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Meet Steve Dininno of Steve Dininno Fine Art in Marietta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Dininno.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Originally from a small fishing and beach community on Long Island in New York, I studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and graduated with honors in 1982.

I went on to a 30+ year career as a full-time freelance illustrator where I had literally hundreds of clients including Coca-Cola, EMI Music Publishing, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, T. Rowe Price, Jaguar, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Simon & Schuster, Panasonic, Prudential, AT&T, Citibank, TIME Inc., Dupont, and IBM. As a conceptual illustrator, I specialized in creating thought-provoking imagery for most major US newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Hartford Courant and Boston Globe. I was a regular contributor for 5 years to New York Newsday and for over 10 years to the Wall Street Journal.

My illustrations have been used in advertising, book publishing, annual reports, brochures, direct mail pieces as well as on posters and CDs. Later, I expanded my business to include animation, infographic and presentation design. I’ve written about my work in Artist’s Magazine, and am a featured illustrator and interviewee in the publication; “Exploring Illustration” by Michael Fleishman, as well as “The Big Book of Illustration Ideas” by Roger Walton. My work was the subject of a column titled “Image” in New York Newsday.

In 1995, I became interested in printmaking and received a Kuniyoshi Scholarship to attend the Woodstock School of Art in Woodstock, New York to study printmaking. For a few years, I balanced two disciplines: commercial illustration and printmaking.

Then, after over 20 years as an illustrator, I began to shift more attention to marketing my printmaking and acrylic paintings. I’ve since been chosen in more than 70 juried national exhibitions and am represented in multiple galleries throughout the Southeast including DK Gallery in Marietta, GA, Providence Gallery in Charlotte, NC and Cocco & Salem Gallery in Key West FL.

In 2017, I decided to retire from illustration after completing a poster and an animation for New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority. I am now a full-time painter/printmaker as well as a partner with my wife, Astrid Dininno, in Dininno Group of Virtual Properties Realty based in Metro Atlanta. I also periodically lecture and conduct workshops on printmaking at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio and Emory University.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think creating art is ever a smooth road. It’s always about seeing more, knowing more and saying it with less.

With painting and printmaking, the struggle is to achieve a kind of purity of vision; to be able to depict more with fewer lines and/or brushstrokes. I have a quote hanging in my studio that states: “Don’t say in 2 strokes what you can say in one” This is a great challenge for me.

Also, I found it challenging and exhausting to keep growing as an illustrator after I had reached a certain level of financial success and clients either wanted work similar to what I had done before or they dictated image content to me. I refused to do that even though I knew it cost me, clients. Maintaining the balance between continuing to stretch one’s ability while pleasing a client who is paying for the work is never easy. The only illustration I do these days is for my realty business, where I have free reign to create what I want.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Steve Dininno Fine Art – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As a painter and printmaker, I’m mostly known for my images of New York City. Unlike a lot of artists who depict New York landmarks and what this city looks like, I try to show what it feels like, what it is to me. Always paradoxical, it’s at once glorious and gritty, inspiring and depressing, sublime and sullen, like the human soul.

As someone who spent a major part of his life there, I’ve come to realize that I’m not just painting and drawing New York City, but painting and drawing New York City and me, intertwined.

Recently, I’ve been doing paintings of my new home city, Marietta. Something about the way afternoon light falls on the people and buildings at Marietta Square is so affecting.

One thing that sets my work apart from others is how I paint light.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Now that I’m not illustrating, I plan to spend more time doing painting and printmaking and possibly adding more galleries to the ones that already represent me.

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