At age five and a half, while his classmates were playing with toy soldiers, Fabio Pastori was sketching images of Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus in his notebooks. A native of Milan, Italy, Fabio followed his dream of becoming an artist and studied art at the Liceo Artistico di Brera and then Scuola Superiore d’Arte del Castello Sforzesco, where he began to teach drawing at age 18.
While he was teaching and later directing a course in illustration, he continued his training as a hyper-realistic illustrator and learned to render photo-realistic images with a three-dimensional quality. His exceptional work caught the eye of advertising agencies and publishers in Italy and abroad. He began working with art-directors, directors and photographers creating backdrops for commercials.
“In the 90’s I started my real journey into the world of paleoart, studying and illustrating dinosaurs in a variety of applications that comprise the paleontological field such as publishing, museums, education, scholars and collectors. I always used the traditional techniques while pursuing my great interest and passion for nature, animals and particularly dinosaurs.”
His first drawings of prehistoric animals done in a hyper-realistic style were published by Mike Fredericks in Prehistoric Times magazine in 1992. His work attracted immediate attention because of the level of realism he achieved and his innovative use of color. He was selected for the Annual Illustrators (non-fiction) in Bologna Children’s Book Fair (’97/’98/’99/2000).
In 2000 Fabio rendered a series of stunning concept illustrations for an early version of Rex Riders that was conceived and pitched as an animated cartoon series. JP Carlson recalls seeing the illustrations for the first time and being amazed at the renderings: “At that time, no one illustrated dinosaurs the way that Fabio did. His use of color and perspective was very unusual. The animals literally popped off the page. I don’t think his influence on paleo-illustration is appreciated and recognized because his work wasn’t seen much here in the States. I think that’s going to change in the next few years.”
In 2006 Fabio held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Natural History (Museo di Storia Naturale) in Milan that was curated by Cristiano Dal Sasso, and participated in several exhibitions.
In collaboration with JurassicParkItalia.it, he held “PaleoArtTeaching” workshops in Rome (2009) and Portugal (2010) under the supervision of Octavio Mateus, as part of the scientific program of Museu da Lourinhã.
“After winning the first prize at the CIID (Concurso Internacional de Ilustraçao de Dinossauros), I got to know other students and since then I have worked with some of them including Dal Sasso and Mateus, Simone Maganuco, Andrea Cau, Jorge Calvo, Matthew Mossbrucker, and Alex Carpani.”
Fabio’s illustrations have been featured in magazines such as Oasis and National Geographic. His personal web site hosts his online galleries, and combines his sense of the artistic with science and learning. “I always try to find the right balance between my role as an artist, and my responsibility to be as accurate as possible in this area.”
At present, his work is featured in the exhibit “Dinosauri in Carne e Ossa“[Dinosaurs in the Flesh] in Piacenza, a great event about dinosaurs in Italy.