Viola was born and raised in Beijing, China. She went to school at the printing factory where her father worked, and this is where her love of books started. She studied oil painting at university before moving to London to work as a graphic designer. She is a graduate of the Children's Book Illustration MA at the Cambridge School of Art and the winner of the Sebastian Walker Award. Viola has been selected for the Drawing Year 2021, a scholarship programme run by the Royal Drawing School, where she aims to explore the possibility of visual storytelling in the contemporary art context as a perfect complement to her picture book making.