Tributes have been paid to Lorraine Owen, former managing director of illustration agency The Organisation, who has died from cancer.
Owen passed away peacefully in Wales on 11th August. In February she had announced she was closing the agency after more than 30 years due to ill health.
Once described by Scholastic art director, Strawberrie Donnelly, as “publishing royalty”, Owen set up the agency in 1986 after having previously worked as an art director. It became a specialist in children’s publications that was successful and respected in the industry, with 60 illustrators at its peak.
Upon closing the business earlier this year, she said: “We have been serving a huge range of clients over the past 30 years and we are very proud of all we have accomplished during this time, and we could not be more thankful to those who have believed in us and supported our business, both clients and artists. We have been lucky enough to work on some amazing projects and share in their success.”
Paying tribute to Owen, artist Alex Steele Morgan said: ”Lorraine was so helpful and inspiring. Where would we all be if she hadn't been part of our lives? I'm so very grateful she was in mine. She was the best agent any artist could've hoped to work with.”
Richard Merritt worked with Owen for over 15 years as an artist and also as one of her agents for 10 years.
He said: “The loss of Lorraine is devastating, not least because she took a punt on me as an artist straight out of university, but also giving me the opportunity to work on both sides of the industry. Over our years together, she was not only my employer, she also became a friend. It is without doubt that I am where I am today because of her, and I, like countless other artists, will forever be in her debt.”