Mariya was born by the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine and spent her childhood immersed in traditional folklore, Romantic literature and Soviet sci-fi. Self-taught in art from an early age, she also completed a degree in Biology Pre-Medicine at Baylor University, and upon graduating worked in medical device consulting.
In the fall of 2015 she began a career in freelance illustration, specializing in watercolor and trying to push the medium to its limits through constant experimentation. Since then Mariya has illustrated three picture books for clients, including the Child Welfare League of America, and she has undertaken projects for Reeves International and other businesses. Her hummingbird illustration was selected for the Austin ArtBoards billboard contest, and her original work has been featured in fantasy and wildlife art collections.