Neil Gower – Jackets, Genius and Putting the Art into Cartography

Neil Gower
Snow Geese
© Neil Gower

Neil Gower will discuss how his work has evolved from a quiet childhood obsession to receiving international commissions and acclaim. From book jackets and illustrated maps to elaborate aerial views of famous gardens, this talk will explore how Gower paints and draws in a variety of styles, usually incorporating hand-lettering into the imagery. Using examples from notebooks, sketch books and finished works he will also describe the process of distilling words into paint, and identifying the ‘visual centre of gravity’ in a piece of writing.

Neil Gower has worked as a freelance graphic artist for over 30 years. Neither illustrator nor designer he has carved out a creative niche where the two disciplines merge. He is best known for his book cover designs, notably Faber’s William Golding titles and, most recently, Bill Bryson’s entire backlist. Neil’s celebrated endpaper maps have embellished the work of authors as diverse as Kazuo Ishiguro, Joanne Harris, Jilly Cooper, Vita Sackville-West and Jo Nesbo. He has completed private painting commissions for Sir Roy Strong and Raymond Blanc.