Colin Bootman was born in Trinidad where he spent the first seven years of his life. During this time, he was inspired by the island’s rich and diverse culture. Soon after moving to the United States, Mr. Bootman embraced art as a measure of escape from the pressures of adjusting to a new environment at an early age.
Mr. Bootman began formal training at LaGuardia High School of the Arts, which served to deepen his appreciation for other disciplines, and solidified his own passion for the visual arts. In college, Mr. Bootman studied photography, writing, and illustration, honing his skills under the tutelage of professional artists. Mr. Bootman was encouraged to pursue children’s book art, as it allowed him the freedom to express himself through various media. Ultimately, the instructors at the School of Visual Arts prepared Mr. Bootman for the challenges of working as a professional illustrator.
Mr. Bootman’s first book, Young Frederick Douglass, was published in 1994 and received starred reviews. He has since illustrated many children’s books, textbooks, periodicals, and book covers. Mr. Bootman is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor 2004, the Schneider Family Book Award 2006, the Ashley Bryan Lifetime Achievement Honor 2006, and several others. His books have won such awards as The Teachers’ Choice Award, The Comstock Award, The Storytelling World Award, The Golden Kite Honor, and many others. Mr. Bootman’s first written and illustrated book (Fish For The Grand Lady), debuted late 2006. In addition to illustrating Mr. Bootman enjoys teaching and presenting to students.
Mr. Bootman credits the lively rhythms and vibrant palette of Trinidad with leaving an indelible mark on his creative expression. He continues to grow as an artist as he welcomes the challenges that each new project invites. As Mr. Bootman’s work serves to inspire future artists, he hopes to encourage young minds to embrace and follow their passions.