The artist behind the Mockingjay

| September 24, 2011 | 7 Comments More

It’s become almost iconic….the mockingjay from The Hunger Games, the fictional bird holding an arrow in its mouth.

Tim O’Brien came up with the drawing back in 2008, when The Hunger Games was about to be released by Scholastic.  He’s married Elizabeth Parisi, the Executive Art  Director at  Scholastic.

Here’s a picture of that drawing from back then, from Tim’s blog .. and a bit of what he had to say about the project at the time.

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Bird

This seems to be an important book for Scholastic and they and she spent quite a bit of effort trying to get it right. Great illustrators were hired to do covers for this book and the versions they came up with were inspired.

She (his wife) doodled a sketch of a pendant of a bird (RISD graduate in illustration) and asked if I could do a sketch for her to show. I did and it worked. People jumped on board and I took it to finish.

I think the cover is quite powerful and the book is a hit. This coming week Stephen Kind gave it a great review in the upcoming Entertainment Weekly.

I’m about to start the second book and I’ve promised to not procrastinate. It’s tough being married to the Art Director.

I wonder how he feels now, in 2011, just six months out from the first book being adapted for the big screen and the flaming mockingjay about to be seen everywhere.


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Category: The Books

Comments (7)

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  1. Hunger Games Crazy says:

    …. When I tried to draw it I was pretty hapyy with it but now I just feel stupid. Like that is just his starting sketch? Mine didn’t even look a quater as good when I finished!!!
    And if I was him, I would be stoked on life itself! I mean it it is everywhere! tee shirts, books, bookmarks, I can see over ten on this page alone.

    ☺☺☺ 180 DAYS!!! I REMEMBER WHEN IT WAS 369!!!!!!!!☻☻☻
    :) ♥ 😀 ♥ 😉 ♥ :) ♥ 😀 ♥ 😉 ♥ :) ♥ 😀 ♥ 😉 ♥ :) ♥ 😀 ♥ 😉 ♥

  2. Emma says:

    @Hunger Games Crazy well at least you tried! I was like should I try? Nah I’m good haha. Yeah I already know I would fail. And I’m so stoked for the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hunger Games Crazy says:

    Awe! Thanks!!!

  4. Mrs. Mellark says:


  5. Mrs. Mellark says:

    there are 15 mockingjays on this page.

  6. Emma says:

    @Mrs. Mellark I think it is awesome that you took the time to count!

  7. Evelyn says:

    Thanks so much for the link back in time to Tim’s blogpost about this illustration. I’ve a great time reading up on his work! And it’s great to get even a small window into the back story about these great cover designs.

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