Leah Berman’s creativity and love for the outdoors developed from an early age. She was born in Tallinn, Estonia right before the collapse of the former Soviet Union. At this time of socioeconomic strife; her mother sought out the American Dream and immigrated to Los Angeles, California in an effort to set up a new life for the family. Leah’s grandparents were instrumental in raising her before she permanently immigrated to join her mother in America at age seven. Her grandfather, a talented but unknown painter, took care to instill her with an early artistic education and fondness for nature. Leah’s most memorable moments of childhood are of drawing lessons after dinner, weekend outing trips by the Baltic sea, and long hikes through winter forests.
Art consistently interested Leah while she received a formal public education and culturally adjusted to city life in America. As a teenager she knew she wanted to study visual art at the university level, which was only solidified after her grandfather/mentor had unfortunately passed away in an unexpected accident. The choice to study various arts became an homage to his memory and thus after being accepted to University of California, Santa Cruz, she dual majored in Anthropology and Art, minoring in Education. Leah did not expect her new artistic skillset of landscape painting and abstract metal fabrication sculpture to impact her professional career path after graduation from UCSC in 2012.
Over time, she realized she still possessed an innate desire to express herself creatively and visually. Although she could not find the time, self-discipline, space, or financing for traditional painting or welding immediately after graduation from university, she slowly started taking photos on hiking trips with her phone. The same methodical deep calm that she experienced in art school studios was present as she photographed the outdoors and later taught herself how to edit photos in her spare time. At first only a hobby; photography allowed her to explore a different medium of artistic expression, one that she now knows is now her future. Now equipped with a DSLR camera, lenses, and a tripod; photography and videography are her new artistic outlets.
Leah Berman’s work focuses on exploring the natural environment and the beauty found in the subtle details of the world we often take for granted. Within her cinemagraphs, gifs and videos, she wishes to capture and share an infinite seamless looping moment. Her work is meant to inspire others to appreciate and acknowledge the outdoors in some way. Whether it be visiting a National or State Park or simply taking a walk outside; she believes nature can provide infinite healing, creativity, and transformation for all.
Presently, Leah seeks to continue her focus on supporting National Parks through her art. One of her aspirations in life is to create art that meaningfully encapsulates the Earth’s natural beauty and helps foster others’ education and appreciation to support advocacy for preservation. In the future, she hopes to include her abstract landscape paintings as part of her portfolio as well as her 3D digital creations.
In her free time, Leah enjoys hiking around the foothills of Los Angeles, going to local art shows, reading, and playing a variety of video games.
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