As a heavily respected and awarded Imaginative Realist artist, Donato shares his passion of figurative arts not only through his unique body of oil paintings and drawings, but also by inspiring future generations of creators through teaching at the Illustration Master Class and the School of Visual Arts, mentoring online through the SmArt School, and lecturing and exhibiting at various institutions, seminars, and conventions worldwide.
From J.R.R. Tolkiens' The Lord of the Rings to Botticellis' La Primivera, Donato balances modern concepts with historical inspirations to bridge the worlds of contemporary and historical figurative arts. Influences encompass strolls down New York City streets and pilgrimages to museums and art institutions where ever he travels. Donato recognizes the significant cultural role played by visual art and makes personal efforts to contribute to the expansion and appreciation of the narrative genre that extend beyond the commissions of his clients.
Since beginning his professional career in 1993, Donato’s list of clients has grown to include major book publishers in New York to concept design firms on the West Coast: notables include The United Nations, LucasArts, National Geographic, Scientific American, CNN, DC Comics, Microsoft, The Village Voice, Playboy Magazine, US Postal Service, Wizards of the Coast , Scholastic, Simon&Schuster, Tor Books, Random House, Time/Warner, The Scifi Channel, Milton-Bradley, and Hasbro. Merits range from the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators to twenty-three Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, three Artist Hugo Awards for outstanding professional work from the World Science Fiction Society, notable awards from the Art Renewal Center, and six silver and two gold medals from the juried annual Spectrum: The Best of Contemporary Fantastic Art.
Donato is currently engaged with series works on the themes of empathetic robots, astronauts, commercial cover commissions, and continued explorations within Middle-earth and other inspired worlds. You can learn more about Donato’s art and techniques at www.donatoart.com.
Donato lives with his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York.