Don Oriolo is well known across the entertainment spectrum, having been a fixture in the art, music, television and film industries for decades. Oriolo is also widely admired for his charitable and philanthropic endeavors.
Oriolo took over the Felix the Cat franchise when his father Joe Oriolo, co-creator of the modern day Felix cartoon character, passed away in 1985. Don successfully took the iconic cartoon character into the turn of the century, implementing numerous licensing, merchandising, and marketing strategies, thusly bringing the lovable cartoon cat to a global market. Oriolo quickly spread the franchise to a number of mediums, including movies, television series, and even video games. The goal, of course, was to get Felix out to a new and broader audience and to share the beloved cartoon character of Don’s youth with new generations around the world.
Simply put, Felix the Cat has been Oriolo’s “creative muse” since he was a child, and he just couldn’t help but propel that happy-go-lucky charm into as many markets as possible in hopes that it would spread the same joy to new and old fans alike.
Oriolo is a prolific painter, cartoonist, and writer. His artwork in every medium can be found in galleries all around the world, and he was named Artist of the Year in 2015 by Fine Art Magazine. His third painting book, Another Book of Felix the Cat Paintings, was released via a book signing on November 22, 2015 at Macy’s in New York City and reached #5 on Amazon's bestseller list. He paints several paintings a week and dedicates them to his deceased brother and sister.
Don also owns and operates his own guitar manufacturing company, the Oriolo Guitar Company, which juxtaposes cartoon-inspired designs ripped straight from Oriolo’s sketchbook with world class luthier-quality builds. His Martin-brand Summer of Love guitar is a favorite of legendary musician Willie Nelson and his other models were prominently featured in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 2010 Gift Guide.
All images TM & © The Don Oriolo Collection, Inc.