Whenever I’m feeling bad, or having a rough time, I turn to Hogwarts.
During a rough time a few years back, I listened to the entire Harry Potter book series on audio about three times in a ROW. I filled my nights with all sorts of Wizarding projects before our first real big vacation to Harry Potter World in Orlando, and after we returned, I had even MORE Potter projects on the mind.
So recently, when I was feeling cranky, and a drawing of my daughter didn’t work out the way I had planned, I looked at the page in frustration. The 8-year-old I was trying to draw looked much older. I thought, “I’m getting frustrated–maybe I should head to Hogwarts.” I thought I’d start from scratch and draw one of my beloved professors. And then a fun thought struck me. What if I turned this drawing into my OWN Hogwarts professor?
My first thought was that Hogwarts needed an art class. A wizarding art teacher would be very eclectic, right? Maybe have a few artsy tattoos (ala Sirius Black), with a good mix of Frida and Ms. Frizzle. So I created Professor Eliana Peppercorn, who teaches Traditional and Practical Arts, and decorates her hair with tiny wands she carves out of mandrake roots. She likely teaches traditional magic techniques, as well as hands-on methods. Perhaps Mama Weasley was a guest speaker in her course, demonstrating her knitting techniques…
THIS made me happy. THIS made me smile. I started thinking of other courses…other professors. Hogwarts likely needed a wizarding early history teacher, right? (I mean, aside from Professor Binns, of course, whose classes are legendarily boring…)
I documented a few process shots before settling on a name, which my Instagram readers helped me with. (The best part is reading the funny comments people left, such as “I had him for study hall” or “She gave me detention,” or “I took his course 2nd and 3rd year!”) They seem to be telling me their names as I’m drawing them, or at least a rough idea of how it should sound. So the names are fun. And in the spirit of diversity, I wanted Hogwarts to represent a person of color.
So this is Professor Bonlander Tulumbee, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Wizarding History…
Next, I wanted a “senior” Professor, someone who was very creative, a little spacey, maybe with a mod sort of 70s look…and I created Coriana Hunch, Professor of Dramatic Arts and Dance. (Someone commented that “she tried to start a ballet club, but no one showed up.)
Again, I thought about diversity, and what a forward-thinking move it was (in the books) to hire Firenze the centaur as a professor of divination at Hogwarts. So I wondered who else might be a good hire, and decided that a bold move would be a gobin. Professor Diglish left his position at Gringott’s to teach Economics and Business Management to later-year students. He would probably be very simply dressed in a dull suit, and likely quite boring and grumpy.
I started thinking about the different Houses that professors might come from, and wanted someone a little intimidating. Professor Maglin Severance, a former Slitherin prefect in her day, now leads lab courses in Biological Alchemy. I figured she might be responsible for the mixing of different animals, such as griffins, cockatrice, or such. She’d likely also intermix metallurgy in her course, and so is dressed in dragonscale garments, laced with gold and silver.
As I started thinking of other courses a school might have, I thought of muggle geography, and how it relates to the wizarding world. I imagine maps with levels and layers on top of layers, as in a architectural drawing of a multi-level building. Professor Hanson Pembrake maps all that out for us in Spatial Geography.
I’ve got tons of other ideas, of wizarding versions of muggle courses: Like Shop, Home Economics, First Aid and Nursing, to name a few. I think it would be so fun to lay out a staff yearbook, with each professor’s portrait, as well as other background info.
I absolutely ADORE the Wizarding World, and these drawings are making me SO happy. I wondered at first if I should have made them from Ilvermorny (the American Wizarding School), but I decided that my love of Hogwarts was irrepressible. I’m having so much fun creating little lives for them, and listening to the comments people have, treating them as if they are real professors, and they each make me smile.