Mary GrandPre Talks “Deathly Hallows” Cover and More

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Jun 10, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
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In a new interview with the Pioneer Press, artist Mary GrandPre discusses the cover art she created for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She says the whole process of creating her work for the last Harry Potter novel took two and a half months, as she says she “first does “pencil roughs” (drawings on tracing paper) and then her medium of choice, pastels on paper.”
As one of the few who have read the book, Mary Grand Pre says of “Deathly Hallows” :

“I really do like book seven,” she says. “I really, really did. Not that it was easy to read. There are some very sad things in there, and I can’t say what they are. But I think it was really well done.”

Emphasising that she has “to be careful to not give anything away as far as what’s going to happen,” in the overall cover art, the illustrator of the Scholastic editions of the series notes:

“There are just a few of us who have read book seven,” GrandPre says. “The manuscript is flown down to me. I keep it in a safe once it gets here. I don’t talk to anybody about when I get it or where I keep it. I sign a paper promising that I won’t. It’s all very legal and protected, and I have to sign confidentiality agreements. It’s very serious stuff. Because if it gets out, if there’s any kind of theft or leak, that’s huge.

“I do get nervous,” she says. “But my family – we don’t even talk about it. My friends don’t bring it up. I’ll get calls, from reporters or people who know it’s coming up, and they’ll ask me who dies. Of course, I can’t answer. I can’t even say I know.”

So what can she say about book seven?

“Nothing, pretty much,” she says, laughing.

Please note, the article does confirm a detail first mentioned on Pottercast regarding an element from the cover art for “Sorcerer’s Stone,” that she used again on this last cover art for Deathly Hallows. Hence, a slight spoiler caution is given for those wishing to read this entire interview, here





