Ellen Forbes

Illustration BDes (Hons)

My work is a playful exploration into nature, mental health, childlike curiosity and wonder.


Ellen Forbes standing in front of a wall of colourful posters

Hey, my name is Ellen and I’m an illustrator, maker and adventurer. I like to make work that focuses on the small wonders, joys and tribulations of life. I often use natural imagery to highlight the little things we often miss, drawing attention to the small and beautiful be it plants in walls, stumps or the hidden fae and spirits I’d imagine as a child. I also like create analogies for feelings to help process them and create a space for others to feel less alone. I don’t focus on any particular medium and simply aim to put joy and childlike wonder at the heart of any work I make as I feel it’s something we should all hold onto, especially when things feel hard and impossible.

A pink worm with a heart in the air looking at a red lady bug standing in tall green grass

Party Cat Risograph

A riso print of a grey cat with a pink party hat on with pink stars about his head.

Penguin Book Cover Award

A book cover showing a burst of plants and animals coming out of a journal. With the title Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara Macnaulty over it.

Dundee Women's Festival 2022

A digital image of three women building a large scale model of the earth.

I had the privilege to design and illustrate the programmes, posters and social media advertisements for this years Dundee Women's Festival. The theme was Today's Women Shape Tomorrow's World so I made all the illustrations joyful, full of collaboration and hope.

Take Care of your Garden

A short comic showing a girl, each frame she becomes more overwhelmed by plants until she disappears. She then takes out some plant cutters and prunes the chaos, turning it into a beautiful little flower growing out of her head.


Maxwell Community Centre and Garden Mural

A photo looking through a door to a mural of a tree, showing it above ground and the roots below ground. There are shelves with various gardening equipment in front of the mural.

Allow Yourself to Wilt and Regrow

	A four panel comic showing a flower blooming, wilting, hiding in it's bulb underground and blooming again.

A short comic exploring how we must rest when things get hard in our lives, allowing ourselves to work through the difficulty and bloom again new and stronger.

Safe Space

A suitcase on the forest floor. A map, clay hag stones, a fabric mushroom and some twigs are placed on top of it.

A project exploring play, adventure and unconventional illustration.

If you're interested in commissioning me or hiring me be sure to get in touch via my email or social media.