Janina Tukarski Ellis was born in Seattle, WA in 1981. While still an infant, her family moved to Munich, where they resided for the next 14 years. She grew up attending both American and German schools. Ellis began her painting career as a self-taught artist, but in 2009 took a pause from active painting and returned to Germany to study classical painting and drawing at Akthof, a private art school in Munich. Ellis now focuses on figurative work in her studio in Greenville, SC.