Carson Ellis was born in 1975 in Vancouver, Canada. She was raised in suburban New York and earned a BFA in Painting at the University of Montana, Missoula. She has worked previously as a nanny, a hot dog vendor, a chairlift operator, an artist’s model, and a cocktail waitress. These days she is solidly employed as an illustrator, providing art for bestselling books such as The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, and The Composer Is Dead, by Lemony Snicket. Additionally, she is the illustrator-in-residence for the band, The Decemberists, and has created art for their album covers, t-shirts, websites, posters, and stage sets. Carson lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, son, and cat.

Portland State University’s Art Department offers free public lectures every Monday night of the school year. The PSU MFA Monday Night Lecture Series is supported in part by PICA, Portland Center for Public Humanities, Wealth Underground Farm, Bear Deluxe Magazine, and Northwest Film Center. If you or your organization are interested in becoming a supporter of the lecture series please let us know.