For the last few years award-winning illustrator Jim Kay has spent his time working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to reimagine the wizarding world in illustrated form. His work is the star of Bloomsbury’s new illustrated editions of the Harry Potter books, which have earned him recognition from human proportions for drawing for children over the world.
With books 1 to 3 published, Jim is currently hard at work on the 4th, The Goblet of Fire. The detail and passion that sits within the pages becomes fully realized when talking to Jim, who is dedicated to finishing all 7 books. He has inspired a new generation of readers through his work, and reminded original fans how truly magical the world J. Rowling created 20 years ago still is. Here we chat to Jim about his creative process and the ups and downs of illustrating such an iconic and globally recognized phenomenon. How did you first get involved in illustrating the Harry Potter books?
What had you previously worked on? I’d not worked on a great deal. My first real full-length book was Monster Calls, which was by Patrick Ness and based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd. So it really came out of the blue. How would you describe your style?
I don’t feel like I have a style yet. I’ve adopted a scattergram approach and lots of different styles appeared in book 1. When I find , it will make life so much easier because everyone will know what I’m going to do. Bloomsbury has been very patient and willing to try a lot of different things. It’s a really uncomfortable job to do. What do you find difficult about illustrating?