Mary GrandPré
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BFA in Illustration
1981
Freelance Illustrator
Sarasota, Florida, USA

Mary GrandPré’s portfolio is much more expansive than seven book covers. Nevertheless, the illustrator of the original American Harry Potter books is best-known for her artistic renditions of the famous Boy Wizard.

GrandPré grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and began drawing when she was five years old. Influenced by Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse cartoon, the works of Salvadore Dali, and even her church's stained glass windows, GrandPré earned an undergraduate degree in fine arts from Pomona College before attending the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. As a fine arts major, she gradually shaped each assignment into the unique style she calls soft geometry, utilizing ethereal pastels.

GrandPré was living in St. Paul when the art director of Scholastic Publishing invited her to submit illustrations for a British fantasy series, which would soon become internationally recognized and celebrated as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series. GrandPré submitted three sketches, and one was selected for the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998). One of her illustrations of the Boy Wizard even landed a TIME magazine cover in September 1999.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was delighted with GrandPré's work, so she stayed on as the illustrator for all seven Harry Potter book covers, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1999), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). GrandPré also produced art for Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off novels, including the Tales of Beedle the Bard and the special-released box series of Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Aside from the Harry Potter universe, 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). DreamWorks called GrandPré to work on proposed landscapes for their first animated feature film, Antz (1998). Her work was also used for Blue Sky Studios' animated film Ice Age in 2002.

GrandPré has also created book designs for children's books like Henry and Pawl and the Round Yellow Ball (2005), which she co-wrote with her husband, artist Tom Casmer and Barb Rosenstock's The Noisy Point Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art (2014), among others.