Karah Leibovich is a fabulous watercolor artist based out of Oakland, CA. She’s a pro at creating whimsical watercolors of botanicals and landscapes, and loves catering to city-dwellers who want to connect with nature in their own homes.

For this artist’s Accelerator package (creative headshots + visual branding session), we wanted to show off Karah’s home painting space in her cozy Oakland apartment. She typically paints with natural light pouring in through the open windows, surrounded by succulents and cacti, the chicory smell of fresh-brewed coffee wafting through the room. So we simply recreated a typical painting day for the shoot, minimal re-arranging required.

I’ve been friends with Karah since we were 14, and it’s been such a joy to watch her grow as an artist over the years. Even as a freshmen in high school, Karah would create the most beautifully decorated notes for her friends and fold them into intricate, delicate shapes. Each letter she passed me in Western Civ felt like a unique treasure made just for me.

Karah continues to spread her love through her unique vision, making each recipient of her work feel special and joyful. She played a big role in my decision to pursue my passion for painting, and I continue to be inspired by this beautiful artist and friend.

To learn more about Karah’s inspiration, read my Q&A with this artist below! And be sure to follow her on Instagram.

1. Tell me about you and your beautiful art! What is the inspiration behind your watercolors? What do you hope your customers feel when they display your work in their homes?

There is something very hopeful to me about painting and drawing. I love the way that it can be used in various ways to express the artist’s story or perspective.

In spite of the challenges I have faced as a woman living in a city far from where I grew up, I feel a sense of being at home when I paint which has allowed me to face things I am afraid of and feel safe. I really revere the home because it is an extension of the self.

Another benefit to me is how art connects me to my family. My mother and sisters are interior designers and visual artists, so it’s fun for us to talk about our work and share our visions and insights.

My goal as an artist is to create a safe space on a page. My hope for my art is that it can bring light to the spaces that need it and be a point of connection for those who view it.

2. What was your motivation or vision behind this photo shoot? What did you want to communicate with your pictures?

I wanted to create an online space which could be another extension of my own physical home but then felt pulled back to school and have been busy being a student, so haven’t used them in that way yet.

3. What did you feel when you first saw the photos?

I felt a lot of joy when I first saw the photos because they are like a diary of our creative play. I love spending time with Courtney and she put me at such ease, which I think you can see when you look through them. As an artist you can really see the technical skill and craftsmanship, crafts-womanship that Courtney brings; that is why she is the only one I would hire to shoot my wedding (and did back in 2015!)

4. What was it like to work with me? Feel free to write anything about the preparation process and the shoot itself!

Haha, what is it like? Well, it’s super laid-back, casual, I think there was tea at some point…? Courtney brings so much energy to her work that I felt like I could follow her lead. I think I also made a couple of requests for set-up and was delighted that she let me be a picky artist and agreed to try new things.

5. How have you used the photos I created for you (or how do you plan to use them?) In what ways have they helped your business (or in what ways do you hope they’ll help your business?)

I’m excited to launch a blog and a business with these photos. Even though I’m in school now and not using them just yet for marketing, they are a good reminder of my hopes.

6. What is next for you as an artist?

I am inspired by so much of the fantastic art I see in the Bay Area. I plan to visit a few local exhibitions such as the upcoming show at The Long Weekend Store and at the SF MOMA and hope to get connected with other artists in my neighborhood as a way to build friendships with other artists.

Are you an artist, musician, or maker looking for photos to show off your unique point of view? I’d love to collaborate with you to help you visually communicate your brand! Check out my professional services for creatives and give me a a shout! I’d love to help you flaunt your work and elevate your brand!

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