Creativity Spotlight: Interview with Painter and Restorative Artist, L. H. Carriveau

Today, painter, L.H. Carriveau stops by to talk about her creative process. Leah and I go way back, and we actually met in high school. She has always been a huge inspiration to me, and she’s an incredibly talented painter. She also works as an embalmer/restorative artist, and I love seeing how passionate she is about her work. I have really loved watching her grow as an artist over the years, and I’m so excited to have her talk creativity with me on the blog.

So, here you go, everyone! An interview with L.H. Carriveau.

What is your main form of creative expression?

Painting mainly oil on canvas, although I have recently become enamored with painting on rocks.

Do you work as an artist/creative full-time or do you have a different day job?

I paint in my spare time and am an embalmer/restorative artist full time.

For the most part, I have always gravitated toward creative job positions though.

I was fortunate enough to work in Los Angeles as a prop fabricator, set dresser, and work on costumes and wardrobe with Rebecca Sevrin. She was incredible and even let me stay in her workroom when I was briefly homeless. I’ve gotten to work with Britney Spears, KISS, Jenny McCarthy and done some things for tv and movies all through her. I even worked with a blacksmith in Burbank, California briefly.

How long have you been creating music/books/plays/films/etc.?

I really started putting effort into painting in 2009-2010. But I think with a lot of creatives you kind of always just did it naturally, I always was drawing as a kid, mostly trying to mimic my dad.

How do you handle the pressures of creativity being your job?

I don’t know if I handle the pressure as much as I’m forced to adapt to it. It’s survival…You just do, you know, there is a job to be done and you do it. I think there is more pressure being performance based at my job. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. With the last major restoration, I walked out of work and cried. It was around 8 hours of work that should have taken days. Unfortunately, time constraints come into play and you find ways to problem solve.

Do you engage in any additional creative hobbies? Are there any you’d like to try? 

I learned how to crochet a year ago! It was amazing! I also started doing some origami – nothing complicated. I would love to try and make stained glass panels. I have always felt drawn to the warmth and character of them. I played the violin and also bass guitar when I was younger. I would love to play piano. I have also always wanted to learn ballet. I’m all over the place.

Who are some other artists and creatives that inspire you to create?

Passionate people inspire me!

My father was the first artist that I ever looked up too. He can make anything, paint anything, it’s incredible.

More well-known artists that inspire me are : Elizabeth “bloodbath” McGrath, Greg Simkins, Coop, Mark Ryden, and Ed Roth. Really, the entire low brow pop surrealist movement was life-changing and inspiring for me.

As far as traditional artists go, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’ Keefe, Basquait, Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, and Picasso.

My husband, and a sweet old lady named Mary Goodwin that paints with me every other weekend.

Why do you create?

I started painting in Los Angeles because I was in a deep depression. I threw myself into it, it was therapy for me.

Now if I don’t paint, I miss it. That’s why rocks have been so satisfying. The tiny canvas is much more manageable and more of an instant gratification thing. Also, I like that people enjoy finding them around town. I like the fact that I can take a worthless rock that people pass by every day and put a classical “priceless” piece of art on it.

What advice do you have for other creatives?

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

The only way to grow is to push out of your comfort zone.

Try not to care when people hate your stuff. Lol. Art is so subjective. We live in this crazy time where anything is at our fingertips, but also everyone is seemingly an expert critic.

What are you working on right now?

A huge 50 x 60 painting of my dog and my husband. It’s very tonal and moody – mostly blues. Really different than anything I’ve ever done. It reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting – but modern day.

Where can people find you and your work?

I have an Instagram for my rocks

And for my personal page


Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Leah! Your advice for other creatives is so true. And I adore your rocks!!