Balancing the mundane and the mysterious, Owen Gent draws inspiration from the magical realism literary movement for his illustrations. “There’s something about the enigma of not knowing the full story behind something that makes a lot of sense to me,” the artist says. And it’s true—to view his work is to be invited into an inscrutable place with elements of both melancholy and beauty, where familiar objects and ideas take on unpredictable forms. Gent responds to creative briefs from ad agencies and publishing companies with solutions that make, in his words, “emotional sense”; his finished pieces evoke emotional responses from viewers. Currently, he looks forward to working in motion at Uncle Ginger, the animation studio Gent and longtime collaborator Hugh Cowling cofounded. “I’ve really enjoyed a career that I can never predict,” he says. “I hope my life as an artist never becomes predictable.”
This Brooklyn, New York–based illustrator approaches her assignments with grit and grace.