We have moved to a new website

October 28, 2017

We are trying out a new website, so for a more up to date version of Jim Kay and Louise Clark’s work, please click this link!Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 10.45.09

The Prisoner of Azkaban is out now!

October 5, 2017

 

Buckbeak on Hagrid's Bed

After an anxious wait, Azkaban is out in the shops. Thank you to Bloomsbury and my family and friends for supporting me through a very, very difficult year, we got there in the end – a minor miracle! I’ve had a rest and I feel so much better.

I’m REALLY enjoying having more time on the Goblet of Fire than previous books, so hopefully there will be more to see in the fourth Potter book when it hits the shops in 2019, and I’m having great fun planning it. I want to hide lots of Easter eggs in Goblet, a luxury usually because it takes a lot of planning. 2019 is a long wait, but I couldn’t have gone straight into it, I’ve been a bit poorly. Thank you to everyone that has supported me through the last year, and for everybody’s patience.

Don’t forget that Olivia Lomenech Gill’s illustrated edition of Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts‘ is coming out November the 7th this year. It’s absolutely beautiful, and not what you’d expect – a stroke of genius by Bloomsbury. Very excited to see what you think.

Meanwhile I’ve been out and about meeting lots of Potter fans at book signings. I had a fun time signing books at Manchester and Brighton, I’m off to Bath tomorrow, then Birmingham (two cities with GREAT museums).

By the way, we are building a new website, a home for my work and the Milliner Louise Clark. Have a look: www.creepyscrawlers.com

 

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Alexis Deacon’s Geis Volume 2: A Game Without Rules, out soon!

September 12, 2017

Geis-2_2So Alexis Deacon fans may have already come across the first volume in his epic graphic novel series Geis (pronounced ‘Gesh’), which was released in 2016. Volume one was truly a knockout feat of illustration, beautifully executed and told by Deacon, and expertly printed by Nobrow. I’m so pleased that the second installment to this strange and compelling medieval fantasy adventure will be available from October 1st this year. How Alexis managed to do this in a year, I have no idea, I imagine massive quantities of stress and gallons of caffeine were involved. I’ve just been looking through an advance copy which arrived today (thanks Nobrow!) and it is really, REALLY good. It’s the way Alexis manages to render a diverse range of characters with such seemingly effortless economy and simplicity I find amazing, it’s incredibly difficult to do. The colour shifts, like in volume one, really help isolate areas of the story and alter the mood and pace. I’m super jealous of his colour use, actually (I really struggle with colour), and his creature designs are just wonderful (straight from a Jan Svankmajer animation, nightmarish and bizarre). I don’t want to say too much about the story – well I can’t yet because I’ve literally just received the copy – haven’t read it yet! – but as the promotional text says; “The second test has begun. Contenders for the new chief find themselves divided against their will and flung into a mysterious game”.

You can purchase copies here, and trust me, you are getting an epic amount of illustration for £15.99! Well done Alexis, right, I’m off to read it now!

Starting on Goblet of Fire

September 11, 2017

I’ve had a bit of a break, and have begun work on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I will get longer on this book, as usually I have to get the entire Potter book planned and finished in under a year, which is incredibly difficult, but this time the book will be released in 2019 – allowing for some well needed breathing room to really plan this and not rush the illustrations. Lots of images and ideas I plan don’t make the books usually because of time, so I’m very pleased to have some extra time. The added bonus has been this has allowed my tennis elbow to get better. Who would have thought holding a pencil all day could cause so much damage….it was agony!

Meanwhile you may of heard about the forthcoming exhibition at the British Library – Harry Potter and the History of Magic. This October you will get a chance to look at the original drawings and drafts of J.K. Rowling, and some really stunning books from the collections of the British Library. I’ve been lucky enough to see some bits and bobs that will be on show, and they really are fascinating. Also had a sneak peak at the exhibition catalogue; old books on herbs and beasts, medieval illuminated manuscripts, spells, sketches, paintings and artefacts – right up my street! They are including some of my work from the Potter books too, which is a bit scary. Most of my work is finished digitally these days, so it’s slightly frightening knowing the public will see my raggedy paintings in their raw form.

Other news my business partner Louise is busy making hats, one of which has just won the 2017 Bridport Hat Festival Open Competition, which is pretty special – congratulations Louise! We work together in the studio every day now, and will soon have our company website up and running, showing our combined creative output. I’ve had a go at making a hat, it really is very satisfying to work on something in three dimensions for a change.

Meanwhile, have a gander at some early concept scribbles of dragons, just warming up doodles for Potter’s shenanigans.

Dragon concept

Dragon concept

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Azkaban Finished

May 12, 2017




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The Prisoner of Azkaban is finished. I’ll be honest, it just about killed me. I was completely burned out half way through Chamber of Secrets, and probably shouldn’t have gone straight from three years work on Potter into another year of very, very long days. So I’m currently on a break trying to get better again. I’ve still got a lot of letters to reply to. If you’ve sent me a letter or email, I’m so sorry if I haven’t replied to it yet. I receive quite a lot, and it takes a long time to get through them. I do try and answer them all, but it can take an embarrassing amount of time. Please forgive me!

