Olivia De Berardinis was born in California in 1948 but spent most of her childhood on the East Coast. Her father, Sante De Berardinis, was a freelance aeronautical engineer, and his work kept Olivia's family constantly on the move. Being the only child, Olivia lived in an adult world where she spent much of her time drawing. Olivia's playful, flirtatious mother, Connie, served as her favorite model and muse.
In 1967 she attended the New York School of Visual Arts. Over the next few years she took odd jobs to pay the rent but continued to paint and began to show her work, primarily minimalist oils on canvas. By 1974 financial pressures induced Olivia to seek out commercial art work, and so she returned to the skills she had gained as a child, painting beautiful women for periodicals and paperback publishers. In a short time Olivia secured regular work painting erotic fantasies for men's magazines.
In 1975 Olivia met Joel Beren and they were married four years later. Living on Manhattan's Upper West Side they developed a small publishing business, O Cards, primarily printing Olivia's work as greeting cards. They created another company, Ozone Productions, Ltd. to license Olivia's artwork.