[Featured Illustrators] Rosa Colón

Rosa Colón is the illustrator of Los colores de mi isla, written and self-published by the Editorial El Antillano collective in 2016. The book is a concept book that teaches young readers about the topic of colors. The illustrations simultaneously pay patriotic tribute to Puerto Rican culture, highlighting the landscape (rural and urban), foods, cultural customs and movements of daily life of the island. Colón is also the illustrator of The Recycling Chronicles series of environmentally-themed children's books by Puerto Rican children's author Arturo Lizardi.

The illustrations in Los colores de mi isla were drawn digitally using iPad Pro and inked digitally using Procreate. Colón commented:

In the "Vejigante Parade" illustration, people enjoy a colorful vejigante parade. The vejigante is a masked folkloric character and a huge part of Puerto Rican culture. A street vendor can be seen selling flor de maga, the official national flower of Puerto Rico. The "Map of Puerto Rico" illustration is embellished with the flora and fauna of the island, and draws inspiration from those maps of the island that you can find on vintage postcards from the 1940-1960's. In the center of the map is the Parque de Bombas, a historic firehouse building in Ponce, Puerto Rico and one of Puerto Rico's most notable buildings. The map was a lot of fun to illustrate. Puerto Rico is small but very diverse. "Going to the Beach" depicts one of the privileges of living in Puerto Rico— going to the beach every weekend just to enjoy the water!
Vejigante Parade

Map of Puerto Rico

Going to the Beach

Colón on what Caribbean children's illustration means to her:

I’ve always been attracted to picturebooks and as a kid I used to pore over all the school books with beautiful illustrations, but they never depicted anything resembling my life. I think it’s very important for children (and adults too!) to see themselves in stories and art. Illustrated books can transport you to any place and time, and reading about experiences that are different from your own can teach empathy, and spark the imagination and creativity, but seeing your life experiences in illustrations can develop a sense of pride in where you come from.


Rosa Colón is an illustrator and comic artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has a BA from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA from the University of Brighton, UK, and is passionate about storytelling in sequential art and illustration. She has self-published her comics with her partner, Carla Rodríguez, for over ten years. They are the creators of Soda Pop Comics, the first all female comic collective in Puerto Rico, and Tintero, a comics and art fest focusing on Puerto Rican artists.

View more of Rosa's work here:

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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