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 picture book, Bird, written by Zetta Elliott. Strickland co-illustrated Our Children Can Soar, winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award. Her latest book is Sunday Shopping, published with Lee and Low Books, and was selected as a spring Junior Library Guild Selection. Shadra has illustrated for Pulitzer Prize winning author, Toni Morrison. Her next project, Loving vs. Virginia, written by Patricia Hruby Powell will be released by Chronicle Books in Fall 2016.
Shadra travels the country conducting workshops and sharing her work with children, teachers, and librarians. She currently lives in Baltimore where she continues to work on books and personal projects. She is also a faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art.