David Palladini

David Palladini is an internationally renowned American illustrator and author known for his book & magazine covers and interior illustrations, Tarot deck designs, movie, musical and commercial posters, and album cover art. Some of his more acclaimed works include: The Aquarian Tarot and The New Palladini Tarot (Morgan Press, now U.S. Game Systems, Inc., 1969 & 1996), The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales, by Jane Yolen (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1973), the movie poster for the 1979 Werner Herzog film Nosferatu the Vampyre (voted one of the most iconic movie posters of all time) and his most widely held illustrations from the trade edition of Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon, (Viking, 1987).

David was born in Italy and immigrated to America with his family after WWII, when he was two years old. He studied art, photography and film at the prestigious Pratt Institute in New York. During his senior year at Pratt, David was offered a job as an official photographer for the Cultural Olympiad, held in conjunction with the XIX Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968. When the head poster designer for the Cultural Olympiad resigned, David quickly volunteered for the position and created twelve iconic posters for the Games. Afterward, he moved back to New York and took a position with Push Pin Studios, which was considered the premier illustration house in the world at the time. It was then that David finally realized he had become an illustrator.

David’s distinctive style has been influenced by numerous art movements, fusing elements from his imagination and from many highly decorative styles. His illustrations often evoke the Art Nouveau illustrations of Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley. David has had over 150 exhibitions worldwide and has won awards from international groups including the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the New York Society of Illustrators, and the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava. Throughout his career, he has remained true to his art and has not only maintained his own unique style, but has securely earned a place in the annals of illustration history.

As an author, David has published several books including his more-recent 2011 artistic memoir titled, The Journal of an Artist (Black Swan Press), which “is a bracingly honest look at a man who chose to honor his authentic path by devoting his life to art”, and the book, Painting the Soul: The Tarot Art of David Palladini, with co-author Anastasia Haysler (Black Swan Press, 2013). As of 2017, he has been working on a new anthology of short stories titled, An Artist in the World, which is a poignant retelling of his life experiences while creating art around the world. David has worked and lived in The Hamptons, Jamaica and France, and currently resides in Newport Beach, California.

Click to purchase David’s The Eyes of the Dragon print.

Click to purchase David’s The Eyes of the Dragon poster.


Images © David Palladini
Illustrations from the Aquarian Tarot decks © 1967 by David Palladini, publication copyrights 1970 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.