Valerie McLean was born and raised in Upstate New York in the United States. She had private tuition in drawing and painting all through her school years. After receiving a scholarship, she continued her education from the College of Ceramics at the School of Art and Design Alfred University in New York. There she acquired her Bachelors of Fine Art majoring in Painting and Drawing. After graduating, she was commissioned for murals and illustrations for the zoo and restaurants in the local area. She traveled and worked in the United Kingdom where she met her Australian husband. After living in New York for two years, they moved to Australia and Valerie fell into a job in advertising and signage.
Although Valerie has a strong base in painting and drawing, she enjoys working with many materials. She incorporates the knowledge gained using many different techniques from her time in the signage industry. Currently, she is working on linocut prints and cut metal wall hangings.