Mary Qian went to Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Where she earned her BFA in Fine Arts and Illustration, August 1998. Originally from Shanghai, China, Mary went through the traditional Chinese educational system focusing on the sciences while studying Chinese painting and calligraphy on her own. Before coming to the US, she admired the ancient Chinese painters but found her true voice for painting when she discovered the western artists. It was the realism of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Repin -her particular favorites- that she found to be the artistic style that she had been looking for.