Copyright © April Wilson
From her early childhood April was never more content than when exploring the magic of drawing. Exposed to the fun and excitement of her mother's ceramic workshop, April also developed an early fascination for sculpting.
Brought up in the culturally contrasting cities of Los Angeles and London, April was able to explore and develop her keen interest in drawing, sculpture and painting.
As a young adult April joined the studio of Madame Tussauds Waxworks in London. Here she acquired the specialist skills required to sculpt portraits in clay and wax. Later she co-founded Studio II and was able to indulge in her preference for sculpting animals in clay and resin.
It was during this time that her career began to expand into the fields of watercolour painting and illustration. As well as executing private commissions, she was recommended by Peter Blake to illustrate ‘The Pig Who Never Was’ in collaboration with Nanette Newman.
A period of study at Central Saint Martins followed, allowing April to develop new skills in a range of subjects such as etching, stained glass and photography.
Seeking new opportunities and stimuli, April and her partner moved to Rio de Janeiro. Influenced by the luxuriant jungle and breathtaking coastal landscape, her artistic development took a very different turn. Commissions in the form of murals and painted portraits soon began. Her family expanded too, with the addition of two daughters, various cats and dogs.
After a few years in Brazil, April returned to London and embarked on a series of illustrated children’s books. Drawing on her rich experience of the tropics, April illustrated a pair of acclaimed natural history books, ‘LOOK!’ and ‘LOOK AGAIN!’. Spurred on by this publishing success, she went on to design two further books, ‘The Christmas Deer’ and ‘Magpie Magic’.
From her Richmond studio April now focuses on painting and printmaking. But her love of illustration finds outlet in her teaching at Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design, London.
Jon Osborn - London 2008