Karlien De Villiers was born in Capetown. She studied graphic design at Stellenbosch University and completed her study in 1997. After that, she briefly worked at the Orange Juice Design studio, part of Ogilvy & Mather. After travelling abroad for a while, she moved from Capetown to Johannesburg and after that to Pretoria, where she worked as a freelance illustrator and completed a post-academic study at Pretoria University. In January 2006, she obtained a degree in Information Design (with credit).
The magazine Bitterkomix published her first comics. Her work also appeared in the magazine I-Jusi, published by Garth Walker, art director at Orange Juice Design. In April 2006, her first graphic novel 'My Mother was a Beautiful Woman' was published in German translation: 'Meine Mutter war eine Schöne Frau'. The book combines her childhood memories with scenes of Apartheid.