Joanna Forbes

Theme/body of work:  Children's Books, Concept, Illustration.

Medium: Digital, acrylic, ink, graphite, watercolor, and oil.

About Me
My name is Joanna Zhanna Forbes. I am a Children’s book, Illustrator. Having been adopted from Russia at the age of 3, I have always sought acceptance and love from others in order to feel comfortable. This was difficult for me to do when I was young when I could not speak nor understand English, yet, as I have grown, and illustration has given me a way to achieve this needed connection with others. I write and illustrate my own adoption books as I feel they are a great way for new families to bond.  One of my dreams is to be able to connect with others in a creative and effective way. For me to share my love for art with others would make me truly happy. My art has developed through educational experiences such as my experience at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I have learned to better balance between creativity and technique. I use both digital and handmade Illustrations. Color is important because it can be used to express emotions and I find it to be important in Children’s books. I illustrate Children’s books and my ideal client would be someone who has similar interests and goals. Having a youthful approach and art that is full of expression is most important.

Giraffe Pig Mantis

Giraffe Pig Mantis Color Joanna Forbes

2810 Wilderness Place, Suite D
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone: 720-626-5358
Shop The Gingerbread Girl (BCI Store)
Shop The Gingerbread Girl (Amazon)


The Gingerbread Girl by Joanna Z. Forbes (Author, Illustrator), Heather T. Forbes (Author)

Full of pizzazz and adventure, The Gingerbread Girl takes children on an exploitative journey of emotions, survival challenges, and determination. Written from a trauma perspective, unlike the traditional Gingerbread Boy story, it has a different ending (SPOILER ALERT) that shows how even in the most challenging of situations, you can still remain in a place of personal power and confidence Gingerbread Girl includes an in-depth social/emotional discussion guide written by Heather T. Forbes, LCSW. It is designed to be an example of how any traditional storybook can be used as a social/emotional learning experience for children. When we teach young children how to identify their emotional responses, they become better equipped to handle adversity and develop better self-regulatory skills that will serve them to remain in a place of power and control of their own actions.

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