Tony Ryals was born on 28 May 1959 in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) with arthrogryposis, a very rare disease, which cripples the body. He is therefore unable to use arms and legs. Due to his situation Tony was placed in a foster family at an early age. Under the guidance of his foster parents he learned to paint with his mouth using crayons and chalks. Art lessons at secondary school and at the university in Jacksonville. The artist calls his works "Art of Hope", as he strives to inspire hope through his art. The mouth painting artist's favourite topics are sea views and lighthouses.