“Inspired By”-Tony DiTerlizzi

Inspired By… is a window into the world of an artist’s passion and creativity. It is a very special and intimate conversation with some of Martin County’s finest artists and performers. Modeled on successful television programs such as “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and “Spectacle with Elvis Costello”.

In this edition hosted by StarStruck Performing Arts Center in Stuart, Samia Ferraro talks with former Martin County School District Alumni Toni DiTerlizzi.

Tony DiTerlizzi photographed by Thomas Winter on the StarStruck Performing Arts Center in Stuart Florida
Tony DiTerlizzi
Samia Ferraro and Tony DiTerlizzi on the Stage at StarStruck

Tony attended Hobe Sound Elementary, Murray Middle School and South Fork High School growing up in south Florida. He received his degree in graphic design at The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale in 1992. As a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tony, has been creating books for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like, Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela) and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries.

The following morning, Tony and his entourage from the Arts Council traveled to Indiantown Middle School, South Fork HS, and Anderson Middle School to talk about his accomplishments and career.

Tony and former art teacher Tom Prestopnik outside South Fork HS

It was definitely a nostalgic trip for Tony as memories of his High School days came flooding back to him as he walked with his former teacher Tom Prestopnik to the Art Department at South Fork HS.


Tony stands outside the door of his old art room at South Fork HS
Tony outside the door of his old art room at South Fork HS



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Tony admitted that during class he frequently sketched his teachers, and had nothing but kind words for his former teachers Tom Wetzl, and Tom Prestopnik for giving him inspiration and encouragement to pursue something he loved doing.

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Tony reviews the work of one of the Art Students.

It was an inspiring time for us with Tony, and we wish him continued success.


To learn more about Tony DiTerlizzi, visit his website: http://diterlizzi.com/

To watch the entire interview: https://youtu.be/CqnRJnPMMIE


Cultural Conversations represents a new concept to tie together our many efforts to engage the community in all things artistic with a goal to inspire greater participation in and a passion for the arts in our community. Through our Cultural Conversations, we intend to provide interesting and evocative dialogue designed around P.L.A.C.E. (people, land, arts, culture and engagement).

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