News articles tagged 'Jim Kay'
15 November 2019 at 14:54 GMT
Jim Kay, the talented artist behind the Harry Potter illustrated editions, was recently profiled in a wonderful piece by the New York Times. In the profile, Kay talks about his artistic processes, character inspiration and the challenge of giving new illustrative form to a franchise already marked by such recognisable visuals.
On illustrating a story like Harry Potter, Kay explains, ‘the problem with fantasy books is these things don’t normally exist, so you have to create them to give them a sense of reality’. Adds the illustrator: ‘you’re trying to get people to buy into an alternative world. The more you can seat it in apparent reality, the better it works. On a more practical level, it’s much easier to draw if you have something in front of you. If it doesn’t exist, I make it’.
The wealth of existing ‘Potter’ imagery (courtesy of the Warner Bros. film series) presented interesting challenges for Kay. ‘It was very difficult because I’m very fond of the films. The only way to do it was to start from scratch. I built the landscape first, really physically built it with models … after that, I recast the film and I used people I know’. Kay modelled Ron, Ginny and Molly Weasley on real mother, daughter and son, and adds, ‘my niece is a perfect Hermione … it took about two years, but now I think of my world and not the film one’.
And the hardest character to draw? ‘Harry’ says Kay. ‘Also because he wears glasses and glasses are a nightmare to draw … I’ve literally smashed up and thrown stuff across the room in frustration trying to draw Harry.’
The Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire illustrated edition — the fourth in the series — was released last month. Jim Kay is currently hard at work on the Order of the Phoenix sequel (he mentions the Thestrals as a favourite character) which will be released in late 2021.
11 September 2019 at 22:59 GMT
A first look at two new illustrations from Jim Kay’s Goblet of Fire illustrated edition courtesy of our friends over at Bloomsbury. Enjoy the arrivals of the Beauxbatons Carriage and Durmstrang Ship!
The Goblet of Fire illustrated edition will be released on 8 October and includes more than 115 full-colour illustrations. The new edition can be pre-ordered over at Bloomsbury’s website.
9 July 2019 at 11:32 GMT
Bloomsbury will auction 26 original postcards of Patronus animals, with proceeds going to the UK’s largest reading charity, BookTrust. A number of famous artist and illustrators — including ‘Potter’ designers Jim Kay, Chris Riddell, Emily Gravett, Levi Pinfold and MinaLima – have contributed to the project.
The auction, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the UK publication of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, will run for 10 days. For UK fans, the postcards will be on display at Waterstones Piccadilly over the next week.
24 May 2019 at 15:09 GMT
Bloomsbury will publish a deluxe version of the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire illustrated edition alongside the standard edition on 8 October of this year.
According to the publisher the deluxe edition features, ‘real cloth cover and slipcase, intricate foiled line art decorating both case and slipcase; an opulent large format; gilt edges, illustrated endpapers, head and tail bands [and] two ribbon markers.’ It also includes a never before seen sketch of Hogwarts by artist Jim Kay.
Fans who pre-order the deluxe edition will receive an exclusive black and gold tote bag adorned with a dragon sketch. You can pre-order both editions over at Bloomsbury’s website.
12 March 2019 at 22:10 GMT
Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury today unveiled Jim Kay’s glorious cover artwork for the Goblet of Fire illustrated edition. The cover artwork is reminiscent of many of the Goblet of Fire jackets over the years, featuring Harry facing the Hungarian Horntail during the first task.
6 October 2015 at 12:00 GMT
Harry Potter Fan Zone recently had the chance to participate in a group interview with Jim Kay, the artist behind the gorgeous Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone illustrated edition, released today.
Jim is currently at work illustrating Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but took some time out to talk about bringing J.K. Rowling’s words to life.
Always J.K. Rowling (AJKR): Were you influenced by previous Harry Potter illustrators/the films or did you veer away from both?
I’m a huge fan of both the books and the films. I thought the screen adaptations were a wonderful showcase of the best set design, product design, costume, casting, directing and acting their disciplines had to offer. I knew from the start that I’m competing to some degree with the hundreds of people involved in the visuals of the film. I remember watching the extras that come with the movie DVDs a few years back, and wondering how on earth you’d get to be lucky enough to work on the visuals for such a great project. To be offered the opportunity to design the whole world again from scratch was fantastic, but very daunting. I’d like to think that over the years lots of illustrators will have a crack at Potter, in the same way that Alice in Wonderland has seen generations of artists offer their own take on Lewis Carroll’s novel. I had to make it my version though, and so from the start I needed to set it apart from the films. I’ll be honest I’ve only seen a few illustrations from other Potter books, so that’s not been so much of a problem. I love Jonny Duddle’s covers, and everyone should see Andrew Davidson’s engravings — they are incredible!
Magical Menagerie (MM): What was the most important detail for you to get right with your illustrations?
To try and stay faithful to the book. It’s very easy when you are scribbling away to start wandering off in different directions, so you must remind yourself to keep reading Jo’s text. Technically speaking though, I think composition is important — the way the movement and characters arrange themselves on the page — this dictates the feel of the book.
SnitchSeeker (SS): What medium do you use to create your illustrations?
I use anything that makes a mark — I am not fussy. So I don’t rely on expensive watercolour or paints, although I do occasionally use them – I like to mix them up with cheap house paint, or wax crayons. Sometimes in a local DIY store I’ll see those small tester pots of wall paint going cheap in a clear-out sale, and I’ll buy stacks of them, and experiment with painting in layers and sanding the paint back to get nice textures. The line is almost always pencil, 4B or darker, but the colour can be a mixture of any old paint, watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Diagon Alley was unusual in that I digitally coloured the whole illustration in order to preserve the pencil line drawing. I’d recommend experimenting; there is no right or wrong way to make an illustration, just do what works for you!
The Daily Snitcher (TDS): Because each book is so rich in detail, what is your personal process when choosing specific images?
I read the book, then read it again and again, making notes. You start off with lots of little ideas, and draw a tiny thumbnail illustration, about the size of a postage stamp, to remind you of the idea for an illustration you had while reading the book. I then start to draw them a little bigger, about postcard size, and show them to Bloomsbury [UK publisher]. We then think about how many illustrations will appear in each chapter, and try to get the balance of the book right by moving pictures around, dropping or adding these rough drawings as we go. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury were great in that they let me try all sorts of things out, different styles, concepts. Some I didn’t think would get into the final book, but everyone was very open to new ideas. There was no definite plan with regards to how the book would look; we just experimented and let it evolve.