Dan Zhang spent his childhood in the mountainous northwestern Chinese city of Urumqi, where he studied poetry and calligraphy. He began practice of the visual arts and piano during his teenage years in Richmond, among the sights of the Chesapeake Bay and Shenandoah Valley. He has lived in San Diego, California since 2001, and currently works as a piano teacher and writing instructor while continuing his independent study of the visual arts and completing his first novel. He graduated from UC Irvine in 2010 with degrees in Economics and Philosophy, and then from Antioch University in 2012 with a Master in Creative Writing.
Dan Zhang worked as the assistant illustrator for King's Favor, his first game proejct.