Shahrzad Vaziri is an Iranian-Canadian illustrator, researcher and painter. After completing a BSc and MSc in Telecommunication Engineering, and teaching at Azad University in Iran as a lecturer and faculty member for more than five years, she returned to university to follow her passion for art and design. Shahrzad completed an MA in Children’s Book Illustration in 2007 at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and in 2010 she moved to Canada.
During her MA course, Shahrzad became very interested in researching aspects of the art of children’s book illustration and the process of creating picture books. For her MA dissertation, Shahrzad researched the origin, history, author, illustrators and characters of the “One Thousand and One Nights stories”, which she also illustrated. She is now finalizing her research on “Wordless Picture Books and the Art of Visual Communication” for an article.
Shahrzad has illustrated short stories for several Iranian children’s magazines, and a Scholastics magazine in the UK, and after moving to Canada, she started working with bilingual magazines in Toronto, which she illustrates short stories for. She also illustrated a children’s book title “Patty Sees a Blue” by Denise Uribe.
Shahrzad’s work in both illustration and painting, is hard to confine to a particular style. She has never limited herself and enjoys working with different mediums and styles depending on the theme of the piece.
In 2016, Shahrzad researched Persian folktales and then took her work to the next level by retelling and illustrating a popular Iranian folktale, which she titled “Who is the Strongest of Them All?” This book has inspired her to begin a series of Iranian folktale retellings and illustrations, which is her current project. With this new series of children’s books, Shahrzad’s aim is to modernize Persian folktales while keeping their original meaning and morals intact. She hopes that children with a Persian background in Canada and other countries can grow up with these stories, and keep in touch with their heritage.
Shahrzad works from her home studio on commissioned projects for private clients, and children’s book authors. As well as being an illustrator, Shahrzad teaches painting and drawing to children and adults. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario with her family.