Inspiration: A Life Born of Necessity

Ellis Lund is not your typical digital media guy. He has an edge unlike any in this profession that allows him a keen insight on how his client’s artistic vision can be realized. What is it that gives him this edge? Twenty-six years in prison doing tattoo work with makeshift tattoo guns, drawing portraits and patterns, as well as other images on everything from tumblers to cut bed sheets to make canvas.

Some of Ellis’ art


At the age of 18 he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after a heated confrontation turned deadly. Eleven months later he was sentenced to 16 years to life. Thereafter, he entered the California prison system eager to prove himself as any kid his age would. Though, instead of going the usual route, that is, the violent route, he immersed himself and his talent as an artist and dreamed of the day he would be free again to start his own media company. All hope was not lost.

Ellis in prison

After years in the system, something happened. Enveloped within the prison walls, Ellis began to mature. He signed up for numerous prison self-help courses and a college program and elected to study Fine Arts and Humanities (where he would earn his AA degree with Honors). He further navigated the struggles of addiction by surrounding himself with other prisoners who recognized the value in sobriety. Moreover, he became a Team Coordinator in the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) which deals with anger management, self-governance, and community building.

Going from prison yards to a university campus is quite the contrast of a life once lived; however, the brightness of his future blinds all doubts from his view.

Before he realized it, he was walking and talking differently. After overcoming many hardships, he was a new man, a man of hope and possibilities. This attitude would eventually lead to him obtaining his freedom in February 2020 after the parole board granted him parole. It was now time to stop dreaming and put his decades of preparation to work.

Meet Ellis today


Out of adversity comes opportunity, and the challenge of shaking the prison culture would greet him at the front door of change. He had made a promise to his mother prior to her death—and to himself, now it was time for him to cash in on that promise. This now 44-year-old parolee would enroll in the Project Rebound Program at California State University, Bakersfield, where his commitment remains steadfast to earn a degree in Communications and Digital Media so as to position himself in ways that will advance his life in a positive and productive manner.

Going from prison yards to a university campus is quite the contrast of a life once lived; however, the brightness of his future blinds all doubts from his view.

Determined to fulfill his dream, today Ellis is a proud owner of Ellistrated Media, an embryonic digital media design company.

Ellistrated Media

True to himself and others, he has not forgotten those long years and decades in prison. Recently, he extended an olive branch to our founder Ivan Kilgore, who is incarcerated, to assist with the logo design for the organization’s subsidiary Zo Media Productions.

Let’s give a shout out to Ellis and Ellistrated Media and let us do one bigger and help him build this dream by contributing to his GoFundMe today.

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