ABOUT BRYAN COLLIER
Collier grew up in Pocomoke, Maryland, on the lower Eastern Shore of the state,
the youngest of six children. His interest in art started early. "At home and at
school, I was encouraged to read. I remember the first books with pictures that
I read by myself were The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Harold and the Purple
Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I liked the stories, but I really liked the
pictures." As a teenager he began to paint the world around him - the bay,
ducks, water, and marshland.
interest in art was always encouraged both at home and at school. He began to
develop a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and
is more than just an art style. Collage is all about bringing different elements
together. Once you form a sensibility about connection, how different elements
relate to each other, you deepen your understanding of yourself and others."
Bryan Collier won first place in a Congressional Competition, and hisBryan
Collier's art was displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Later
that year he was awarded a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City
through their national talent competition. IN 1989 Bryan Collier graduated with
honors from Pratt Institute with a bachelor of fine arts degree.
attending school in New York, Bryan Collier began to volunteer at the Harlem
Horizon Studio and Harlem Hospital Center with a program that provides working
space and materials for self-taught artists in the community. He went on to
become the Program Director, a position he held for 12 years. Bryan Collier
still works with the program in Harlem as a volunteer, feeling a deep sense of
responsibility to be a positive role model for kids.
gives the community, the schools, the kids, and the parents the opportunity to
come together for a very positive uplifting cause the building and re-building
of self-esteem, teaching the appreciation of art, and keeping the kids connected
and involved and away from negative influences."
Meanwhile, he made the decision to focus his time and attention on illustrating
children's books full time. It wasn't easy getting his art published in books;
Bryan Collier tried for seven years before he got his break with the publication
of his book, Uptown.
Bryan Collier spends his time working on his book illustrations, creating his
own studio pieces, and going into classrooms to talk with teachers, librarians,
and students about books and art. "I get so much from those school visits. With
the books I've been doing, I have this amazing opportunity to bring my art and
the process of making artwork and books into the classroom. I ask the students
to talk to me and talk to each other about how they feel and what their own
experiences are. Basically I ask them to tell their own story. Then I ask them
to tell their own story through art.
experience of making art is all about making decisions. Once the kids really get
that, you see them making the connection. They go from saying, 'That's not about
me' to 'Hey. Look at me. This is who I am.'
MORE ON BRYAN COLLIER
Bryan Collier Interviews
"A Collage of Purpose"
Reading Planet Interview
School Library Journal Interview
Bryan Collier News
Bryan Collier Calendar
Bryan Collier Blog