I was visiting my parents home this past week and was reminded of the humble beginnings my love of drawing (and art) was founded upon. While digging around in the basement with my daughters as we were house-bound in a Northeastern snow storm, I ran across some old drawings my brother David, a friend Vinny, and I used to create together. I rolled them out and recalled to my daughters the cold winter days I would spend blissfully telling stories through the pencil. It brought back a flood of memories and discoveries long buried. The realization came that I must have drawn alot as a young child. My artistic skills benefited greatly from those days of being stuck in a winter bound house in Vermont as a child, inspired to create art!
As an artist who did not pick up a tube of acrylics or oils until I was 19, nor enroll in my first art class until I was 20 (after realizing that I needed serious help with those tubes!), I truely believe that if you want to make your dreams come true, it is all in your power to make it possible. I never thought I would become a professional artist as a young boy – I merely drew because it made me, and my friends, feel good about ourselves and each other. I did not try to draw, I had to draw.
I jokingly state that I am a perpetual child, still sequestered at home doing the same thing I did when I was 10 years old…I hope to die with a pencil in my hand doing exactly the same thing.
Here are some images from then and now. Tap into your own deep well of inspiration, and may you too die with a pencil in your hand…
Dwarf Warrior 1980 Donato Giancola
Gimli: Son of Gloin 2009 Donato Giancola
Gandalf and the Balrog 1982 Donato Giancola
I threw down my enemy… 2012 Donato Giancola
AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back 1980 Donato Giancola
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.
Donato has released a revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.