David Burroughs Mattingly

David Burroughs Mattingly
Born (1956-06-29) June 29, 1956
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Illustrator, painter

David Burroughs Mattingly (born June 29, 1956, Fort Collins, Colorado) is an American illustrator and painter, best known for his numerous book covers of science fiction and fantasy literature.[1]

Life and career

Mattingly grew up in small town Colorado, and was inspired at age twelve to enter the visual arts, and discovered matte art. He later attended the Art Center College of Art and Design, transferring from the Colorado Institute of Art, and left part-way through to take a job as a matte artist at Disney Studios. There he worked on the production of The Black Hole.[2] He also worked on films including Tron, Dick Tracy, The Watcher in the Woods, and Stephen King's The Stand.[3] After seven years, he became the head of the matte department there.[2] He later worked on the films I, Robot![4] and Hail, Caesar!.[5]

Mattingly later took a job at Ballantine Books, and has done more than 2000 book covers for science-fiction works. He later took a matte art teaching position at the School of Visual Art, and then the Pratt Institute,[2] where he is an Adjunct Professor. He teaches digital matte painting and compositing at both institutions.[3] Mattingly is the subject of the 1996 book Alternate views, alternate universes: the art of David B. Mattingly by Cathleen Cogswell.[6] He currently works as an independent matte artist and illustrator in addition to his teaching.[7]


David created 50 of 53 covers for K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series.[7] He also created covers for all of David Weber's Honorverse science-fiction series, including the New York Times Best Seller in that series, A Rising Thunder.[8] He has been the Artist Guest of Honor at a number of conventions, including Technicon 24 and Loscon 42.[9] He has also published a handbook on digital matte painting, The Digital Matte Painting Handbook.[10]



  1. "Summary Bibliography: David B. Mattingly". 'ISFDB'. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Mattingly, David B. (18 April 2011). "The Digital Matte Painting Handbook". John Wiley & Sons via Google Books.
  3. 1 2 "Pratt Institute".
  4. "David Mattingly - MFACA".
  5. "David Mattingly".
  6. Cathleen Cogswell. Alternate views, alternate universes: the art of David B. Mattingly. Paper Tiger. 1996
  7. 1 2 "Meet the Artist Behind the Animorphs Covers That Destroyed Your Mind as a Kid - VICE - United States". 7 December 2015.
  8. "Best Sellers - Combined Hardcover and Paperback Fiction - Sunday, March 25th 2012 - List". New York Times. 25 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  9. "Artist Guest of Honor: David B. Mattingly". Technicon 24. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  10. "Wiley: The Digital Matte Painting Handbook". Sybex Books. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
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