About Carrie, Spark Studio's Founder
I’m Carrie Leeb, an artist/designer/teacher/entrepreneur/Bay Area native, and I love making things. I feel most alive when I’m creating, and I want to impart this same passion for exploring, experimenting, and making to as many people as I can (like you!). Spark Studio’s a place where this happens. It’s a bright and comfortable space where people - adults and kids - discover, learn, create, meet other makers, and have lots of fun doing it!
As a teacher and a mentor, I’ve inspired and encouraged many adults and kids to tap into their creative side and experience the joy that goes along with creating. I believe the essence of making is learning to trust the unique inner voice that’s in each of us, combined with a lot of experimentation and play. I’m skilled at bringing out creativity, and I love nothing more than hearing people say, “I didn’t think I was creative, but I had so much fun making this!” That’s what it’s all about. Connecting creatively to ourselves is energizing - no wonder it’s fun! For kids, this isn’t as much of an issue. They’re mostly free of self-judgement and get right to making. I love encouraging them to go with whatever ideas they have because I believe this strengthens intuition - the basis for finding each of our voices and trusting ourselves - the heart of creating and engendering self-esteem. Spark Studio is a place where people of all ages are free to express themselves creatively. It’s a place to discover the masterpiece that each of us is.
And now...a little about my background. I’ve had a three different careers, all of which have involved creativity (actually four – parenting is super creative, too!). First I was an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator for 10 years. Initially I worked in New York, then I moved back to San Francisco in 1991, and headed up my own firm, Leeb & Sons. In 1995, I took a year sabbatical in Paris where I studied experimental photography, learned French, and decided I wanted to be a fine artist. As a mostly self-taught painter and sculptor, I worked in San Francisco, but also spent time practicing my art (and Spanish!) in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was represented for years by galleries in Santa Monica and New York, and showed and sold work nationally and internationally. In 2013, inspired by my love of nature, I invented and designed a product, ReTree. ReTrees are modern, reusable wood holiday trees that sell at SFMOMA, several upscale boutiques and online. Please go to www.carrieleebstudio.com to have a look at my design, illustration, photography, fine art and ReTree. After single-handedly running ReTree for five years, I decided to sell the company so I could get back to my passions - teaching and making art - and Spark Studio was born!
As a maker...I like making anything and everything, and love teaching what I know. I love building things. I’ve made furniture by bronze casting, welding and wood working. I’ve made sculptures with cast glass, wood, ceramics, lint, silk flowers, found objects, and I continue to experiment with new materials. I love to paint and draw, and because of my curiosity and love of exploring, I’ve taught myself several techniques using all kinds of media. I continue to love photography and have an active practice of taking pictures. I’ve done extensive print-making (block printing, screen printing, etching, lithography). And I love doing crafts – needle felting, wood burning, embroidery, wet felting, knitting, etc…and I’m always open to learning more!
I do interior design, as well. To see an article in The San Francisco Chronicle about me and my home I renovated, click here.