Daniel San Souci was born in San Francisco and grew up across the bay in Berkeley, California. His Father worked for the University of California. At one point Professor Guido Greganti, who was a world-famous Italian portrait painter stayed with the family while he was creating portraits of the some of the University dignitaries. The professor, knowing that Daniel was interested in art, allowed him to watch as he created his paintings. The experience influenced Daniel to take every art class that was available to him. Soon, weekends were spent traveling across town to the art college, where they offered special classes for gifted students.
After graduating from high school, Daniel fulfilled his dream and attended the California College of Arts in Oakland. He studied under many great teachers, including realist Ralph Borge and watercolorist George Post, who was a popular figure in the California Impressionist Movement. At this time he met American painter Ray Hare, who was also a student at the college. Their friendship soon turned into constant driving trips to paint on location with their watercolors. During these inspiring times Daniel studied the paintings of Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth. There was a certain narrative quality to their paintings which Daniel loved. It was during these exciting times that he could see his own style developing.
Upon graduation from college, he started showing his paintings in galleries in San Francisco, Carmel, and Hawaii. In 1978 Doubleday Publishers offered him a contract to do the art for a book titled “The Legend of Scarface: A Blackfeet Indian Tale.” This first book did well and won awards, including the “New York Times Best Illustrated Book.” This started a thirty year career in book illustration. During this time, Daniel published over eighty books and created many book covers, including ones for “The Chronicle of Narnia” series. He also won numerous awards with his books including “The Boston Globe/Hornbook Award,” “The Gold Medallion” from the Christian Booksellers Association,” “The National Parenting Publications Gold Award,” and “The Children’s Choice Award.” He is also proud of the many wildlife books he has created, including three for the National Parks.