Hello Wonderful! I love living on the west coast of Canada and today's Hello Wonderful interview is with April Lacheur a painter who captures the beauty of the west coast with acrylic paint and ink. I first met April when she was interviewed as part of Papergirl Vancouver's artist interview series in 2013! One of the things that I most admire about April is that she is an artist and a really savvy business person. Let's get to know this super hardworking and inspiring artist better below!
Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?
Hello! I'm April Lacheur, an acrylic painter living in beautiful Maple Ridge BC, Canada. I make my living creating bold and colorful paintings that are my own unique interpretations of west coast nature. I am obsessed with trees and paint them in a self-discovered style with twisting bark and exposed roots. Bright colors and clean lines can be found in my work. I sell my work at art markets and online and also have a line of art cards and prints from my original works that can be found at 70+ retail locations Canada wide.
What do you believe in?
I believe we are all connected, much like the roots of trees and the elements of earth. I believe it is important to remember we all have individual roots that create us and take us down different paths. By being mindful of other people roots as well as our own we can create more acceptance, empathy and understanding in the world.
When do you feel your most wonderful?
I feel most wonderful when I am painting! That is why I am following my dream of being an artist. Life is too short to not do what you love and do what makes you feel wonderful as much as possible! I am also a Registered Nurse (I do this once a week). Although I feel this is important work my passion for art is much stronger. It is always a fabulous feeling to share my work and hear how other people connect with my paintings. Art is such a personal thing and I always find it so interesting that what I see in my paintings may not be what other people see. Its always so special to hear when someone connects deeply with my work and the personal meaning it has for them.
What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?
I don't know if I would call this a 'wrong turn' per say but more of a detour to my correct path. When I wasa kid I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. After graduating from high school I wanted very badly to go to art school, however my parents felt it would be best to 'get a real job' and go to University to get my Nursing degree. I was ok with this idea since I also had a desire to help people, but art is where my heart was. I went on to work in a hospital in post open heart surgery. I didn't mind the job at first but I quickly lost my passion and could feel myself burning out. I fell into an opportunity to sell my art at a local restaurant and when my painting started selling quite quickly I gained the confidence to purse selling my work further. I was able to build a business and start selling my work at shows and reproducing my work quickly because my Nursing job provided me the funds to get these things going which I think is a struggle for a lot of artists starting out. It costs money to start an art business. I knew I did not want to work full time as a Nurse forever and this fueled my passion and the hard work needed to build my business to a sustainable level. I now look back and realize my 'wrong turn' in not going to art school was actually the right turn after all. I still Nurse one day a week at a community job I quite like. It provides me with the ability to help people as well as balance in my life.
What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?
I can recall being very young and going to the Vancouver aquarium for the first time. I was in awe of all the animals and sea life. I have always been an animal lover and still find lots of wonder in observing them.
Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?
I am proud to call Laura a friend, she inspires me every day. When Haiti was hit with massive earth quake in 2010 she jumped on a plane to Haiti to provide nursing care. Shortly after that she opened 'Project Aftershock Thrift Store' in White Rock and uses the proceeds from the shop to go to Haiti twice a year to fun medical clinics, volunteer at orphanages and sponsor families. She is one of the hardest working and most selfless people I have ever met.
Jamie is a friend and fellow artist that, like me, gave up her safe 'real job' (she is a teacher) to purse her passion for art. Jamie has developed 'Thrive Studios' in Vancouver with vision of helping female artists in Vancouver connect and thrive in the art world. I find her drive, passion, focus and work ethic to be super inspiring and thank her for creating thrive which I feel greatly benefits my professional artist development and helps to feed my artist soul.
One can not help but be wow'ed by Kelly's story. When visiting Ruben, a boy she had sponsored for many years in the Dominican Republic, Kelly noticed many kids there did not have shoes. She had an idea to collect used shoes from friends and family and donate them to villages in the Dominican Republic. Her idea very quickly exploded in to a full blown charity operation with 12,000 pairs of shoes being donated in 2013. Ruben's Shoes has delivered 2 huge shipping containers of shoes to the Dominican Republic and 1 to Sierra Leone and has also started a sponsorship program to send kids to school in DM. She does all this while running her own insurance business. Her energy and passion is truly amazing.