The electric and radiant Courtney Leinfelder is our #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY this week! Courtney is undeniably awesome. She has a rawness and realness about her that so beautifully shines through her work as a visual artist and graphic designer. What we admire most about Courtney is her edgy personality and unique style. A humble girl at heart, she has found genuine happiness in simply waking up each day and doing what she loves most… it truly doesn’t get any more inspiring than that!

As an artist, Courtney has curated a large body of work that includes a collection of murals, illustrations, concert posters and agency work. While working at Secretly Group, she’s had the opportunity to work on projects for various artists including Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans and Jagjaguwar. Additionally, while working as a Graphic Designer at Rock Candy, Courtney collaborated with numerous clients including Networth Reality, Oldcastle Materials, Stagespot, Herdacity, Airco, New Creations, Zippivet, Austin Urology Institute and more. This incredible woman has also been featured in Tribeza: Austin Curated and Studio 512: Austin’s Entertainment and Lifestyle Show. To find out more about Courtney and to take a closer look at her work, check out her website or visit her Instagram page @courtneyleinf.

If you’re looking for a woman who embodies the essence of a YGTGirl, look no further than Courtney. This is a chick who knows who she is, appreciates the blessings she has been given and says “Thank you!” to the challenges that life may throw at her. Most importantly, she recognizes that she would not be where she is without all of the amazing women in her life. She gives her adoring tribe of family and friends endless credit and thanks for encouraging and lifting her up. A special shout-out goes to her sister, Megan, who is the reason she got into art as a kid and her mom, Suzy Q, who is the most supportive and loving woman she has ever known. Thank you Courtney for reminding us how powerful it is just to be who we are!

Written by Alessia Rotino

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

What do you love most about being an artist? How have your creative talents helped you in discovering more about the woman you are today?

I love having an outlet for my emotions, whether it’s anger, sadness, or that peak feeling of contentment. I enjoy keeping my art lighthearted and fun but every now and then, creating an emotional and personal piece is such a fulfilling experience for me. I think that has a lot to do with my growth as a woman. Being willing to share as well as articulate my opinions and what I’m feeling. I’ve never been great at that, but art allows me to communicate in a way that I’m comfortable and familiar with.

What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced pursuing a creative career? What did overcoming challenges teach you about yourself?

Finding both the determination and positive mindset to keep going can be challenging. It was really hard starting out, and I feel like I’m very much still in my beginning stages. There’s a lot of self-doubt and uncertainty that I face. It gets challenging when everyone around you has steady paychecks and work lined up, but gah I really do wake up every morning excited to sit in my studio and “work”. It all comes down to the fact that what I do makes me incredibly happy, and I’ve learned that that in itself is all that really matters.

What does female empowerment mean to you? What changes do you hope to see for women in the future?

Oh it means everything. I hope we keep talking and sharing and loving and learning. My girlfriends have gotten me through everything, mom and sister included. It’s so important to talk about stuff. I think we’ve made a lot of progress in bringing to light what women face externally in this world. I hope to keep building on that as well as continue communicating about what we face internally. My brain has taken me through some shit that has made me feel so alone but the moment I share it with another woman I’m not alone anymore. It is SO powerful and I want to encourage women to talk about what’s going on inside their heads, even when it doesn’t make sense.

What does self-love mean to you? Tell us how you cultivate self-love on the day-to-day.

I lived a long time with no self-love and a lot of self-destruction. The difference between then and now is insane and I’m thankful for the perspective. It’s so fucking important. It really is though. You have to connect those wires in your head before you can really start enjoying life and those around you. I totally still have god awful days but setting aside time to appreciate myself will always keep things shooting in a positive direction. I like to set outside projects aside and draw or paint something that’s just for me. Walking instead of driving, eating cookies, and taking baths. Those are a few things that always help me out.

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?

YGTG is everything. A community of women! That support each other! That lifts each other up! That says hell yes instead of no! You got this girl is a powerful statement, saying it out loud just gave me chills, lol. I don’t even know what I got but I feel like I got this. Yeah, that’s powerful.