Monday, June 11, 2007

Two interviews with artist 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 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 the curtains are there 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?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think her artwork improved vastly from GOF onwards. I dont really like the qway she drew harry in the first three or GOF. OOTP is where it really got interesting and where we all realy started to pick for clues.
I like the curtains imagery on the frst and last book.
it king of makes them seem like the curtain opening and closing for a play rather than any behind the veail connotations and is more fitting.
the dracon is not a breed we have come accross yet.
I dunno about the animagus theiries but could it by a hybrid of a few dragon breeds. part antipodean opaleye, part chinese fireball and part welsh green?
Hagrid would totally be into creating dragon hybrids.
the two covers make me certain that DH wil take us to different parts of europe. the deluxe shows norway or somewhere mountianous in eastern europe. the regular shows somwhere with a huge apmetheatre like rome's colluseum, Orange in the south of france, Arles in the south of france or somwhere else where there is an intact ampitheatre, but most probably rome.
I wonder how the reigious right and /or the vatican will take it if harry is shown flying over or anywhere near the vatican?