Istra Toner was born in 1947 in Montenegro in former Yugoslavia. Since 1968 she lives in the UK. She studied psychology and psychotherapy at Reading, and London Universities and worked at Cambridge, London, Chester, and Liverpool Universities. During this time she kept up with all forms of art. In 2003 she embarked on a degree course in Applied Art and Design, she graduated from Glyndwr University in Wales in 2008. She now runs community projects from her studio in Croatia.