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Two interviews with Mary GrandPre


Of course GrandPre is not doing to tell us what happens (you wouldn’t want that anyway!), but she does talk about how she creates the covers, and provides clues to those of us (who me?) who are trying to figure out what they might mean.

Potter artist Mary GrandPre makes magic” by Janis Campbell, from the Detroit Free Press, dated June 5, 2007

This article is mostly autobiographical and doesn’t really discuss her artwork. However, she does say something interesting about the details she works into her paintings:

And speaking of the final cover, does she get a kick out of all the excitement created by the early release of the cover? “I think it’s fun to see the reaction from people. The fans that are really diehard fans look very closely at the artwork,” Mary says.And they should. “I try to make everything have a meaning. … There is a reason why something is in the illustration. I don’t just put it in because it looks better. It really does have to have a meaning or part of the story has to support it.”

Harry Potter illustrator says goodbye” by Molly Millett, from the Pioneer Press, dated June 7, 2007

This is an interesting one if you are curious about her technique and how the design of the images has changed over the years. Do you have a veil=curtains theory? Read what she says (snippet below) about the curtains on Book 1 and 7! I’m not sure she has closed those ideas down — she doesn’t say it isn’t *also* the veil. Indeed, if it is solely for compositional/symbolic reasons, it would seem to contradict her statement in the earlier article.

When asked to specifically critique her work, GrandPre says: “The first couple, three covers, definitely, they were smaller figures; it was more about a big scene happening in the book. And then we started to close in on Harry and started to deal more with mood or atmosphere. For the last one, I took the curtains from the first cover and put them on the last one. I brought back some of the jeweled tones but kept the more strongly rendered Harry.”

What do you think?


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