Mary GrandPré ’81
Mary GrandPré’s portfolio is far larger than just seven book covers. Nevertheless, the illustrator of all the American Harry Potter books is best-known for her renditions of the Boy Wizard.
GrandPré began drawing when she was five years old. She earned an undergraduate degree from Pomona College before attending MCAD. As a fine arts major, she gradually shaped each assignment into the unique style she calls soft geometry, utilizing ethereal pastels.
Her Boy Wizard work began when the art director of Scholastic Publishing invited GrandPré to submit illustrations for a British fantasy series. She offered three sketches and one was selected for the cover. Author J.K. Rowling was happy with her work as well so she stayed on as the illustrator for all seven book covers. One of her illustrations even landed a TIME magazine cover.
GrandPré has had plenty of advertising clients (Ogilvy & Mather, BBD&O) and multiple editorial appearances (the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Random House, Dell, and McGraw Hill). When preparing its first animated feature, Antz (1998), DreamWorks studio called on GrandPré to work on proposed landscapes. She's designed seven other children's books, including Henry and Pawl and the Round Yellow Ball, which she co-wrote with her husband, artist Tom Casmer.