From Dungeons & Dragons’ Keep on the Borderlands to Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, Donato’s influences encompass the museums of the world to the well trodden steps of the local games store. Balancing modern concepts with historical inspirations to bridge the worlds of contemporary and historical figurative arts, 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 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. Donato lives with his wife and two daughters in Brooklyn, New York.