Bryan Collier is the author and illustrator of Uptown, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. He is also the illustrator of Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, both of which are Caldecott Honor Books.
He has won six King Awards as illustrator and he is a four-time Caldecott honor recipient. For his lifetime contribution as a children's illustrator, Collier is a U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014. The Chicago Sun-Times has called Collier’s art “breathtakingly beautiful.”
Collier uses a unique technique of combining watercolors with collage. The first thing he does before creating the illustrations is a photo shoot of either his family or friends acting out the story. Sometimes he uses up to ten rolls of film. He believes that by having people act out the story, it shows him the important gestures that illuminate the scenes.
Collier received a scholarship through a national talent competition through the Pratt Institute in New York City, one of the leading art schools in the United States. He later graduated from Pratt with honors. While at Pratt, he was a volunteer at the Harlem Horizon Art Studio located within the Harlem Hospital Center. The center is open to the children of the hospital as well as the children of the community. He later became the Program Director, a position he held for twelve years.
Today, he lives with his family in Harlem in New York City.
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