Chelsea Gustafsson grew up in a small community in Victoria in Australia. Although she didn't consider herself to be a good student, she moved to Melbourne in 1994 to study painting. She wished to learn traditional techniques and wanted her work to be figurative. Gustafsson has since found a unique style that frequently features an empty expanse for the background that makes the dominance of negative space just as important as the painting's subject. Her work is often based around the theme of society and the environment.