Growing up in Bulgaria in the 80s in a family of book lovers, Bistra was immersed in the aesthetic of Eastern European books from an early age. She often copied her favourite illustrations, which fostered a love of drawing and illustration in particular. Bistra followed this passion to the Bulgarian Academy of Arts, where she studied the intricacies of book design, typography and illustration under the strict guidance of some of her childhood heroes. Alongside her illustration work, Bistra is also a keen calligrapher. She now lives in Brighton, UK.