Tony M. DiTerlizzi (born September 6, 1969) is an American fantasy artist, children's book creator, and motion picture producer.
DiTerlizzi created The Spiderwick Chronicles series with Holly Black, and was an executive producer on the 2008 film adaptation of the series. He won a Caldecott Honor Medal for his adaptation of The Spider and the Fly. In the gaming industry, he best known for his work in the collectible card game The Gathering and on the Planescape product line for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
DiTerlizzi was born into an artistic household in Whittier, California in 1969, the first of three children. The name DiTerlizzi means "from Terlizzi", a village in Italy's Pulia province. He grew up in South Florida where he attended South Fork High School. During his childhood he was introduced to the work of a variety of artists including Norman Rockwell, Dr. Seuss, and Roald Dahl, that he cites as major creative influences. "Many good fantasy artists will tell you their influences are Frazetta or Boris Vallejo. Realizing this, I went for more diverse influences, since it seemed to me that most current fantasy work has that same oil-painted feel." DiTerlizzi was influenced by artists such as Heironymus Bosch and Leonardo da Vinci to early 1900s magazine artists (Maxfield Parrish, Heinrich Kley) to classic children's book illustrators (Arthur Rackham, Ernest Shepard, John Tenniel) to offbeat modern fantastists (Brian Froud, Moebius, William Stout, Jim Henson). Another inspiration was David Trampier, who illustrated much of AD&D's first Monster Manual, which DiTerlizzi recalled as his favorite book as a child: "I would copy Trampier's drawings over and over." He went to college at the Florida School of the Arts and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he earned a graphic design degree in 1992.
After art school, DiTerlizzi moved to New York with his wife Angela and began a freelance illustration career working for TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. "I was so psyched when I got a chance to work on [the 1993 Monstrous Manual tome]. My entire goal was to 'blow away' the other artists. It helped me in getting the job for the Planescape setting." DiTerlizzi worked on the 1994 Planescape Campaign Setting and its supplements, redesigning the look of the Outer Planes, "Not only buildings but the people had to have a rusted, organic look. This seemed to come naturally in my art style. When I went to work on Planescape, I looked at anime and Japanese fantasy art like. Yoshitaka Amano." DiTerlizzi continued to work for TSR, as well as White Wolf's Changeling and Werewolf Storyteller games, and illustrated many cards for Magic.
DiTerlizzi branched out from games art by illustrating books such as 1997's Giant Bones by Peter Beagle, and 1998's Dinosaur Summer by Greg Bear. After seven years of work as a gaming and fantasy artist, DiTerlizzi entered the field of creating children’s picture books. With the publication in 2000 of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, he fulfilled a childhood dream of writing and illustrating his own book. Jimmy Zangwow was followed the next year by Ted, which received the 2002 Zena Sutherland Award. Ted was followed with his spooky-themed picture book of Mary Howitt's classic poem The Spider and the Fly, which became a New York Times best-seller, and for which DiTerlizzi was awarded the 2003 Caldecott Honor Medal.
DiTerlizzi met author Holly Black when she came to interview him for the role-playing games magazine d8, and they soon began working together. In an effort to bring fantasy to younger readers, DiTerlizzi and Black created The Spiderwick Chronicles, and sold it to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing and Nickelodeon Movies in 2002. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing launched the series in 2003. Since then, Spiderwick has been published internationally and translated into over 30 languages. In 2005, Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You was published. In 2008, Paramount Pictures released a live-action movie adaptation of the series, with DiTerlizzi acting as co-executive producer. A sequel series, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, began publication in September 2007.