Thedra Cullar-Ledford, the only child of two struggling artists, was born in Abilene, Texas, later moved to Mexico City, and then to Eagle Pass, a dusty little noplace on the Texas/Mexico border. At just 16, she was emancipated in order to move to Dallas by herself to attend the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. From there, she received a full scholarship to California College of the Arts, where she met Stephen on the very first day. They were married by age 21. She received a BFA cum laude in painting and then attended the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University in the UK for a masters in printmaking and sculpture. The family moved 16 times in 20 years before settling in Houston to establish her practice and build Independence Art Studios, which provides studio spaces to other Houston artists. They have two sons (one grown, the other in high school), a dog, two cats, and six chickens.