Viktoria "Vika" Shin has been painting since childhood in southern Russia near the Caucasus Mountains. This lately troubled region was a calm and majestic setting until the late 1980's. Shin had begun a lifetime of natural study before taking up residence in St. Petersburg near the Academy of Arts. She completed course work in 1997 with honours.

Vika is married to Igor Nikitin, an evangelical pastor in St. Petersburg. They have two children.