Carlea developed an interest in art from an early age. As her family would say, she was born with a pencil in her hand. Due to her shy nature as a child, she had difficulty communicating with others solely through words, so art became her form of communication with the outside world. It existed as a way to openly express her feelings, emotions and beliefs, since images could cross over so many linguistic and cultural barriers.
Born and raised in California, Carlea went on to receive her B.A. in art studio from the University of California, Davis. Currently, her focus is combining art with social justice and community building.