50 Responses to Mary GrandPre Talks “Deathly Hallows” Cover and More

Avatar Image says: cool! i love when we hear from her!Avatar Image says: for anyone worried about the small spoiler...well you wud have already heard it kinda speculated on in a pottercast, and it is not something that will be in book 7 it isn't really a spoiler at all, so read the article cause the "spoiler" part is very cool, but doesn't mean anything really to the plot.Avatar Image says: Interesting to read how she pays such attention to character descriptions, etc. when reading the draft. I really am glad I get to read strictly for pleasure.Avatar Image says: I was wondering when we'd see an elaborate interview with this highly gifted artist with regard to the final installment. I really do appreciate all that she has done for this series - her work has been exceptional. Too bad she hasn't earned enough money to afford her daughter's college education, because, with what she has done for the books, I think she is more than worthy. Oh, well. Money does not truly express how wonderful her work has been.Avatar Image says: Sammy, there is a lot of speculation as to where the scene depicted on the cover of DH takes place. Many (including myself) believe that the final battle takes place behind the veil, and that is what is shown on the cover. So when Mary says that about the curtains, that may hint at some involvement of the veil. Leaky was right in warning us, because those who have theorized about that chance would pick up that remark as a type of spoiler.Avatar Image says: Wow! That does have quite an effect on the veil theory, doesn't it.Avatar Image says: She said it was difficult to read because there were some very sad things...I'm getting scared. I so want to read it (obviously), but I'm both dreading and anticipating the sad parts.Avatar Image says: I don't care if there are sad parts in the middle of the story. I just don't want a bad ending. I don't wanna be dusappointed by the ending.Avatar Image says: I hope we get to hear from the UK illustrator too.Avatar Image says: I especially liked the bit where she said she has grown with the books. While I don't really like the US covers for the first three or four books, I think Mary's covers for book 7 (Harry -v- Voldemort) and the limited edition (The trio on the dragon) are simply wonderful. It is brave to run a single image across the whole cover space, but the images themselves are strong, striking and carry a powerful message. Mary, if you are reading this: thank you. Thank you for all the time you put into these books. I hope the reward is more than just money. And thank you especially, for taking time out from your new daughter to bring us these wonderful images.Avatar Image says: I will not read the rest of the article even though I`m DYING to! :] lol! thanks!Avatar Image says: I agree when she said she'd 'grown' with the books. I really don't like the first few covers, but six is nice and seven is really the most beautiful picture ever. I'm even considering getting the US version just for that (I live in Eurpe and so get the UK version by default)...Avatar Image says: This interview made me tear up again, I'm beginning to realize just how close the ending is - a mere 40 days. I do agree that Mary's first works were meh at best, but the covers for DH are nothing short of SPECTACULARAvatar Image says: Awww...its really the end guys. :(Avatar Image says: That link for the spoiler doesn't work. The site asks us to register first. Leaky Staff, is there any other place that carries the entire interview without having visitors to register? (for those who wouldn't mind the spoilers)Avatar Image says: That was a great article! I'm glad she's doing so many interviews. As an artist, and a private person, she sounds ready to go back to her own life, and who can blame her? I wish her all happiness with her little baby - JKR would certainly understand choosing her baby over the books! It really is sad, and a bit frightening, to read the finality of some of these articles. I really shouldn't read any more of them, due to the anxiety!Avatar Image says: The people who have read this book just sounds so sad about it. It makes me feel like book seven is going to go all hamlet and everyone is going to die....!Avatar Image says: Oh my, "there are some very sad things in there." This is not boding well. I like what John said to Melissa on Pottercast about DH being sugar coated with gumdrops and frosting. HAHA! I wish it could be. :( I thing Hagrids going to die, thats why Grawps been brought into the story, to take over for him as gameskeeper.Avatar Image says: >>>Wow! That does have quite an effect on the veil theory, doesn't it. Yeah, I don't think they are in the Veil...but it could have adouble meaning I guess.Avatar Image says: This is what I thought she meant by the curtains on the first book cover: http://gallery.leakynews.com/picture/122392 I really like her comment about the curtains, because on this back cover it looks like we are about to open the curtains on a new and exciting story, and on the DH cover it looks like the final curtain is going to be rung down. I don't mind that it doesn't seem to be about the veil, at all - I really love the way she has made that visual connection between the first and last books. Avatar Image says: Given that book 5 came out waaaaaaaay after the cover for Sorceror's Stone was done really does destroy the veil theory- as far as there being a visual tie between one and seven to the veil. The artist would have known nothing about the "veil" when she created the cover for book one.Avatar Image says: So Mary GranPre used the same curtains from HP/SS on her cover of HP/DH...? I wouldn't read too much into that! Obviously she had very little if no info on the future books when she illustrated HP/SS. Excuse me while I get on my soap box: Mary GranPre has demonstrated that although she says that "everything has a reason" in her illustrations, she paid no attention to JKR's description at the beginning of HP/HBP of Dumbledore's withered and dead looking RIGHT HAND (his wand hand)since she clearly drew his right hand as normal and healthy looking on the cover of HP/HBP. This scene was of Dumbledore and Harry in the cave with the nasty green potion near the very end of the book. When reading HP/HBP on the release night (yes, we were at a release party in costume)I had to shut it to make a cup of tea and noticed the cover with Dumbledore's normal right hand, but I had just read about his withered, dead looking hand! I really lost what little respect I had for Mary GranPre in that instant. I would prefer to have JKR's magical illustrations that anyone else's. I have started to collect the British editions strictly for their covers. And they aren't as good as JKR's illustrations either, but better than Mary GranPre. I cannot stand the weird colors that she usually washes over the entire scene. My daughter strips the dust jacket off of her copy as soon as she gets it in her hot hands. I keep the dust jacket on the book and don't worry about it getting smudged or the tea cup rings. We read and re-read all of the books many many times and discuss the details. So Mary GranPre can't send her child to college on the fees from her illustrations? Oh well, SHE