An only child, born in a well-off family, she grows up surrounded by the love of her grandmother and her aunts. It is her close relationship with one of them that first brings her into contact with art. Her aunt is an art teacher and recognizes a promising talent in Irina, still sixteen.
In 1987 Irina graduates at the University of Moscow in Economics, temporarily putting aside her painting. In 1992 she moves to Rome working as an interpreter and approaches Italian art for the first time. In 2000 she starts to work digitally using photography and graphics. In 2004 she moves back and forth between Italy and Russia: in Moscow, thanks to her godmother who manages a cultural centre open to all artists wanting to share and experiment, Irina Katchanova understands she has a gift for art. Attending Russian cultural clubs she meets Michail Kolymbegov, the master that teaches her the en plein air technique. Irina is fascinated and influenced most of all by the impressionist and post-impressionist artists, because as she says: «I can freeze in a precise instant the mood that I want to make last forever».She is also influenced by the Muscovite artist Anatoly Zverev (1931-1986, Master at the Russian State Social University in Moscow), founder of Russian Expressionism: «Can I immortalize you?» was his distinguishing question when asking for a piece of bread and a bottle of wine in exchange for a portrait. Irina Katchanova learns a lot from the Russian Master, expressing the personality and soul of the subject through the overlapping of oils and distinctive choice of tones. In 2009 in Montecarlo she collaborates with the hyperrealist painter Alberto Adonai and thanks to this cooperation she experiments new techniques. In 2011 she moves to Como where she currently lives.