Meet the Faculty! - Dan Dos Santos

Dan Dos Santos is a remarkably skilled artist and illustrator, with a unique talent for capturing a given moment and expressing it with flawless use of color and emotion. . Daniel graduated from the School of Visual Art, NYC. He was a recipient of the Rhodes Family Award for special achievement in illustration in 2000, as well as the Starr Foundation Award for 2001. 

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. His work has also been reproduced as posters for the School of Visual Arts and the Society of Illustrators and included in the permanent collection of General Electric. 

Dan has been the recipient of many awards most recently, a 2010 Silver Medal in Spectrum 18. He has received 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. 

Aside from freelance illustration, Dan also co-hosts a series of instructional demonstrations called ‘Art Out Loud’, and is one of the instructors at the Illustration Master Class in Amherst, MA. He currently resides in the small town of Beacon Falls, CT where he lives with his wife and two sons.

What is the most exciting thing you’ve learned recently? 

Probably Z-Brush and Sketch-Up. The learning curve is definitely steep, but implementing 3D models into my reference acquisition has really been a giant leap for me.

How do you battle through rough patches? What drives you forward?

Conventions and museums mostly. When you're in a slump, attending cons like Spectrum and IlluXcon are really rejuvenating. It's difficult to leave a place like that and NOT feel inspired when you're surrounded by so much great work and enthusiasm. It reminds me to be passionate. 

What do you wish you had known earlier in your career? 

Sincerely, not a lot. I had a really great mentor when I was in High School, and he introduced me to just about every aspect of this business very early on.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

You can't successfully negotiate with a client unless you're willing to lose the job.

At this stage in your career, what is your dream project? 

Definitely an illustrated version of Frank Herbert's 'Dune'. I've been a fan for a long time, and would love to paint my own rendition of the characters.

What’s one thing your students will take away from your workshop?

Process! Inspiration is great. Experimentation is great. But when a deadline is looming, and you need to produce consistent work of a high quality, you have to have a process that you can fall back on…. Something you know will reap decent results every time, regardless of your mood. In this workshop, I hope to give the students a solid foundation for how they can go about creating imaginative, yet realistic paintings. Building on top of that foundation will be their challenge.

Dan Dos Santos will be teaching his Book Cover Illustration workshop on July 26-28, 2013. 

Enrollment opens on Oct 15!

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