GETS TO READ THE BOOK FIRST!!Avatar Image says: Testing ... none of my comments are showing up ...Avatar Image says: what's up with the hatred towards mary grandpre suze? take your pills Avatar Image says: Yes, she did not draw the withered hand, but personally I'm glad that she didn't. Although I had my feelings about who was doomed in HBP before I read it, that would have just tipped the scales to far toward "spoiler" for me. I didn't like reading about DD being hurt beyond repair as it was, I personally wouldn't want to see it every time I picked up HBP. Just my thoughts.Avatar Image says: Why is it that all anyone is bothered about is who dies? I know there are some people on here who are just gonna skip through and see who lives/dies. You are out of your minds and disrespectful to Jo.Avatar Image says: Wow, Suze. -_- *leaves*Avatar Image says: interesting what someone said about the withered hand. I only have the UK versions and the UK HBP cover shows DD holding his wand in his left hand. His right hand isn't visible.Avatar Image says: well yeah. the "spoiler" has nothing to do with the plot. so that was good. cuz i dont wanna know ANYTHING about DH till i get it... and i thought it was pretty cool.Avatar Image says: claire, but she said that the curtians were just her making the choice to bring over something from the cover of the first book, when the veil did not yet exist in the story and therefore she would not have known about it then. she has said before that she had very little contact with jk rowling until they met, so its unlikely jo told her to put curtians on he cover of book1.Avatar Image says: Personally I love her artwork the best out of all the other book covers. :)Avatar Image says: Wow, Suze, don't you think that's harsh? I mean, its just a hand...its not a vital plot point...it just shows that he was injured. And it's one mistake. Like you wouldn't miss something after illustrating countless chapter headers and covers.Avatar Image says: I really appreciate Mary Grandpre. Her drawings fit the world of Harry Potter, she has very special sketches. Being an Architecture student, she ispires me. The American covers look the best, but I always buy the British versions, that way I feel closer to Joe. 39 days and we'll be holding THE book! Can you believe it?! I hope it's good, I have total confidence in JK that's why I am not panicking too much. Avatar Image says: you know Suze there is always the possibility the image was flipped and that possibly it was originally his left hand. Either way I'm glad the withered hand wasn't there because in so many ways for so many people It would have been quite a big spoiler.Avatar Image says: CURIOUS...The full twincities.com article has a "comment" posted at 9:25 last night with a link to something on jk Rowling's site. When you click the link, it says "secret content"... Hmmm...wonder what that's all about? I also wonder if we can derive anything from the link name...?Avatar Image says: Beth: it appears the link in the article comments is nothing new; a Google search for part of the link URL (specifically, "s5m8took") shows it to be part of a series of previously released material you can get on the website through a series of challenges. Oh well...Avatar Image says: I love Mary GranPre's Harry Potter art. know what she means about the first 3 covers, but...maybe time will tell for that one. Sometimes that can be part of the charm---the artist has grown along with the hero--that she comes out and says she'd change them a bit if she could--Mary, you are somethin'! Surely it would violate her legal agreements to say the word "veil"? (and "curtains",in this context is evidently o.k.);perhaps the DD hand on HBP cover would have been considered "spoiler"...something to think about...(agree with you,Lai). I'll keep hoping she will have some new pieces for Hogwart's A History. oh, the money thing...*sigh*...art...so it goes Avatar Image says: love the dragon pic....was wondering when he would reappear in the story.....been a long time since book 1 when Hagrid gave him up !!!!Avatar Image says: I love the last three covers, and the deluxe edition ones. It's nice to hear from Mary GrandPre that the curtains are just curtains and tie in with those on the first cover. They never did look like anything to do with the veil to me, anyway. I have the UK audio books of the first 5 and I'm used to seeing the artwork there as well. But I really don't care for it much. I did like that on the 6th book however. But in general, the UK artwork tends to be very cartoonish and childish on the first ones. And the others just don't do much for me. It's a problem of continutity that happens because the same artist didn't do all the UK ones. I also remember hearing that the first artist didn't read the books first, but had notes from JKR on what to include. I don't know if that's still the way it's done, but it doesn't give the UK art as much room for interpretation as we get with GrandPre's work. While it would be nice if Rowling did the illustrating herself (what we've seen of her art is quite good and reflects much of the whimsy in HP), it's not at all realistic to expect that. She was writing the books and raising her children. Give the woman a break. I don't like the first covers as much either, but they are full of little details from the books, a character here or there, even Voldemort's eyes peaking out of the hedge on the back of GOF, that make them interesting without being cluttered (which is the way I see the 7th UK cover). I think that's what I really like about the US covers--because it was done by one artist who HAD read the books, it's more credible and more consisten, even though her depictions and style changed. Yes, there are things that aren't according to canon--Harry's wand hand being one of them, as he is shown with his wand in his left hand when his wand hand is his right. But it is art, not a photograph. When we look at it, we should be getting the mood of the story, or of a particular scene. And that's what GrandPre's art work does, IMO. (And I agree that showing Dumbledore with a withered hand would have been way too much of a spoiler on the front cover of the book.) Her comments do make me, as some of you have said, almost afraid to read the last book. I have a feeling there will be some incredibly sad moments, but I'm encouraged to hear that those who have read it feel that it's very well done. And that's what we hope for most, isn't it?Avatar Image says: Mary GrandPre has fabulous illustrations!Avatar Image says: Can someone please tell me in which part of the story of Philosopher's Stone does the curtains come in? I know it's not vital to the story, but i was just wondering where they come in. I'm reading it now, half way through, and can't think which scene she might've got the idea from.Avatar Image says: Wow, Suze, that seems really over the top. I like the US covers best of all. I also think that MGP is very talented and should be well paid for it. However, the publicity and offers she undoubtedly has gotten and will get for future work will more than pay for her daughter's education. Avatar Image says:

suomentakaa joku en osaa englantia..

Can you finnish this? i dont speek english

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