All image rights reserved to Carson Ellis or their respective owner.
Carson Ellis is a talented illustrator who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Colin, son Hank, and two cats, Fortinbras and Window. You are probably familiar with Carson’s work because of her husband Colin’s band, The Decemberists. Carson has created art for the band’s album covers, t-shirts, websites, posters, and stage sets. Carson also provided illustrations and cover art to her husband’s first children’s novel, Wildwood. But this feature is not intended to be a Colin Meloy-geekout, so let’s get back to Carson and her work.
Carson Ellis was born in 1975 in Vancouver, Canada. She was raised in suburban New York and graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula in 1998 with a BFA in painting. Carson has been working as an illustrator pretty much ever since. Her most visible contributions to the field are certainly her illustrations for children’s books, including the aforementioned Wildwood, written by Colin Meloy; The Composer is Dead, written by Lemony Snicket; and The Mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trenton Lee Stewart. In 2010, she received a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for her art in Dillweed’s Revenge, written by Florence Parry Heide.
We decided to feature Carson, not because of her connection to The Decemberists (who we enjoy) or explicitly because of her illustrative work (which we admire), but because each fall Carson teaches a free twelve-session drawing workshop for teenagers at the Portland Art Museum (which we enjoy, admire, and respect).