Sean Qualls has created art for magazines, newspapers, advertisements and children's books. His work is a mixed media combination of painting, drawing, and collage. Sean's books and illustrations often explore history and non-fiction subjects. His fine art focuses on race & identity and the intersection of history & mythology, ultimately examining how we create our own identities or allow them to be scripted to for us. Together his paintings and illustrations reveal simultaneously unique and universal moments that reveal the human spirit.
Sean is the illustrator of Before John was a Jazz Giant, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor award; The Baby on the Way (FSG), a New York Times Notable Book, Powerful Words (Scholastic); Poet Slave of Cuba (HENRY HOLT), a BCCB Blue Ribbon Book; How We Are Smart (Lee & Low) and Dizzy (Scholastic) an ALA Notable, Kirkus Best Book, BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare Book, and a Child Magazine Best Book. His first book with Simon and Schuster is Little Cloud and Lady Wind (Spring 2010) by Toni and Slade Morrison. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Sean has also illustrated Emmanuel's Dream (Schneider Award recipient) written by Laurie Ann Thompson, Giant Steps to Change the World written by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee and Before John Was a Jazz Giant (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor) written by Carole Boston Weatherford. He lives in lives in Brooklyn, NY where you can also find him DJ'ing on occasion.