Owen Smith is an award-winning illustrator whose clients include Rolling Stone, Searchlight Pictures, Simon and Schuster, and The New Yorker for which he has created 20 cover illustrations. Smith recently completed and illustrated edition of John Steineck's The Grapes of Wrath. His cover art and interior booklet illustrations for Aimee Mann’s CD “The Forgotten Arm” helped win a Grammy Award for Best Packaging. Other clients include the San Francisco Opera, BART, and the United Nations. His work is featured in American Illustraiton, Society of Illustrators Annuals, 3x3, Creative Quarterly, and Communication Arts.
Owen's influences come from the WPA artists of the 1930s, Diego Rivera, and the lurid covers of pulp magazines and dime-store paperbacks of the 1930s and 1940s. His paintings have been featured in exhibitions in New York, Rome, and Milan, as well as solo shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
A set of mosaic murals Owen designed was permanently installed in a New York subway station at 36th Street in Brooklyn. Owen designed lobby murals, mosaic panels, and relief sculptures for new buildings at the historic Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. The project received two Public Art of the Year Awards at the Americans for the Arts 2011 Conference.
Smith is the Chair of the Illustraiton Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.