Jo Kubran attended The Academy of Art University in San Francisco earning a BFA degree in Advertising/Graphic Design in 1980 along with The Best in Show award at the annual student exhibition. After graduating, she worked as a designer at various design firms and as an art director at a major advertising agency before launching her own graphic design business in San Francisco. She later accepted a position as a designer in retail advertising for a nationwide corporation. During these years she also studied photography, first at The Academy of Art University, and then under the tutelage of photographer Rod Dresser, former assistant to Ansel Adams. After moving to Tucson in 1995, she continues to pursue her love of photography under the guidance of photographer Ann Simmons-Myers.