Interview with LA-based Photographer Carina Liebmann

We spoke with artist Carina Liebmann, New York native, current LA resident, and our August 2017 Artist of the Month. When Carina is not being a jack-of-all-trades at the current beauty company she works for, she is off creating stunning visual pieces that are sure to catch anyone’s eye. Read on to learn more about Carina’s work and her aspirations below!

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Who are you and what do you do?

Carina Liebmann: Hi! I’m Carina Liebmann and I grew up outside of New York City. I am a graphic designer at a beauty product company in Los Angeles. I work on packaging design, web content, marketing strategy, social media marketing. In my free time, I take photos often with the help of my art director boyfriend. I started taking photos because I wanted an excuse to learn to retouch. I love balancing marketing with creativity at work.

What’s your background?

Carina Liebmann: My dad is a Ph.D. carrying computer engineer and my mom is a fine artist who studied art restoration in Italy. I grew up with equal parts computer programs and art supplies.

By 11 I was editing my shaky home videos with bad cuts, confusing soundtracks, and random animation overlays. In high school, I took graphic design and fine art classes. I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for their Advertising/Art Direction program. After college, I worked as a junior art director at an ad agency in San Diego. Eventually, I moved to Los Angeles where I became an in-house designer at a beauty product company.

I love being an in-house designer because it allows me to really immerse myself and have my ideas heard. If I am passionate about an idea and present it with research, my company supports me in executing it.

Who are your favorite artists?

Carina Liebmann: Salvador Dali was the first artist I got into as a kid. Now I usually look at photographers. I love Miles Aldridge, David LaChapelle, Helmut Newton, and Mario Testino.

What kind of message do you want to send to your audience?

Carina Liebmann: With my personal work I get the most enjoyment out of making uncomfortable things visually pleasing. I like when someone wants to hate one of my photos, but can’t. Pretty is just pretty and nice to look at. Pretty but uncomfortable lets you learn something about yourself. Also, I think my interest in brand positioning and marketing plays a role. If I can make what should be ugly into something pretty, and you to like it, that’s fun for me.

What is your most important tool as an artist? is there something you can’t live without?

Carina Liebmann: Photoshop. I was 13 when I was first introduced to Photoshop and I literally started tearing up from excitement. I still use Photoshop daily and I love it.

Where is your favorite place to create?

Carina Liebmann: At home, which is currently a tiny studio apartment I share with my boyfriend. Good thing we get along. I am a major homebody.

What are your artistic pet peeves?

Carina Liebmann: Every time I thought I had a good answer for this I started feeling so hypocritical! I guess an appropriate cop-out answer would be overthinking things.

How long have you been pursuing your art?

Carina Liebmann: My entire life. In my diaper-wearing-years, my mom would spread out giant sheets of paper on the kitchen floor and let me finger paint. Usually, I would end up covered in paint. That was the start.

What are your short term and long terms goals?

Carina Liebmann: Short term, I want to develop more skills in UX and web development. However, long term I am pretty boring; it’d be nice to have a family, have a decent home, have time to do some personal projects, and have a stable way to afford that life. The skills expected of a designer are constantly changing and growing. I try to stay open to the path my career could take. I want to learn new skills as they become more relevant.

To view more of Carina’s work, check out her website to keep up to date with her work!