UVD: Would you mind telling us a little background about yourself?
April:I grew up in L.A. County on a block that was all family. French and Scottish decent, my Great Grandmother had us all meet for tea every afternoon. After that all the kids would just roam the block from house to house getting into whatever trouble we could find. Most often we’d end up doing some sort of craft or painting in my Grandfathers garage. Those artistic roots have held tight to my brothers, cousins and I. When I got older I would often help my Mom with her art shows and that is where and when I learned to paint. Only about 8 years ago did I start doing art for more than just a hobby.
UVD: What attracted you to the world of designer toys and what made you start customizing?
April: Well about 7 years ago after a few years of painting murals for friends and local Elementary Schools my boyfriend and I saw some custom mighty muggs and a friend of ours suggested we try customizing some. Of course my love for all things “Wonder Woman” drove me to do that one first and when we got good feedback on her I was hooked. After a couple of years customizing over 250 mighty muggs I started painting munnys and dunnys. About a year ago things really picked up for me and the orders have been very steady and keeping me busy. Still I paint because I truly love it. I am grateful for the friendships that I made through mighty muggs… BALD… Fuller and Joe (F1SH) those days and the fun we had will always be remembered.
UVD: Are there any artists that inspire you and your work?
April: When I first started painting the KR figures about 5 years ago I also started going to some of the shows. Seeing everyone’s work at those shows was so inspiring. There are really so many people that inspire me with their art and kindness. Scribe and his wife Alisa have always been so very kind and their work has always inspired me. As of late I’ve been in awe of the work by… Mike Fudge, ValleyDweller, Stuart Harris (The pumpkin tide), 64 colors, Josh Pierece and Daniel Fleres. Truly though there are so many artists that inspire me it would be too many to mention them all.
UVD: Over the past year you have done a lot of collaboration pieces with many different artists. Do you find that process to be more challenging than working on a piece of your own or does it help you with the creative process?
April:I have done a few now and love it. Im able to really use my imagination with the collabs and working on something that isn’t just me… it pushes me to try new things. I love designing my own pieces but the collabs are so enjoyable as they are someone else’s imagination joining with mine. It has also given me the chance to get to know the artists better and becoming friends… for me that is the best reward that has come from them. Thank you JFury, Gerrick Myers, Tasha Zimich, Malo_One, and Blazonbrikhaus… you all inspire me and Im glad to have you as friends.
UVD: Besides making custom toys what are some of your other hobbies?
April: Im a nerd… haha I collect Wonder Woman stuff….. I have always loved her character and look forward to finding new pieces add to my collection. I also love archery… I took a course on it long ago and miss it. I hope to get back into it again in the near future. Other than that I grew up camping and riding quads… although I don’t get to do either as often as I’d like to. Honestly… Painting consumes most of my free time.
UVD: You held your first signing/sketching secession at the past SDCC. What was that experience like? It must have been exciting to hold that at one of our scene’s largest stage!
April: I was BEYOND nervous!! I was so happy to be asked by Dragatomi to sign at their booth but I’ve never been much of a sketch artist so signing black books made me stress a bit… so I did my best and focused on those around me (JoAnne, Ray, Dril-One, Malo_One and Jay222) enjoyed their company and just being there!
UVD: Is there any figure/Platform you have never customized that you would like to?
April: hmmmm…. I really love lunartik’s tea cup and have recently bought a couple to customize. It’s been one of those figures I keep saying I want to do but just haven’t yet…. I stress Yet…. I will do one very soon. Also my most sought after piece to customize is Daniel Fleres’ Swanicorn… I ABSOLUTELY love that figure and hope to paint one someday!!
UVD: Do you prefer to work with your own original characters or mainstream characters? Or do they each have their own set of challenges?
April: Both have their challenges. When I customized Mighty Muggs I rarely did one that wasn’t a mainstream character… now I think I enjoy creating my own designs more. I do take the occasional mainstream character order but I am more picky now which I will do… If I don’t enjoy painting the figure it’ll take forever to get done.
UVD: Do you have a personal favorite piece that you have done? Or is this like asking you to pick a favorite child?
April: There are a couple of pieces that have been harder to mail off than others.. but I do sort of have a hard time seeing them all go.
UVD: I realize that I have asked specifically about some of your designs, are there some that I did not ask about that you wish to take a moment to talk about?
April: Not really about designs but instead I’d really like to mention that this past year there have been many artists that I look up to that have been kind enough to do trades with me. I have a few trades lined up as well and really look forward to them. It means so much to me that so many artists have been willing to trade their beautiful pieces with me. ϑ
UVD: Are there any future projects that you wish to discuss for the reader to keep their eyes open for in the future?
April: More collabs with other artists are planned … Im looking forward to those and also to customizing some new platforms some of which have been started already.
UVD: What would your encouragements/suggestions be for artists/designers that are either just starting out or who are trying to get themselves noticed?
April: I’d say to paint because you love it and not for the money. If you love what you do it’ll show in your work. Get to know other artists, go to shows, meet people who enjoy this as you do…. It all helps. Promote yourself… if you don’t show your work no one will notice it. It takes a while to get recognized and don’t give up. Again… If you love what you do that wait for recognition won’t seem so long.
UVD: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Are there any parting words you wish to say to the reader?
April: I just want UVD to know I appreciate this opportunity to do this interview… having read so many artsist interviews I am honored to be among them. Also MANY thanks to those who have supported my work and who give me the drive to continue. All your kind comments have been more appreciate than realize. In some cases when I just don’t feel motivated to paint and I get a nice comment or message it reminds me why I do this and why I love it so much. ϑ
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