Raoul Vitale was born in 1955 in Canton, Ohio. He is a self-taught artist who started drawing and painting as a very young child. After graduating from high school, he began working at a stained glass studio, a job in which he was totally miserable! Eventually, he pursued opportunities as an illustrator, enduring many rejection letters before finding outside illustration work. From then on, he worked for himself, taking on a range of projects, including: book illustration (his favourite), magazine, advertising, monument design, and collector's commissions. [Source]
Author's Comment: I'm told I started drawing at age three. All I know is that I can't ever remember not drawing. I do remember my kindergarten teacher letting me paint very large 6' x 8' murals of dinosaurs and other animals and plants; which still sounds like a good project even today. Around age nine or ten, I received my first oil paint set and continued with oils, probably more out of comfort and familiarity than anything. I tried to copy the old masters paintings from a borrowed Bible, or some painting I found in a book at the school library... I don't have much of a technique, and I couldn't do computer art if you put a gun to my head. But I do love to draw and paint. I think my biggest influences have been early 19th century painters and illustrators and the fantasy films I'd seen growing up, like 'King Kong' and the films of Roy Harryhausen.