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Carson Ellis – Author And Illustrator

By PDX People

If you’re in your 30’s to mid 40’s like most PDX People, you’ve most likely have read books illustrated by Carson Ellis (Wildwood) to your children

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1975, Carson didn’t originally start out as an artist, she attended the University of Montana and became a fine artist.

It wasn’t until she began illustrating the books for her soon-to-be husband Colin Meloy that she dedicated herself solely to illustration art.

Besides being a well-known illustrator for children’s books, Carson has also created album art, tee-shirt art, stage sets and more for iconic Portland based band, The Decemberists.

Image credit – Carson Ellis

About Carson Ellis

Ellis is an award-winning illustrator of several children’s books, including the New York Times Bestsellers Wildwood, written by Colin Meloy, The Composer is Dead, written by Lemony Snicket, and The Mysterious Benedict Society, written by Trenton Lee StewartShe received a 2010 Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for her art in Dillweed’s Revenge, by Florence Parry Heide.[4] She collaborated again with Meloy on the second and third novels in the Wildwood Chronicles series, Under Wildwood (2012) and Wildwood Imperium (2014).

Art And Illustration 

Before transitioning to a career in illustration and drawing, Ellis studied painting at the University of MontanaShe began her career as a fine artist in San Francisco and exhibited a solo show of oil paintings at a gallery in San Jose, California. Her first illustration work began when she met Colin Meloy at the University of Montana and designed gig posters for his college band Tarkio.

She is also well known for her work with the indie folk rock band The Decemberists, for whom she has created album art, T-shirts, websites, posters, and stage sets. Her album covers for the Decemberists include What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful WorldThe Crane WifeHer Majesty the DecemberistsCastaways and CutoutsThe Hazards of Love, and the EPs 5 Songs and The Tain. She has also created album artwork for other musicians, such as Laura VeirsBeat Circus, and Weezer.

Wildwood Chronicles 

The Wildwood Chronicles series, written by her husband, musician Colin Meloy, was a bestselling series for middle-grade readers. Ellis was inspired by illustrator Pauline Baynesof The Chronicles of Narnia as well as drawings in The Wind in the Willows when she created the Wildwood series.

In 2015, Ellis wrote and illustrated her first solo children’s book, Home, which explores different types of domiciles around the world, underwater, and in space.

In 2016, Ellis collaborated with Portland-based wallpaper studio, Juju Papers, on a wallpaper design titled Barn Owls and Hollyhocks. The design was inspired by Ellis’ move to a small barn outside of Portland



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