Beastie designer Dennis Pearson was born on November 3, 1939 in Madison, Wisconsin. Pearson graduated from Madison West High School and later attended Milwaukee's Layton School of Art , now known as the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design or MIAD today. There he focused on painting and printmaking, eventually earning his degree in Fine Arts in 1962. As a student, he won first prize for painting in the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors competition. He continued his education at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. While attending college he supported himself through his paintings. While in college, Pearson had one particular image that he consistently drew. He made many drawings of his unique, make-believe animals. He slowly developed this animal, experimenting the shape in different mediums including oil and water color paintings and eventually created a 3-D papier-mâché sculpture. With the help of Pearson's brother, who had a shop to repair Corvettes with fiberglass, the first beastie had been born. Pearson covered his papier-mâché creation in fiberglass, designing a durable and lightweight, loveable animal. He displayed his artwork at venues around Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee Art Museum's Lakefront Festival of the Arts. The Beastie's popularity grew and the rest is history.