Narina Sokolova was born in 1971 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in the former Soviet Union. She began her art education at an early age at the Vasiliev Art School in the Crimea, where her family relocated. In 1987 she returned to her native Leningrad for advanced studies in classical drawing and painting at the junior program at the Academy of Art of Repin, followed by extensive private training. She then enrolled in the Muhina School of Arts with a major in production design. Her father, Emil Sarkisyan, was a noted Soviet dissident. He was sent to the Siberian GULAG as punishment for his anti-Communist activities and for his association with Dr. Andrei Sakharov. He was later allowed entry to the United States with Narina joining him in 1991. In the United States, Narina continued to paint in the classical tradition and spent several years painting replicas of Old Masters and teaching fine art. She became interested in film and digital painting and has created a successful career as a production artist / painter in the animation industry on prime-time animated series and on features for Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Disney, the Cartoon Network, and Warner Brothers Studios. In 2007, she was honored with a prime-time Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation.