Illustrating the World of Harry Potter

Our Twitter feed and Facebook timeline is full of people gushing about the new illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In the video below, Jim Kay talks about illustrating the world of Harry Potter. Astounded by all the models he makes while he is in the process of illustrating them! 
And if you want to learn more about Jim Kay’s vision of the book, head here to watch another video. The Guardian also has an online gallery of some of the gorgeous illustrations from the book.

Still, no one was more surprised than Kay when JK Rowling’s publishers asked him to illustrate not one but all seven of the Harry Potter books, for glorious new large-scale editions, over the next seven years.
“I’d not really drawn children,” he says quietly, as if still stunned. “And I’m not known for a cheerful style of illustration.” Then there was the fact that the Harry Potter films had already visualised that universe so fully – why do it again, he wondered. And, of course, there was the pressure. As Kay puts it: “You don’t want to be known as the person who ruins the most popular children’s book in history.”
But after almost two years of work, seven days a week, Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a triumph – a book so alive it seems to jump, explode and slither out of your hands as you read. Rowling has given it her public seal of approval: “Seeing Jim Kay’s illustrations moved me profoundly,” she wrote for the dust jacket. “I love his interpretation of Harry Potter’s world, and I feel honoured and grateful he has lent his talent to it.” She also wrote to Kay privately. “She sent a really lovely letter, and that’s the first time it hit me that this was real,” he says. “Imagine you’re a vicar and you find a Post-it note from God on your fridge. It was like that.”

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