Illustrators Jim Kay and Chris Riddell Interviewed for Harry Potter Book Night

Here at MuggleNet, we’re big fans of all of the different Harry Potter illustrations we’ve gotten over the years, and it seems Pottermore is too! Last month, we reported on Waterstones Piccadilly’s Harry Potter Book Night event in London, which just took place on February 7. The Waterstones event was held at St. James’s Church rather than the bookstore itself and brought illustrators Jim Kay and Chris Riddell together for their first joint event!

If their names don’t ring a bell, their artwork just might. Jim Kay is known for his illustrated versions of the Harry Potter books, with the most recent installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, released in 2017. Chris Riddell is known for the illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, as published by Bloomsbury last year.

Pottermore covered the panel, which was moderated by BBC Radio 1’s Chris Smith. During the event, the illustrators discussed their art, and Riddell even drew some live pieces, as mentioned by Waterstones in a tweet from the event.



Riddell also spoke about how much he enjoyed working on The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

I feel it was a perfect project. I was able to dip a toe in the waters by doing ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’ and also draw Dumbledore. But I was also led into this other parallel world, this other fairy[-]tale world, and so I didn’t feel that great weight of responsibility of drawing the much-loved characters. I was able to cut loose a little bit and have a lot of fun with Horklumps and Bowtruckles.

Kay, meanwhile, joked about some of the challenges of taking on all seven books in the Harry Potter series, including having to draw the Marauder’s Map. That, he said, “was like drawing a migraine.” Pottermore also noted that Kay draws his inspiration from real people or places and took elements of Kew Gardens to the Herbology greenhouses.

As for their favorite things from the wizarding world to draw? Riddell chose Death from “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” while Kay chose Hagrid. You can read more about Waterstones Piccadilly’s Harry Potter Book Night event here.

Did you attend a Harry Potter Book Night event where you live? Were you in the audience at Waterstones Piccadilly’s event last week? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.