CSUEB Electronic Art Seniors share their thoughts!

Artist Inspiration: Carson Ellis

I find a lot of inspiration in books, both in their stories as well as in their art and design. Children’s book are especially creative and full of beautiful imagery. I have a collection of such books that I like to flip through when I’m looking to get inspired.

A few years back Colin Meloy, the singer of the band The Decemberists, wrote a series of children’s books. Being a fan of his music I ordered his first novel, Wildwood. I loved the cover art. I researched the artist to find that it was done by his wife, Carson Ellis. I learned that she had also designed many of the bands CD art, promotional posters, and merchandise.  She quickly became one of my favorite artists and I’ve found great inspiration in her technique, style, and ability to tell stories through her images.




Her illustrations are imaginative, often involving animals and nature. I really enjoy her muted color palette and beautiful flourishes. I’ve read interviews where she has stated that she has limited knowledge of computer programs and prefers to do her work the old-fashioned way, by hand. This gives her work an organic and genuine feel. In addition to illustrating the Wildwood series she illustrated The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snickets and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, among others.  

In 2015 she wrote and illustrated her own book called Home, featuring outstanding painted images of the various types of homes in which people live.  



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She has a great collection of her work on her website which you can view here.




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