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April's Design Story

Updated: Oct 16

A raw and candid autobiography of an Interior Designer's journey ~ by April Viola


My name is April Viola, and this is my design story.


I'm a Gen-X'er only child, who spent my childhood years drawing beautiful women out of fashion magazines with my #2 pencil and sketchpad; watching MTV, The Cure, Friday I'm In Love, and Smashing Pumpkins, Today, dreaming of a creative and glamorous future, growing up in an unknown dusty town in San Joaquin Valley, California. That's when they actually played music videos and, of course, House of Style. In my bones, I knew I had a innate special talent that would propel me out of a challenged childhood. After all, my family history was chock full talent, albeit; never heard of struggling artists, from an great aunt that illustrated wares for Saks 5th Avenue in the '50's in San Francisco, to my dear grandmother who, I watched, author unknown fantastical science fiction books until the day she passed on, recently. Even more, a great great grandmother who was the first lead woman violinist ever join the San Francisco Symphony.


With such historical talent in my arsenal and being told all my life how talented I was, how could fail. I set off in my late teens, even prior to finishing high school, to embark on my design future at the Academy of Art San Francisco as an artist. I felt Interior Design was a practical enough choice in the creative arts, to actually create a viable career in. Also, my mom had dabbled in it, once upon a time, too, but her poor eye sight would not allow it to develop. I was going to learn every facet of the design world and conquer it. I had so much zeal and tenacity, then.


And so it began, at 17 I was renting a room in San Francisco, elated to be hopping on the bus with my drawing board and tackle box of various mediums in hand, to make something of myself. Starting with my, first ever, nude drawing class in a cold damp wet basement of classroom, drawing a little old man in front of space heater. I thought, how the heck is the relevant to the beautiful life I had for myself in mind, but I trusted my school. My first book purchased for my studies was, Gardner's Art Through The Ages, 10th edition, by Helen Gardner. It was $300 in 1997. I knew this endeavor on my own was going to financially challenging, but it was going to be all worth it to continue my calling, plus creditors were handing out credit cards and school loans like candy back then. How could I lose, this was my career, my life, the vehicle to my American independence?


More to come.

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