Carol Forbes-Boulter


Meet Carol Forbes-Boulter, the illustrator behind our new Dobbies Christmas Collection. You'll see her beautifully understated artwork across bespoke soft furnishing and decorations. 

Can you tell us about the artwork you’ve created for Dobbies?

It came from my interest in folk art generally – I especially like the Scandinavian feel and colouring, but with an English approach, and I was hoping to achieve a neutral but traditional theme. While the hares are perhaps not normally associated with Christmas, I wanted to use them because throughout history they have been linked to the seasons in many ways.

Is it strange to work on Christmas themes before the festivities start?


I worked on these Christmas designs in spring and summer and discovered that it’s actually quite liberating! Not having the stress of the season upon you, along with its time pressures, means that I find looking through resources can be a pleasure and allows objectivity.

How did you create them?

My first love in art is calligraphy, illumination and illustration. I have dabbled with the materials involved with this art form, but evolved my style in acrylic inks – they seem to suit my style of illustration. I also use a calligraphy dip pen and gild with gold leaf. I enjoy illustrating a wide range of subjects, but I have a bias toward nature and my work is stylised, not necessarily lifelike.

Which is your favourite?

Dobbies Pillow

I think my favourite design in the Dobbies collection is the sitting white hare (pictured above) with its winter wreath and golden eye.

Do you work in a studio?

I am based in a very small, old Cotswold stone dovecote, where I can live and work. I can look out of my window onto fields, trees and the ever changing sky, and there is always music. It is lovely to spend my time doing something I love in a place I want to be. Living to the rhythm of my own drum, with no commuting, is what I have wanted for a very long time and I am sure I am not alone in that!

What are you working on now?


Hares are still a big focus of my work! I am drawn to their story in folklore, mysticism, myth and legend, their life – but most of all their form.

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