The son of a Minnesota art professor, TyRuben spent his childhood in his father’s studio, engaged in drawing, painting and constructing cardboard “machines”. While completing his Master’s degree at St. Cloud State University, Ellingson taught drawing and design courses at the university and exhibited his paintings in regional and national shows, receiving recognition and awards. His Master of Fine Arts degree was completed in 1987 at Southern Methodist University.
Combining his fine art successes with a life long interest in film, Ellingson landed a position at George Lucas’ Industrial, Light and Magic in 1989 as a Visual Effects Art Director. While at ILM, Ellingson contributed to the creation of ground-breaking special effects in films such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Disclosure.
In 1995, Ellingson accepted an invitation by Director Guillermo Del Toro to act as principal designer of the signature creature for Mimic. He also designed for Del Toro on Blade 2 and the Hellboy films.
In 2006, Ellingson joined the team at Lightstorm to work as lead vehicle designer for Director James Cameron’s science-fiction epic, Avatar.
Other films to which he has lent his creative talents include Blade Trinity, Signs, Eagle Eye, Surrogates, Priest (2011) and Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
TyRuben Ellingson was a Visiting Artist in the Dept. of Communication Arts in 2013.