Mary GrandPré

Last Friday I attended the opening of a show at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design showcasing the work of illustrator Mary GrandPré. I hadn’t seen Mary since the mid-eighties when I was the art director at Minnesota Public Radio and she was at the beginning of her career as an illustrator.

Mary is best known now for illustrating the Scholastic editions of the Harry Potter books. Her success as an illustrator is even greater than I had realized—she also did concept drawings for Antz and character designs for Ice Age.

The first Wireless catalog cover, illustrated by Mary GrandPre

The illustrations she did for me were always wonderful, and not all that different from the much more refined style she’s known for now. (She did the cover for the first Wireless catalog for me in 1983, shown above.)

She asked me for advice back then about whether she should develop a definite style or try to diversify and do many different styles. I urged diversification. Thank goodness she ignored my advice.