Anyway, I’m finally doing the things I haven’t been able to do for over five years. Sitting in a room other than the studio, watching TV, gardening etc.

It occurred to me this week that I haven’t drawn anything for myself in something like seven years now, and so I’m hoping to to that this summer. I’ve got some form of RSI in my right arm from scribbling, so I’m going to try and learn to draw with my left. If I can sketch and make roughs with my left hand, it might give the right one a bit of a break (and with any luck, something new and less predictable will come out of it). I want to get started early on Harry Potter book four though, I really, REALLY wish to make a book that I can spend time getting right. So many illustrations i roughed out didn’t make the final books because of time constraints. No Ginny Weasley STILL, which is terrible, I know. Hopefully with this year off I can sit and plan book four with a bit less pressure.

I’ve been back to Calke Abbey again, which is one of my favourite country houses, and a constant source of inspiration for Potter, not so much in the architecture, but in all the little details. I used the gardener’s cottage as reference for Hagrid’s hut in Azkaban.

 

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There is a blue paint that was used years ago at Calke, and I love the way it has aged. The house is a time capsule, with rooms left exactly as they were found. There is a patina across the whole house that has been made through years of use and neglect, it reminds me of the crumbling buildings if Venice.

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Even the window frames have a fantastic texture

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 09.23.09Amazing stuff! Anyway, have a good summer, I’ll try and post things on a more regular basis.

A Monster Calls movie out now!

January 1, 2017

So the film version of Patrick Ness’s book is out in the cinemas today. Do pop along and see it if you can. It was a pleasure to be involved in some small way on the film. I had dinner with J.A.Bayona recently, and he is the nicest, most welcoming, genuinely friendly guy you could meet. What a great job he did on the film. Now he’s working with Chris Pratt on the next Jurassic World movie, very exciting. I also got to meet Felicity Jones, but I was all star struck and so I only managed a few mumbles before I shuffled off. I’m rubbish at meeting new people! Anyway, I just wanted to say again how wonderful it was to see the finished film, I hope you enjoy it too. I warn you though, it’s an emotional 2 hours. The image you see here is a special poster they made for theaters using some of my original artwork. amonstercallspic

Madder’s World

November 26, 2016

I was in Cardiff on 6 October and gave a talk to students at the fantastic Cardiff Metropolitan University. At the book signing afterwards, I met a talented student called Avril Dann, who has an equally talented Mum, Samantha. Together, they write and illustrate the Madder’s World children’s books, which they self-publish. I promised that I would put a link to their website on my blog (sorry it’s taken so long…!), so have a look at their work here.

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A Monster Calls, The Movie!

September 27, 2016

I got to see the finished film recently (sat next to Patrick Ness at a private showing). Blimey, is it emotional. What a wonderful film, and Lewis Macdougall is simply incredible. Congratulations to Bayona, and everyone involved, you did an amazing job. If you go and see it, take tissues, it’s a moving movie. Follow this link to watch the trailer. 

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I was lucky enough to be asked to do some concept work for the film, which can be seen in the new Collector’s Edition of the book, published by Walker Books. I WISH I could have done more, but I was so busy on Potter. The Collector’s Edition is extremely well put together, by the way, showing behind the scenes footage, set design, concept art. I’m a big fan of these sort of books. (The Hobbit production design books are wonderful, for example). What I really love about the film is seeing Conor creating pictures using the same technique I used on the original book! The attention to detail too, just astonishing. Anyway, it’s out soon – go and see it!

Ian Miller Exhibition!

September 25, 2016

If you live near Brighton, please get down to see the exhibition of illustrator Ian Miller’s work at the Corridor Gallery on York Street.

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Ian Miller is an artist, illustrator and writer, a giant in the world of fantasy illustration, actually. He’s the main reason I became interested in scribbling, I used to keep a pile of his published work next to my bed, in the hope that I’d have Miller-infested dreams. I love his designs (and so does Guillermo del Toro –  can’t ask for a better fan than that!). My Hogwarts drawings owe a great deal to Ian’s work, particularly his exquisite renderings of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and he has been a constant guide and support over the years, a really nice chap. There is no-one else like him, so make a trip to the Corridor Gallery, see his stunning originals, and if that’s too far, have a gander at his website, here!

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Levi Pinfold’s ‘The Secret Horses of Briar Hill’

September 25, 2016

levi2One of my favourite illustrators Levi Pinfold has recently completed a stunning commission for Walker Books, illustrating The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, by Megan Shepherd. I got to see a sneaky copy earlier in the summer when we briefly met, it is absolutely knockout, incredible stuff. Have a look at his website, he is an astonishing talent, I wish I understood colour like he does, and he paints using egg tempera, which is quite unusual these days. The book is out on the 13th October, details here.

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