Caroline Lizarraga

Innovative Decorative Painter Embracing Old World Techniques

An artist as glamourous as the work she creates her passion for life brings a rich depth to her work. Wanderlust from her early training in Florence to her project in Puglia for her family (her husband is from the region), and trips to Paris Fashion Week all keep her curious mind inspired and ready to collaborate with a long list of renowned interior designers.

CH: Did you grow up in a creative environment? When did you first see a spark of your creative self?

CL: I grew up with parents that saw immediately that I was headed down a creative road in life. I would sit for hours alone in my room, doing all kinds of art projects. I think when I beaded my father a lampshade for his birthday when I was 5, his dreams of me being a lawyer or doctor were put to rest. They always supported all kinds of wild ideas I would come up with.

To be honest, I have never seen another path for me. What I do is my complete passion in life. I wake up everyday feeling so grateful and lucky that this is my job in life. I don’t know another way.

CH: What restaurant projects have you worked on, and are you currently working on?

CL: So restaurants are a huge passion of mine. I love working with the chefs, who are also artists themselves. We help to translate the story of their food to the walls and decor of the space. We have have been very lucky to work with some amazing chefs and restaurants. We have done Robin (SF), Nightbird (SF), Tosca (I restored the entire space), The Black Cat (jazz club in SF), Pearl 6101(SF), August 1 Five (SF), The Riddler (in New York and SF), Bottega (Yountville), Coqueta in Yountville and SF, Alba Ray’s (SF), A16 in Oakland and SF.

We are currently working with Melissa Perello from Frances and Octavia in San Francisco who is doing a beautiful restaurant in Los Angeles, called M Georgina. In San Francisco, we are working on the new restaurant Dear Inga with The Nopa/Liholiho Group.

We just finished The Taub Family Outpost Restaurant designed by Studio Becky Carter opening soon in Sonoma.

And finally, we are working with my dear friend Shelley Lindgren on her A16 restaurant.

All very exciting!!

CH: Are you working on any projects out of the Bay Area?

CL: I am constantly on the road painting all over the country, and sometimes the world. Right now we have many projects in New York, Washington DC, Detroit, Nashville, Los Angeles, Montana, Austin, Santa Barbara and I am working on a personal project in Puglia Italy where my husband is from.

CH: Have you worked on any retail environments?

CL: My best friend is in fashion and has a beautiful store in San Francisco on Sacramento Street called Betty Lin. I often accompany her to Paris fashion week, and she lets me take my inspiration from there to her walls, floors, and canvases in her store. We have done the whole store for her, and we constantly change it, as fashion is persistently changing. It keeps her clients continuously wondering what we will do next.

We also every year partner with A16 to create a pop up for Fog Fair, the art show in San Francisco. We need to have the room ready within hours, so it is a fun, intense way of producing a highly impactful space

CH: Where do you find inspiration?

CL: Honestly, I am in a constant state of being inspired. It is everywhere you look. First of all, I am surrounded by so many creative women in my life who supply me with so many ideas. Fashion is also a huge influence on my work. I love looking at the color and collections, even from the past. My favorites are Dries Van Noten, McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent.

I also have the most incredible clients who constantly push me to exert the boundaries for them and their projects. They inspire originality and imagination. Lastly, travel and nature. I love getting lost in cities, looking at architecture, landscape, all of it. I learn so much from seeing the world. And those experiences end up on many of my walls.

CH: What is your favorite quote:

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away" Pablo Picasso.

Caroline Lizarraga
Instagram: caroline_lizarraga