Tristan Elwell was born and raised in New York City, where he graduated from the High School of Music and Art. He attended the School of Visual Arts on a full scholarship, graduating in 1990 at the top of his class. While at SVA he also worked as a painting assistant to noted photo realist Charles Bell. After college he quickly established his career as an illustrator. In 1994 he joined the staff at SVA, where he teaches illustration and painting. Tristan's oil paintings combine meticulous technique with a unique conceptual sense and often mordant wit. These qualities have brought him assignments from countless editorial, advertising, and corporate clients. He has done book covers for all the major publishing houses, including Avon, Bantam, HarperCollins, Penguin, Pocket Books, Scholastic, and Tor. His work has appeared in Print and Communication Arts, and is a regular feature of the Society of Illustrators Annuals and Spectrum.