Derek Ellis obtained a Bachelors of Science in Performance Studies from Northwestern University in Chicago. Through exploring anthropological aspects of performance in human nature, as well as many other unique types of performance, he was able to incorporate and expound upon his strong and graphic visual sensibility.  His interest in the visual image have led him on a journey in which to hone his abilities, such as being an art framer, an artist, a gallery curator, and even still a sometime-actor.

For the last ten years he has been a successful prop and still life stylist, and continues to strive toward his atheistic of finding the drama and unexpected in the simplest of objects.