Tony Mauro graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1991 with a degree in visual communications and a major in airbrush illustration. Tony spent the the first 3 years of his career as an airbrush illustrator for a profession sports apparel company where he designed and illustrated t-shirts for all of the pro-football, baseball, basketball and hockey franchises. This was where Tony refined his airbrush skills and learned many of the techniques that he applies to his digital illustrations today.
In 1994 at the age of 23 Tony left the city of Buffalo,NY where he grew up and spent most of his adult life bound for the west coast to pursue his career as an illustrator. He landed in Los Angeles in November of 94′ and began working in the entertainment industry as an illustrator and designer.
The first several years in Los Angeles were spent working with an illustration and design studio in Santa Monica, This was where Tony made his transition into digital art and began developing the style that he uses today. For about two and a half years Tony worked almost exclusively on designing posters, calendars, book covers, and video box covers for the hit show “The X-Files”. Being a huge fan of the show this was a dream come true and truly an opportunity of a lifetime. This was also his introduction into video game packaging. You’ve probably seen his work gracing numerous video game box covers such as Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance, Medal of Honor, Brothers in Arms, Diablo, WarCraft 2, Clive Barker’s Undying and Spiderman Friend or Foe.
His transition into Pin-up/Fantasy art came shortly after that when he started developing the “When Darkness Falls” Vampire Series. Using what little knowledge of photography he had from shooting his own reference as an illustrator, he started photographing friends and acquaintances on evenings and weekends. Those photographs would later serve at the foundation for his vampire series that found a home with Tide-Mark Press in the form of a successful line of wall calendars that ran for 10 years.
His next step was his big break into the entertainment industry and movie poster design. This transition was a life altering break that led him to designing movie posters for every major film studio in Hollywood from 1997-2005. Some of the campaigns he is credited for designing are The Pirates of the Caribbean Intl, M. Knight Shyamalans The Village, The Pink Panther, Friday Night Lights, The Chronicles of Narnia and Black Christmas to name a few. Eventually the 14 hour days and 7 day work weeks became old and it was yet again time for a change.
Tony left Los Angeles in 2005 and returned to his home town of Buffalo, NY to focus more of his time on his fantasy art and to explore new avenues for his work. It wasn’t long after that that the publishing industry started calling in response to Tony’s work being featured in the Spectrum Fantasy Art books.
Today he keeps very busy designing book covers for numerous Bestselling authors for Penguin Books, Simon and Schuster, Random House and many others. He has well over 500 book covers to his credit and rising so there’s a very good chance you have some of Tony’s work in your home right now and may not even know it.
Of all of the industries Tony has worked in he often says how he finds the book cover work to the most rewarding and challenging work has had the privilege of working on.
A sampling of Tony’s illustrations
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