A conversation with Seattle comic artist Ellen Forney

Updated Oct 12 2015
arielmstallings
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Custom wedding invitations by Ellen ForneyYou've seen Seattle comic artist Ellen Forney's work before — I featured her Zombie wedding invitation last fall, and if you've visited Offbeat Mama, she's the creator of the three little characters all over the site.

Ellen's also a dear friend of mine (she's Sassafras's dogmother!), and I was talking to her recently about her favorite kind of custom wedding invitations to illustrate.

"I love doing portraits that combine words and pictures using a familiar context –- stuff like mock travel postcards, movie posters, magazine covers, cereal boxes," she told me. "I wish I got more invitation work like that, but most people aren't into that kind of thing."

"But der, Ellen," I said. "Offbeat Brides aren't 'most people!' Offbeat Brides love custom wedding comics!"

Ellen sighed at me…

"But most Offbeat Brides are thrifty," she said. "I'm a full time artist who supports herself doing original art — that makes my portrait invitations more expensive."

Custom wedding illustrations by Ellen Forney"But custom art is something special," I argued. "DIY is awesome, but custom work from an artist you love becomes a wedding keepsake! A family heirloom! Something people hang their walls! OBBs will understand that."

"I mean shit, Ellen," I said. "You did the art for Sherman Alexie's book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian — it won a National Book Award for godsake! Who else can brag that their wedding invitations were done by a comic artist at the National Book Award level!?"

It's true though — Ellen’s wedding invitation illustrations start at $1000, so her custom work may not be right for y'all budget brides. But for those of you who want to prioritize custom work from a nationally renowned comic artist, this is an opportunity to have one-of-a-kind invitations with the added bonus of one of a kind artwork to keep forever.

I also managed to talk Ellen into a discount for y'all! She's offering 25% off custom movie poster or cereal box invitations to Offbeat Brides. Just let her know where you found her, and she'll crank out some magic for you.

So, if prioritizing custom art in your wedding budget sounds awesome to you, get in touch with my beloved Ellen, and tell 'er Ariel sentcha!

  1. Just read that book and her illustrations made it extra amazing. I wish I could afford these – they are hilarious and so personal…

  2. Same as Sara–that's one of my new favorite books! Great illustrations. I really wish I could fit this into my budget, but as it is, we're doing electronic invitations to save money (and paper). Maybe a first anniversary present to my hubby…

  3. Oh, WOW, how wonderful is THIS! What a great investment and one-of-a-kind keepsake! I'm telling all my friends about Ellen's work and this discount, how FUN!

  4. wish this had come sooner! i had inquired about her prices a couple months ago because i wanted her to design invites to our wedding–but we def. did not have the moola for it! oh well–she's still awesome and we're still fans! maybe we'll have enough in a couple anniversaries!

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