Born in Glasgow, Emilio Coia began studying at Glasgow School of Art aged 16 where one of his teachers recognised and encouraged Emilio's remarkable gift for caricature. He worked for the Sunday Chronicle as caricaturist and later on The Scotsman, a post which he held for twenty-five years, and also in advertising. He also produced work for the Scottish Field, and became art advisor to Scottish Television. Throughout that time he produced innumerable, brilliantly observed caricature drawings of the famous performers and personalities who appeared at the Edinburgh Festival. He was awarded an honorary degree by Strathclyde University and in 1995 received the Honorary Fringe First Award. He was three times elected President of the Glasgow Art Club.