Stephen Youll was born in Hartlepool, England, in 1965. At a very early age he decided to become a Science Fiction and Fantasy artist. Stephen graduated from Durham New College of Art and Design, and then furthered his art education at Sunderland University. To help pay for much needed art materials, Steve would enter and win art contests. He also was taking on professional advertising work in the evenings and on weekends while working on his degree. Two of these early freelance assignments were for a Texas firm who wanted illustrations for a satellite communications promotion, and the Sunderland Port Authority, who needed an entire campaign to promote their facilities to new overseas investors. Both very ambitious projects for a young student.
After graduating at the top of his class he worked as a historical reconstruction artist at Durham Cathedral, one of the oldest Cathedrals in England. Many of his art works are now on exhibit at Churches and Cathedrals across Great Britain, with most of these assignments being portraits of important people in the church throughout British history. One of Steves most ambitious drawings was an aerial view of a cutaway of Durham Cathedral, which had to be done using ancient texts and sketches; it took one entire year to complete the drawing, which is on exhibit at Durham Cathedral.
During this time at the Cathedral Steve was working on painting samples in preparation for entering the Science Fiction and Fantasy book field. He hung this new work for the first time in the art show at the World Science Fiction Convention in 1987 at Brighton, England. There he was discovered and hired by several major American publishing companies. Very soon after this Steve was so overwhelmed by book cover assignments that he gave up his job at the Cathedral and went full time freelance as a Science Fiction and Fantasy artist. For the next two years, Steve and his identical twin brother, Paul, who is also an artist, found themselves frequently working together as a team on the same piece of art. Sometimes sharing the painting at different times of the day, or more often painting side by side.
This artistic partnership ended in December 1989 when Steve married and relocated to the United States.
Stephen Youlls art can be found on many hardback and paperback book covers. The many companies he has worked for include Bantam Books, Warner Books, Avon Books, Ballantine Books, Penguin Books, DC Comics, and the IBM Corporation. He has illustrated covers for many famous authors including Arthur C. Clarke, C. J. Cherryh, Robert Silverberg, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Ben Bova, Kevin J. Anderson, Ian McDonald, Harry Turtledove, Michael Stackpole, David Feintuch and many others, but notably Isaac Asimov Steve was commissioned to repackage the entire Foundation series, the Robot series and the Empire novels. Most recently he was able to realize a childhood fantasy and work on six Star Wars books for Lucasfilm.
Stephen Youll has also shown and exhibited his work throughout the United States and England. He has been awarded with many ribbons at conventions, which included best artist and best in show. He has been nominated many times by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists for Best Paperback and Best Hardcover. Steve has also had certificates of merit and been exhibited by the Society of Illustrators. He has also exhibited his art at the Illustration House in New York City. In 1996 he was presented with a gold award by the Magazine and Book Sellers News Stand cover competition for most outstanding cover of the year. His work may be found in all the "Spectrum" books and in "Infinite Worlds, The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art."
Stephen Youll currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and cat.