"As a child I had chronic asthma and would frequently be so ill that I could not leave the house for days or even weeks at a time. But all those times I spent locked up inside, I spent filling up dozens of composition notebooks with all kinds of drawings. I even tried to write my own comic books…. So my illness as a child, which kept me from going outside to play, became a blessing." ~ Raul Colón
Colón was born in New York City in December of 1952 and moved with his parents in the 1960s to Caguas, Puerto Rico where he studied commercial art. In 1978 Colón made Florida his home, working at an educational television center designing everything from puppets to short animated films. In 1988 the artist settled with his family in New City, New York and began a freelance career. Today, Colón continues to be a versatile and acclaimed illustrator whose work has appeared in important national publications.
An award-winning illustrator of over thirty books for children, Colón was chosen to illustrate Dr. Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops as well as Frank McCourt’s bestselling "Angela and the Baby Jesus," both from Paula Wiseman Books. The industry has recognized Colón with a Golden Kite Award, two Pura Belpré Award, a gold and silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, included twice in the NY Public Library’s 100 titles for Reading and Sharing; and been a two-time recipient of The Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Award.
Colón uses very unique techniques in his artwork to create texture and rich, deep colors. The illustrations are done on watercolor paper and combine watercolor washes, etching, and the use of colored pencils and litho pencils. Colón himself explained his technique for the illustrations in "Angela and the Baby Jesus." “I began with textured watercolor paper. I added a wash of golden undertone watercolor. On top of that I drew the image - sketched it - and then added the middle tones. There are about 5 to 8 washes on top of each other. I then used colored pencils to make the texture of the paper come out. I also use a scratchboard instrument appropriately called a "scratcher" to draw down through the layers.”
Colón currently resides in New City, NY with his family