About Shadra

Shadra Strickland studied design, writing, and illustration at Syracuse University and later went on to complete her M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2009 for her work in her first picturebook, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott. Strickland co-illustrated Our Children Can Soar, winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award. She has published with Lee and Low Books, Simon and Schuster, Random House, Candlewick, Chronicle Books, and Little Brown. Her books have received recognition from the American Library Association, Junior Library Guild, and other prominent literary organizations. She is represented by Lori Nowicki at Painted-Words. 

Shadra currently teaches illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.



  • Lee and Low Books
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • Random House Books for Children
  • Candlewick
  • Simon & Schuster
  • HarperCollins
  • Scholastic
  • Chronicle Books
  • The New York Times
  • Washington Post
  • Osmo
  • Netflix


  • 2011 Ashley Bryan Children’s Literature Award
  • 2010 NAACP Image Award
  • 2009 Ezra Jack Keats Award
  • 2009 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award
  • Junior Library Guild

Class: The Art of the Picture Book

Whether your goal is to become a professional picture-book illustrator, or you simply want to illustrate books for a special child in your life, there’s something for everyone to love in my “The Art of the Picture Book” class! This dynamic and engaging class offers insight on everything from how to create believable characters to how to submit your work to a publishing house.