The gnomes in the official PHB bore me and have never really made any sense.
I knew when I started my campaign world, I would have to change the gnome. Luckily, no-one played one (maybe they felt the same way I did) and so I had time to flesh them out.
I decided on the theme of magic-users, but not in the “mystical creatures” angle, but rather, I weaved in another traditional gnome theme of focused individuals who are always inventing.
But not in the tinkering sense, in the studious sense.
And I expanded the illusionist speciality to include all schools of magic.
What I ended up with was a race of dedicated souls who use their intelligence and tenacity to become studious magic-users in response to a dark history.
With that in mind, I give you my Gnome (or, Seeker Gnome, as I call them).