective. I swear. I don’t know…I am certainly …

Evolution of a GOBLIN (epilogue)

September 3, 2007

My brother, Adam, has pointed out one very important element in this discussion of all things goblin. I would be remiss to not talk about a certain four-legged muse of mine aptly named “Goblin”. Visually, as an artist, I get my inspiration from so many places. I remember one art school instructor telling me that …

Evolution of a GOBLIN (conclusion)

August 26, 2007

Part 4 – Goblins in a Natural World In Katharine Briggs’ “Faeries 101” book, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, she describes goblins as: “A general name for evil and malicious spirits, usually small and grotesque in appearance…” Using what few visual descriptions I could find, I began thinking and designing. From the start, I made them …

Evolution of a GOBLIN (part 3)

August 16, 2007

Part 3 – Designing Between the Lines Living in New York City, and contributing regularly to Magic cards, I was working hard to expand myself on becoming a “more painterly” illustrator and not just be bound by pen & ink. That in mind, I took a lot of life-drawing classes, and frequented the Museum of …

Evolution of a GOBLIN (part 2)

August 11, 2007

Part 2 – I Contribute to Goblindom Well, not really. My early work for Dungeons & Dragons and even my work on the card game Magic the Gathering is just a regurgitation of goblins I had seen before. Simple, iconic images intended to be instantly recognized for what they were. In the case of the …

Evolution of a GOBLIN (part 1)

August 5, 2007

It was the first image completed (and is one of the designs I am most proud of) in Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide – and it was brought to life by the magic team of movie FX wizards at Phil Tippett’s studio – the Spiderwick goblins. Or Diabolus vulgaris from the family Adentidae, as Arthur identified …

BOOKS: The Monster Manual (part 3)

July 19, 2007

Like I said before, both the original AD&D Monster Manual and the 1994’s Monstrous Manual had a tremendous impact on me both as an artist and a creator of books. After binging out on D&D, at 13 I spent an entire summer making my own Monster Manual, which was more a field guide full of …

BOOKS: The Monster Manual (part 2)

July 15, 2007

The AD&D Monstrous Manual (MM) was my second monstrous assignment for TSR. I had just handed in the artwork for my first job, Dragon Mountain, and received a call from the MM editor Tim Beach. It was 1992, I had just graduated from college, and was living with my parents. My younger brother, Adam, and …

BOOKS: The Monster Manual (part 1.2)

July 9, 2007

I realized that many readers may no longer have the aforementioned AD&D Monster Manual, don’t remember the art, or simply have never seen it. So, just to give an idea of how groovy it was, here are a few scans of some of my fav images from this book by artist David A. Trampier. …of …

BOOKS: The Monster Manual (part 1)

July 6, 2007

As a maker of books, I am a collector of books. Actually I am a collector of many things as you will soon see in future posts.I want to share books that have affected me in some way: either by art, story or otherwise. My hope is that it will inspire other young creative minds …

Sophia Marie

June 29, 2007

Sometimes I wonder why it is I am so driven to do what I do. I decided I wanted to write and draw stories for children my senior year in high school. My art teacher, Tom Wetzl, gave me a one-on-one assignment of my choosing for my portfolio. I chose to re-imagine and re-illustrate Lewis …

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.