Owen Gildersleeve

Book Covers

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
Intimations is a short series of reflective essays written by Zadie Smith during the early months of Lockdown. Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, the cover needed to reflect the contemplative mood of the essays, exploring the light and darkness in the themes, whilst also representing the generous space given to reflect on what has happened.

How was the illustration used:
The artwork was used for the US edition of Initimations, which was printed as a paperback with all Zadie Smith's royalties going to charity.

How did you make this work:
The cover image was created in collaboration with photographer Stephen Lenthall, studying the relationship between space, form, light and its natural counterpart shadow, featuring a miniature handcrafted white paper architectural space, using hard lighting to define the forms and bring this contemplative environment to life. Darren Haggar then paired the image with some gorgeous bold typography.

Commissioner Name :
Darren Haggar
Commissioner Company :
Penguin Random House

Social Media:
behance.net/owengildersleeve pinterest.co.uk/owengildersleeve

Personal Website:
Agent Website:

University of Brighton
Year of Graduation:

Currently Based:
United Kingdom

Owen Gildersleeve is an award winning artist specialising in handcrafted illustration, set design and art direction. His unique style brings graphic designs to life through carefully hand-cut layers and a playful use of light and shadow. Working with an array of international clients his practice ranges from intricate paper illustrations and animations, to large-scale sets and installations.