Helen Norsigian Rowles was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, to first generation American parents of Armenian descent. Her Armenian cultural roots both shaped and influenced her childhood. Helen's mother was an artist who gave her children access to the arts at an early age. The magnificent St. Louis Art Museum was a frequent trip across the Mississippi River for the family. The first major exhibit Helen saw as a child was a retrospective showing of Van Gogh's paintings that has remained clear in her mind to this day.
Helen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University graduating in 1983. Through college she painted scenery for The Lyric Opera Theatre and participated in several group showings. Helen was awarded a Board of Regents scholarship based on her portfolio and after graduating, she worked as an interior designer, and as a freelance artist painting and drawing portraits, illustrations, and murals. Helen received her Masters Degree in Education in July of 2008 and currently enjoys teaching studio art classes to adults at the Mesa Arts Center.