Ellie Harrison was born in the London borough of Ealing in 1979, less than two months before Margaret Thatcher came into power. She attended Compton First School where she once hatched a plan to escape over the school wall by customising a miniature toy fruit machine into a rocket pack. She often had dreams about flying in those days. Once, when faced with the prospect of performing on stage in a recorder concert, she ate greenflies to make herself sick. It worked - the next day she felt rotten but her mum forced her to go through with the concert anyway. When she was twelve Ellie became a vegetarian.

Ellie went to Drayton Manor High school, where she aggravated nearly all the teachers with her obnoxious, sometimes show-offish behaviour. She was good at art and good at maths, but found that combining the two at A-Level led to timetabling difficulties. Ellie was not able to do French as she had hoped, and as a result speaks no languages other than English. She does however know the words for ‘thank you’ in French, Dutch, German, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Swahili.

After a GCSE in art, an A-Level in art, a BTEC Foundation Diploma in art and a first class BA(hons) degree in art, Ellie decided she was finally qualified enough to start calling herself ‘an artist’. She registered the domain name ellieharrison.com in 2000 and has been defining a practice and building up her career since then. Ellie became self-employed in 2004, and since then has often sited 'filing her Tax Return' as one of the most anticipated and satisfying moments of the annual calendar.