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Mary GrandPré, the illustrator for the Harry Potter books, has been drawing since she was five years old. She went through a Salvador Dali stage when she was ten or twelve and later graduated to copying black-and-white photos out of the encyclopedia. However, she really grew into her own while attending art school in her mid-20s. There, she developed her love of pastels and "soft geometry."

She has tried other media, but she always comes back to pastels, especially in her children's books. She enjoys working on children's books because she can focus on a big project for a long time, using brighter colors to create larger, simpler pieces. And it allows her to indulge in her love of magic, fantasy, and whimsy.

Recently, Mary was featured on the cover of Time magazine for her work with the Harry Potter series and she also worked as a visionary in the environment/scenery development in DreamWorks' animated film Antz. Looking at life from an ant's point of view is not the sort of assignment that comes along every day and Mary enjoyed the great fun of looking at ordinary things through a magnifying glass. But what was most rewarding was being appreciated as an artist. When she saw the finished film, complete with her landscapes, she saw her work on the biggest canvas to date.

Mary has illustrated six beautiful children's books and is at work on the seventh. She also works in other genres, including advertising, corporate art, and editorial. Her reputation is world renowned for her delightfully stunning illustrations. You can see her work and learn more about her on her Web site at www.marygrandpre.com.