Owen Gent

Owen Gent – Designer

Illustrator and Book Cover Designer working primarily in literary fiction. Clients include Penguin, Harper Collins and The New York Times.

Overview

I am an illustrator, artist and book cover designer based in Bristol, England and I have been working for over 10 years for clients including Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, The New Yorker, the New York Times, TED, the V&A, IMAX and the BBC. My cover designs have adorned books by writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Hardy and Albert Camus as well as contemporary authors such as Ian McEwan, Sally Rooney and BIll Bryson and can be found all over the world.

Stylistically my unique visual approach combines traditional painting techniques with digital editing and graphic design in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. This way of working allows me to be flexible with my artwork, whilst maintaining the sensibility and authenticity only achievable through an traditional, analogue medium.

Conceptually I am very interested in approaching sensitive subject matter with subtlety and humanity, using metaphor and delicacy to convey challenging themes when a literal approach may be harsh or inappropriate. Although my work primarily lends itself well to adult literary fiction, poetry and philosophical texts, my broad experience as an editorial illustrator provides me with a unique approach when communicating difficult or potentially dry non-fiction concepts in an intriguing way.

When collaborating with an author I will always read the manuscript where possible so I have a personal relationship with the text. I will then work closely with the client, sharing progress from rough sketches to final artwork and type design to ensure the artwork is performing exactly how it should be - forming a strong, lasting connection with the right audience and creating a striking first impression.
Services
Fiction
Classics Contemporary Fiction Magical Realism Poetry Science Fiction
Non-Fiction
Health & Wellbeing Nature Sex & Relationships
Languages
English
Awards
  • International Illustration Awards 2020 - Certificate of Merit for Book Cover Design - Donal Ryan Collected Novels - Penguin Random House
  • Communication Arts 2020 Illustration Competition - Award of Excellence
  • D&AD Awards 2021 - Winner of Three D&AD Pencils
  • World Illustration Awards 2020 - Longlist- Donal Ryan Collected Novels - Penguin Random House
  • Global Health Illustration Awards 2022 - Three Shortlisted Illustrations
  • The Klaus Flugger Prize - Celebrating outstanding newcomers to picture book illustration - Shortlist 2023
Certifications
  • Falmouth University - First Class Degree - Illustration BAHons

Work experience

Self-employed

Jan, 2009 — Present

I am an illustrator, artist and book cover designer based in Bristol, England and I have been working for over 10 years for clients including Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Bloomsbury, The New Yorker, the New York Times, TED, the V&A, IMAX and the BBC.

My cover designs have adorned books by writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Hardy and Albert Camus as well as contemporary authors such as Ian McEwan, Sally Rooney and BIll Bryson and can be found all over the world.

Portfolio

Still, the Sky

Pearson, Tom

Shortlisted for The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize 2013 Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012'Sjón's novels are brilliant collisions of history and fable, psychology and fantasy' Chris Power, GuardianThe year is 1635. Iceland is... read more
'Tremendous...utterly absorbing' Independent Proud, passionate Eustacia Vye marries Clym Yeobright in the hope that he will help her escape her cramped rural existence. But when their relationship falters and her old lover Damon Wildeve reappears with an unexp... read more
Winner of the An Post Irish Novel of the Year 2020Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award'You have to truly love people to write like this' RACHEL JOYCE'One of the greatest novels of this century' SUNDAY INDEPENDENT'Gorgeously wrought' GUARDIANI... read more
From the multi-award-winning author of the number one bestseller, STRANGE FLOWERS, a searing, jubilant about four generations of women and the love and stories that bind them.'I think you have to truly love people to write like this' RACHEL JOYCE'A true artist... read more
The Art of the Glimpse

Sinéad Gleeson

The #1 Irish Times bestseller An anthology of the very best Irish short stories, selected by Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations. There have been many anthologies of the short story as it developed in Ireland, but never a collection like this.The Art of t... read more
***LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018******SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD 2018***'An engrossing, unpredictable, beautifully crafted novel' RODDY DOYLEFarouk’s country has been torn apart by war.Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.John’s pas... read more
Winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 'Enchantingly poetic . . . spellbinding . . . magical . . . exceptional' Independent The year is 1883. The stark Icelandic winter landscape is the backdrop. We follow the priest, Skugga-Baldur, on his hunt for the ... read more
Tess is an innocent young girl until the day she goes to visit her rich 'relatives', the D'Urbervilles. Her encounter with her manipulative cousin, Alec, leads her onto a path that is beset with suffering and betrayal. When she falls in love with another man, ... read more
'A masterpiece . . . I challenge any author to top it!' Sigridur Alberstsdottir, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.Jósef Loewe enters the world as a lump of clay - carried in a hatbox by his Jewish father Leo, a fugitive in WWII Germany.Taking refuge in ... read more
Winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize'An extraordinary and original writer' A.S. Byatt on Sjón Reykjavik, 1918. The eruptions of the Katla volcano darken the sky night and day. Yet despite the natural disaster, the shortage of coal and the Great War still rag... read more
An old man looks into the fearful eyes of a burglar left to guard him while his brother is beaten; an Irish priest in a war-torn Syrian town teaches its young men the art of hurling; the driver of a car which crashed, killing a teenage girl, forges a connectio... read more
From the twice Man Booker longlisted author of From a Low and Quiet Sea'A force of nature ... a life-enhancing talent' Sebastian BarryWhile the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even ... read more
From the twice Man Booker longlisted author of From a Low and Quiet Sea 'Poetic, powerful and heart-rending' The Times'An exquisite account of womanhood, friendship, prejudice and tradition that is both intimate in scale and awesome in achievement' Irish Indep... read more

Owen has 7 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Josef L.

Josef L.

Aug, 2023

I am absolutely in love with my book cover. I don't just love my book cover. I'm IN love with it. In. Love. Now, I've always been a book lover, so I've come face to face with countless book covers, but the book cover Owen designed for me is one of my favorite book covers of all time. That is not an exaggeration. Might I be biased? Maybe. But I honestly believe if I saw it in a bookstore and i...
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Nicole R.

Nicole R.

Jun, 2023

Owen's contribution to my project surpassed all expectations! His artistic touch transformed my book cover into an absolute masterpiece. The collaboration with him was not just excellent, but also enlightening. Owen devoted time to genuinely comprehend my vision for the design, diving deep into the background material to grasp the essence of the story. His input wasn't merely professional, it ...
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Owen G.
Thank you Nicole! Nicole was an absolute pleasure to work with throughout this entire project and her passion for the project was reflected in her research, detailed answers to my questions, the ...
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Eugene G.

Eugene G.

Apr, 2022

Owen was a delight to work with. He was immediately engaged with the material and collaboratively refined his vision through timely delivery of a sequence of drafts. He welcomed direction, but he also made artistic choices that were better than any I could have thought of. The finished product, a cover for my novel MAISON CRISTINA, perfectly expresses the central theme of the book in a visually...
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Tom P.

Tom P.

Apr, 2022

Owen is amazing to work with. The communication was always clear and very positive, and he was open to feedback and suggestions. The resulting work is truly stunning. I love the cover illustration and moody abstract quality of the artwork he made for The Sandpiper's Spell. I highly recommend Owen and would love to work with him again.
Megan P.

Megan P.

Jun, 2021

Owen is incredibly talented, and I am in awe of the book cover that he designed for me. He was incredibly responsive, polite, took my feedback constructively, and worked until the design was just right. Highly recommended! Thank you so much, Owen!

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