Harry Potter fans (if you’re hardcore and haven’t failed any quizzes like I did lately), you probably knew that a new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in the works (coming out on March 14), but did you know that we have a Croatian illustrator to thank for the black and white artwork inside the book?
The illustrations will embelish Bloomsbury UK’s English editions for now, but we have no doubt that the Croatian translation will contain them as well.
Ministarstvo magije Hrvatska (Croatian Ministry of Magic) talked to Tomislav Tomić, a talented 39-year-old illustrator from Croatia, whose artwork can be found in other books from the franchise as well, Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
You can visit Tomislav website and see more of his artwork here.
Tomislav says he was doing a project in the UK for a book called Wizardology when Johnny Duddle, author of the illustrations on paperback covers of Harry Potter books, asked him to do a map of Hogwarts for one of the books. He thought that this was a one-time gig, but they wanted him to do artwork for Beasts, Quidditch and Tales as well, so he accepted.
“The process included me doing a sketch, getting feedback and guidelines after a month, which didn’t leave me with a lot of creative freedom, which can be frustrating.”
He says that he was a generation or two too old to become a fan when Harry Potter hit our bookstores, so he’s not that big of a fan, but he enjoyed the movies and thinks the characters in the three books that he did read are interesting.
This new edition of Fantastic Beasts will include new beasts (gasp!) but, unfortunately, Tomislav couldn’t reveal any spoilers about them.
When asked what his biggest inspiration was, Tomislav answered: “Mostly books and stories. I prefer a more traditional approach to illustration, from the 19th and 20th ct for exmaple; contemporary Sci-Fi and Fantasy stories not so much. There’s more contrast – more light and darker shadows – in modern illustration styles, while the lines in my artwork are mostly softer.”
Tomislav mentioned Sophocles’ Antigone as his first and least favourite work, while his favourite project so far has been a colouring book called the Orange Fairy Book because it pushed his limits and made him create things he had no idea he was capable of. He added that colouring books are his favourite projects, and that illustrators generally have more artistic freedom in Croatia, but earn more in England.
It’s a stressful job, he says, because a two-page illustration normally takes him 5 days to make, and the deadline is 2 days, which is especially challenging if he has no visualisation of what he wants the idea to look like in his mind.
Finally, Tomislav said he’s exhausted and that he needs a break from the franchise, but that he might considering doing a similar project in five years or so.
Read the entire interview here.