Being a first generation American Chinese, Mamie Joe Rayburn was originally encouraged to be an artist by her grandfather who was an artist himself. Her parents, however, wanted her to be involved in a more lucrative field such as science or medicine. But, Mamie really had no interest in anything except art. Even when she was very young, she would sit for hours while minding her parents’ small grocery store and sketch. By the time she had finished her senior year in high school, she knew she would never be happy with herself unless she prepared herself for a future in art.