Meet Jim Kay’s Model for Harry Potter!

The Jim Kay-illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released on October 6, and the artwork is spellbinding, to say the least. From the first four illustrations revealed by Bloomsbury UK in January, we knew that the characters had been brought to life.

Now, the Mirror is reporting that Kay’s model for the Boy Who Lived is a 13-year-old British schoolboy named Clay Caldwell, who caught Kay’s eye while riding the London Underground with his mother, Alison. She explained their first encounter with Kay, saying,

It’s quite amazing. He only had two tube stops to introduce himself, and I went away and did enough research to feel comfortable with him – he had work in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

She continued,

There was no mention of Harry Potter, and he said he could not tell me what it was. We just thought it would be a nice experience and something a bit different. Having an opportunity like that means there’s always room for growth, but this took us both by surprise.

Clay also shared his excitement about becoming Kay’s model for Harry:

I was really surprised when I found out it was Harry Potter. I was screaming I was so happy. I went down to London, and he took some pictures of me there, and I had to be on the floor posing for those.

He added that he has gone to see Kay “about five or six times a year” to model and said of the experience,

I absolutely love it – I never thought I would be Harry Potter.

The Mirror writes that Clay, who has been sworn to secrecy about his sittings, has raised the skepticism of his school friends. While he cannot give any details away, it is reported that he will serve as Kay’s model for the remaining books in the series.

What do you think about Kay’s decision to use a model for Harry? Have you bought your copy of the illustrated Sorcerer’s Stone yet? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!