March 09, 2005
Harry Potter cover art

Meet Mary GrandPre, the artist who has drawn the covers to all the Harry Potter books, including book number six.

GrandPre, 51, of Sarasota, Fla., [has] been drawing him for the cover of each blockbuster book, as well as creating the illustrations that come at the start of each chapter. She's drawn him from a boy of 11 in book one to age 16 in book six.

"It's a challenge to take a character ... and make sure he ages correctly and make sure he looks like he would look if he were to get a year older," she told The Associated Press. "I feel like I'm his mom, I comb his hair or I mess it up, I make sure he looks good before he goes out the door."

GrandPre, who has been illustrating books for 15 years and working as an artist for 25 years, had no idea what she was getting into when she got the call from Scholastic, Rowlings' American publishers, about creating the art for the first book. She asked to read the work, to see if would be a good fit. (She still gets to read each book before creating the art, making her one of the few people in the world who has actually read book 6 already! Don't bother asking her what happens, she won't tell you.)

GrandPre loved what she read. "It's like a candy store for an illustrator," she said. "I connected with Harry pretty quickly and loved the way J.K. described everything; she's such a visually thinking person. You can't pass that up."

Pretty good gig if you can get it, that's for sure.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 09, 2005 to Books | TrackBack