He was strongly influenced by the early "pretty girl" illustrators, such as Charles Dana Gibson, Andrew Loomis, and Howard Chandler Christy. Other influences included the Brandywine School founded by Howard Pyle
Gillette A. Elvgren was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended University High School. After graduation he began studying art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He subsequently moved to Chicago to study at the American Academy of Art. He graduated from the Academy during the depression at the age of twenty-two. Elvgren joined the stable of artists at Stevens and Gross, Chicago's most prestigious advertising agency. He became a protégé of the talented artist, Haddon Sundblom.
Elvgren was a commercial success. He lived in various locations, and was active from the 1930s to 1970s. In 1951 he began painting in a studio in his home, then in Winnetka, Illinois, using an assistant to set up lighting, build props and scenes, photograph sets, and prepare his paints. His clients ranged from Brown and Bigelow and Coca-Cola to General Electric and Sealy Mattress Company. In addition, during the 1940s and 1950s he illustrated stories for a host of magazines, such as The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping. Among the models Elvgren painted were Myrna Hansen, Donna Reed, Barbara Hale, Arlene Dahl, and Kim Novak.Wikipedia