Deborah Panesar.jpg

Freelance illustrator and surface designer, creating intricate pencil repeat patterns in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire.

Hi! I’m Deborah - Originally born Ballinger and recently married into the Panesar name. Based in Nottingham, UK I specialise in plant and animal illustrations that I transform into intricate and bold prints. 

A 2010 illustration graduate from Norwich University of the Arts, I create work for people who seek the beautiful and elaborate side of design, who believe that craftsmanship and traditional illustration methods are not dead. Working in fine 0.3mm mechanical pencil to craft my illustrations, I also use Photoshop and Illustrator to help add colour, form and structure to my work. 

Avid list keeper, meditator, hiker, amateur photographer and Bruce Springsteen fan, I find inspiration in the beauty of everyday life that I work to capture in my designs. 

I want to help bring your most ambitious ideas to life through the power of the pencil, and If you're feeling inspired to start some illustrative magic together then drop me a line and let’s see what we can create. 

Want to see more? Take a read of my blog, and if you want to be kept up to date with new posts, new work and new opportunities feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.




Hearst Magazines
Eden & Farrow
Lola’s Apothecary
London Tea Club
Malt Cross
BioCity Nottingham
Thought Catalogue


"When we contacted Deborah in the making of our latest album, 'Weave' she matched our enthusiasm for the project and immediately set to work moulding our semi-formed ideas into something we never dreamed could be successfully created so wonderfully by hand. From the beautiful anatomical detail to the sensitivity of colour

Deborah's 'Chicken-Frog' creation sparks attention, raises question and receives wide praise as we tour the album around the UK. No alteration was ever too much trouble and every idea was met with respect and consideration.

Deborah Panesar was a joy to work with and we're ever so grateful for her magnificent artistry."
- Jay from the Jaywalkers

"Deborah created several illustrations for my website and branding; She has a great understanding and appreciation for what I needed, interpreting the brief well, perfectly capturing the aesthetic I asked for. She kept me well informed throughout the design process and responded well to feedback. I love the work that Deborah produced, it's given me a strong brand identity that is memorable and often gets positive remarks from clients"
- Evan Wilkinson, community filmmaker 

“A beautifully illustrated animation inspired by the tale of Captain Ahab chasing the legendary whale, Moby Dick.” - DepicT! Film Festival 2015

"With the set of very rough scribbles and a first layout of the film, I approached Deborah, hoping that she can not only redraw all the elements I had used for the animatic, but also generate the whole atmosphere and feeling of different shots. And that's what she did; breathing life into the film and adding a fascinating density and depth to this little story. Even though we were based in different countries, every step during our production took place in a relaxed, but very professional and straightforward atmosphere. Together we created a wonderful film that made it into festivals all over the world and also won a few awards." - Henning Lederer, Animator

"Deborah Panesar has been a true pleasure to work with. I am very glad I contacted her when I decided to start a production of printed summer shirts – though the match was not obvious. The shirts should display local motives from the island of Bornholm in the baltic sea. And Deborah Panesar was based in the UK. But her artistic skills and knowledge about pattern making for clothes convinced me she was right for the task. And she was.

I provided her with photographs, descriptions and old tourist brochures from Bornholm and she distilled the tropes into an expression that has the ability soften the hearts of local islanders who grew up with them. In the process I had concerns with some details and Deborah Panesar was fast to make the changes I was looking for." - Niels Ebdrup, shirt manufacturer, Denmark


The Pattern Book by Carolina Amell (Monsa Publications)
Absolutely Magazines, London
Draw it, Print it, Ink it by Pepper Baldwin


#InspirationPrinted - Sustainable Stationery interview on


August 2017 - Runner Up of the Tomorrow’s Talent competition, London
July 2015 - Winner of 'Best Animation' at One Minute Film Festival, Switzerland
September 2015 - Winner of 'Best Animated Short' at Gotta Minute Film Festival, Canada
April 2016 - Winner of 'Directors Award' at Miniature Film Festival, Canada


May 2015 - Surface Gallery - Above/Below - Volunteers and Studio Artists Show [Nottingham, UK]
March 2015 - Surface Gallery - Loovre Exhibition - Spend a Penny [Nottingham, UK]
November 2012 - Corn Exchange - MADE12 Art & Design show [Brighton, UK]
October 2012 - Canada Water Library - Sketchbook Project London [London, UK]
August 2012 - Lulu & Hitch and Pizza Express - Artist of the Month [Hove, UK]
January 2012 - Artist Residence - Mullitover [Brighton, UK]
September 2011 - Surface Gallery - Myth [Nottingham, UK]
June 2011 - Pedestrian Gallery - CUSPeditions [Leicester, UK]
June 2011 - Assembly House - Safina [Norwich, UK]
October 2010 - Battersea Park- Affordable Art Fair [London, UK]
June 2010 - Truman Brewery - D&AD New Blood [London, UK]
June 2010 - Norwich University College of the Arts - Graduates Degree show [Norwich, UK]
April 2010 - Assembly House - Illustration Blind Auction [Norwich, UK]


February 2019 - Select Vegan
January 2016 - Trent and Erewash Embroiderers Guild
May 2015 - Norwich University of the Arts careers day