Time cover of Harry
Time cover of Harry

GrandPré will miss Harry 'in a good way'

  September 25, 2005 at 10:42 AM ET
  Geri     HPANA (via Herald Today)
  mary grandpre, harry potter illustrator


Mary GrandPré, illustrator of the U.S. editions of all the Harry Potter books discussesopens in new window her creative process for the covers, not watching the movies, being asked to work on the books and how she will feel when the last book is published.

On her creative process for the covers:

I am looking for a scene that shows excitement, that shows Harry and that has an intriguing atmosphere. I have to be accurate. Kids will point it out if I make a mistake. They don't miss anything.

They [Scholastic] choose one and they're usually agreeable. I do the final art in color, in pastels. It takes about four weeks to get a final color cover and another four weeks to do the chapter headings, so the whole process is about two months.

Scholastic Creative Director, David Saylor, on why GrandPré:

It was a eureka moment. I loved the book and I wanted to make sure someone would do a good job with the design and all of the details. She had to illustrate the magical, but the books are also very much set in the real world. Her vision is so perfect. At that time, it was just a book. We didn't know it would be so enormous.

On being asked to work on the books:

When I got a call from Scholastic about eight years ago, creative director David Saylor said he wanted me to illustrate a book about a boy with magical powers. He had seen my work and liked the way I used light and color and atmosphere. I said I didn't think I could do it. He offered to send me a manuscript and asked me if I would think about squeezing it in.

GrandPré on missing Potter:

The Potter phenomenon has taken over parts of my career and it's sometimes frustrating. It will be kind of like getting a kid off to college and out of the house when he's 18. I'll miss him in a good way.

You can view her site hereopens in new window

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