Born and raised in the great metropolis of Chicago, Thomas Gianni attended the American Academy of Art where he studied under Fred Berger, Irving Shapiro, and Howard Mueller. He went on to earn his postbaccalaureate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Visual Communication.
Thomas has worked in advertising as a storyboard artist and product renderer, in animation as a background painter, in editorial and book illustration, in portraiture, in collectible card game art for Magic the Gathering and the Harry Potter game. He is currently illustrating a series of Robert E. Howard books for the REH Foundation. He is also illustrating The Beasts of Tarzan for Homeworld Press which will be reprinting all of Burroughs’ Tarzan stories in illustrated, hardcover formats.
Since 1981, he has worked as the courtroom sketch artist for the WGN, NBC, and CNN television networks. He has drawn mafioso, corrupt politicians and serial killers. He recently covered three high profile trials: the trial of Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, the Jennifer Hudson family murder trial, and the trial of the notorious Drew Petersen.Since 1983, he has taught illustration, portraiture, structural anatomy, graphic design, and advertising at the American Academy of Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College. This year he won the Rankin Award from the Robert. E. Howard Foundation for a few works of cover art .
Thomas is a talented, gold mine of information at the International School of Comics. He is deeply connected with the comics and illustrator community across the country and can be counted on to have an enlivening story to tell peppered with advice about his experiences in the industry. As an accomplished artist, his mastery of the medium is obvious and inspiriting, but perhaps even more moving is his dedication to students; helping them to conquer new techniques and to find their personal artistic style.