Artist Gives Harry Potter a Fresh Look

Jonny Duddle Reinvents the J.K. Rowling Classic.

 

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (detail) Courtesy Bloomsbury
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Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury
Jonny Duddle, Harry Potter Cover
Courtesy Bloomsbury

By now the Harry Potter iconography seemed pretty set. Harry with his glasses and wild hair, the dauntingly grand gothic architecture of Hogwarts, even the look of the obstinate Quidditch bludgers are clearly defined.

But there’s always room for a new take on J.K. Rowling’s much-loved novels. Publisher Bloomsbury has dusted of its hardback and paperback editions, and just revealed the seven new covers that will grace them from next month.

Artist Jonny Duddle is the artistic brain behind the new jackets. The illustrator, who is perhaps best-known for his work on the animation The Pirates!, told Writers & Artists how nervous he was when he was first commissioned.

“I was gobsmacked,” he says. “And then I worried that I just wasn’t qualified for the job, having only read the first book years ago. I felt like an impostor, amongst millions of Harry Potter fans. Then I realised that this gives me a fresh perspective.”

Duddle enlisted the help of his neighbors’ son, a real Potter addict, and took it “one book at a time,” he says. “I make numerous sketches of the main elements of the cover and then cobble them all together digitally, until I have a cover rough I feel happy to send to Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling. I hear back very quickly with comments on my rough, which I then tweak or redraw until everyone’s happy for me to progress. Then I ‘paint’ each cover digitally.”


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