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Old 05-30-2008, 07:24 PM
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Post Mary GrandPre talks illustrating Harry Potter book covers

US Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre was interviewed recently by Time Magazine, during which she was asked about her progressive work on the book series over the past ten years; this is in accordance with the release of the tenth anniversary edition of Sorcerer's Stone, for which she drew a new cover with Harry looking into the Mirror of Erised (seen here).



In the interview, Mary talks about how she received the job of illustrator for the Harry Potter American editions; with whom she consults when drawing the covers for the books, of which she says that when she receives them - months before they are released to the public - it is under the highest level of security and that she is not allowed to divulge a detail about them to another soul; her experiences with disappointed fans; her limitations as to what she can and can not do when drawing the book covers; and the fact that she only started watching the movie series after the books were completed so that the actors' portrayals would not alter her mental image of the characters.

When asked about what it was like to go back and draw an 11 year-old Harry for the anniversary cover, Mary had this to say:

Quote:
It was really a nice opportunity. As Harry grew, I always wished I could go back and make a new piece for each book. So when the anniversary cover idea came up, I was really excited to do that. It's like getting to do a new portrait of this old soul you really know
Mary explains her thought and artistic process to draw the covers (including how she would draw Harry at an older age):

Quote:
Sure. It takes time to draw and redraw, and to study his facial structure. The more I draw Harry, the more acquainted I become with him in my head. I try to use each previous drawing as a map for the next one. I need to start drawing to know what he'd look like. [Plus, J.K. Rowling] is such a visual writer. I've always looked to her writing as the main inspiration for the drawings. For a storybook or cover illustrator, the first responsibility is to draw from the writing. She makes it really easy because she's so descriptive.

I worked out a system where, as I read, I'd highlight different things — descriptions of characters, cool scenes — in different colors. Then I could scan by color for what I needed to find. I'd start sketching real loosely, with pencil on tracing paper. I'd do a series of tracings on top of that, and on top of that, until I had what I felt was a good-looking character. It's really just sketching and re-sketching, and paying attention to the words and descriptions. Harry Potter fans are so in tune. They pay attention to every detail, and if you mess up, you'll know about it the next day.
Mary gives detail to the amount of time taken to draw out the covers:

Quote:
It's usually rushed; it seems like the artist is usually the last one to get the assignment. I'm not a fast reader, so I usually gave myself about two weeks to read and digest and make notes on the manuscript. Then another week for cover sketches, and another week or two for all the chapter headings. So I think you're probably looking at a couple months for reading it and creating all the artwork.
The anniversary edition of Sorcerer's Stone will be released September 23, 2008.



Source: The Leaky Cauldron
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great interview! Her artwork has always been beautiful with HP.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sweet! i will defently need to buy this edition
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The anniversary cover for Sorcerer's Stone is very nice. All of her work is beautiful!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great interview! This new edition looks amazing.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow. Looks like she does have too little time to do all of that :/ I love her covers though!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great interview. I always loved the work she did for the covers.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Loved the interview. And the anniversary edition or Sorceror's Stone as well. She really is a wonderful artist; her work is beautiful.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I always did love her illustrations

Quote:
and the fact that she only started watching the movie series after the books were completed so that the actors' portrayals would not alter her mental image of the characters.
Hmm interesting choice. I would commend her for making a choice like that, since alot of people who work on the producing the books or films in some way don't read them.

I also always loved how she did Umbridge
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That was a great interview! I always loved her cover illustrations.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I LOVE that cover! It's so cool and just.. beautiful.
Great interview!

Quote:
The anniversary edition of Sorcerer's Stone will be released September 23, 2008.
Aw man...
The DAY before my birthday! It would've been so cool if it came out on the 24th.
Looks like I have something else to get my parents to buy and send to me cause I'm not buying that book in France - it needs to be English for me
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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great interview,m she is wright the drawing takes time especially if its for a book thats going to be released.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good interview.

She did a really good job on all the covers
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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nice interview.....
great drawing.......
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sweet ;P great interview ;p
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Great interview ^.^
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:46 AM   #17 (permalink)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalfoyzBeloved View Post
I LOVE that cover! It's so cool and just.. beautiful.
Great interview!


Aw man...
The DAY before my birthday! It would've been so cool if it came out on the 24th.
Looks like I have something else to get my parents to buy and send to me cause I'm not buying that book in France - it needs to be English for me
You wouldn't be able to anyway; it's only releasing in the U.S.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:58 PM   #18 (permalink)


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i worship the ground this woman walks on
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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all of her work is beautiful. And her character drawings match the books' descriptions.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Lovely interview!
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:47 PM   #21 (permalink)
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She is an amazing drawer!
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
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great interview!!!
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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cool interview.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Nice interview
I love her artwork, she does some amazing covers
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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great interview!
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