Ilustrator Raul Colon (l) speaks
at Nyack Rockland campus
School of Education students engaged in illustration exercise.
God working all things together for good is at least one backdrop to a biographical sketch of Raul Colon. Growing up as a severely asthmatic child, it was because of chronic absences from school that he filled hours of his homebound days with pencil and paper in hand. He recalls his gift of drawing emerging as far back as the age of four.
In high school, he studied commercial art. Following employment with a printing company, an educational television station, and New York publishing houses, he quit his day job to pursue his passion. Now for some two decades he has been an award-winning illustrator whose work has graced magazine covers (including The New York Times “Book Review,” The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Week), advertisements, theatre posters, record albums, and annual reports. A New York City subway stop (191st Street on the No.1 line) displays a mural of his art in tile.
Mr. Colon was the guest of Nyack’s School of Education on the Rockland Campus in Shuman Hall, where he spoke with students—some of them budding illustrators—about his career. After seeing a slideshow of his work, the students participated in a question/answer session. Tables, paper, and colored pencils were brought in for a hands-on session with the famed illustrator.
Though he prefers not to be pigeon-holed into a particular category of illustration, Colon is known widely for illustrating children’s picture books, among them New York Times bestselling Angela and the Baby Jesus by the late Frank McCourt (of Angela’s Ashes fame) and Susanna Reich's José! Born to Dance. Other books to his credit are, My Mama Had A Dancing Heart, A Band of Angels, and Roberto Clemente. New York publishing giant Simon and Schuster (Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books) published Orson Blasts Off, the book Raul Colon both wrote and illustrated.