Jim Kay is one of our absolute favourite artists. His hauntingly beautiful illustrations for A Monster Calls won a well-earned Kate Greenaway Medal.
When he was announced as the artist for the new, illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series, we were overjoyed. Even more so, now that the first glimpses of his work have been revealed. On the right is Flourish & Blotts, the magical bookstore of Diagon Alley, as brought to life by Kay's art. (Apparently this immensely details image is part of an even bigger work that shows more of the Alley. Whoa.)
Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing us with both the image and a short Q&A with the man himself. (Kay, not Potter.)
How did you feel when you found out you would be illustrating the Harry Potter novels?
Scientists say the Big Bang is to be followed by the Big Crunch, I feel I have firsthand experience of this theory, for hearing the news that I'd got the commission was an explosion of delight, followed instantly by an implosion of brain-freezing terror. From my point of view it is, without doubt, the best commission you can be given - I'm a bit of a control freak, so to be given the opportunity to design the characters, the costume, the architecture and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children's literature, well lets just say I'm extremely excited about it. However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents, I just want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.