The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Maricela Aviña was born on September 5, 1981 in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in the southeast part of Los Angeles county in the city of Bell, and it was there that Maricela began her career as an artist. From a very early age, it was apparent that she was unusually creative and had a talent for drawing. At the age of eleven she became a published artist when she submitted a drawing to Teen Beat Magazine which was selected for publication by the magazine’s editors. It became evident then that she had a gift and she developed her gift as the years went on. Her skills were self-taught, and through sheer determination and passion for her work, she continued to hone her craft. Her drawings and sketches gradually became more elaborate and realistic, but it wasn’t until she entered Cerritos College in Norwalk, California that she received any formal training. When she did, her art developed a more sophisticated dimension and she began to branch out into photography and sculpture. She began to vary her subject matter and themes as well. As she continued to draw and paint portraits, she also began to incorporate surrealism into her art and experiment with more abstract themes. The excellence of her work gained her admission to the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California. Her time at Otis was a period of tremendous growth. She became highly skilled at painting and working with different media, and she began to apply her knowledge of art history and theory into her work. While at Otis, she learned to delve into her psyche and found inspiration in matters of death, disease, and decay. This, along with her interest in traditional Mexican motifs, burlesque, and retro imagery, helped her create her own unique hybrid of self-expression.