Charmaine Ortiz was born and raised in North Carolina. In 2003 she attended the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, where she earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Painting and in Art History. She has participated in numerous group painting and drawing shows and has hosted a variety of art historical presentations at annual symposiums conducted by the North Carolina Association of Historians and Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to her graduate studies she assisted a local Wilmington illustrator and sculpting artist, Virgina Wright-Frierson, in building the Airlie Gardens Minnie Evans Bottle Chapel. Savannah College of Art and Design has recognized her creative passion by awarding her the Combined Honors Fellowship to facilitate her completion of dual graduate degrees in Art History (MA) and Painting (MFA).