Inkerviews features the work of tattoo artists and collectors, as well as fine artists, in a series of interviews. With an exciting lineup already in place and endless more to come, I hope you will check back often to read about these incredible people and enjoy their visually stunning talents.
Step inside the creepy-cute world of Abril Andrade Griffith and you will find yourself transported to an enchanted land full of big-eye characters, curious allegories, and surreal surroundings. Abril's work has the ability to make you smile, as you subtly wonder what is behind the romantic and eerie cast she weaves through her magical paintbrushes.
As a little girl, she constantly drew images of her dolls and toys. Her mom (who is also one of her biggest fans) recognized her talent early on and always encouraged her to explore her imagination. Surrounded by art and children's books, she continues to adore them to this day and finds inspiration from their pages and stories.
As a teenager, she became inspired by gothic artwork, which drove her passion to paint even further. She was soon accepted to a fine art school in Lleida, Spain, where she became even more enraptured with her love for art; drawing inspiration from her brother Carlos, who also lived life with a passion to learn, travel and explore the world.
Her skills continued to grow and blossom when she moved to Ohio and wed her tattoo artist husband, Matt Griffith. With creativity, ink, and paint abounding in their home, they continued to learn, grow and make amazing artwork together. In addition, they also became parents to their adorable daughter Lucy, who keeps them busy and delighted.
In conjunction with her busy painting schedule, which includes keeping up with commissioned paintings and contributing to gallery shows, Abril also owns 2 Dollar Pistol Tattoo Shop in Chillicothe, Ohio, with Matt.
I have been incredibly lucky to have Abril in my life for many years now and adore her and her artwork beyond words. She was kind enough to sit down for an Inkerview and allow us a sneak peek inside of her enchanted world.
Can you give us a background on your childhood and interest in art? How did you learn to paint and how did it become so important in your life?
I was always very active in drawing, especially on my text books. I remember drawing cartoon characters and taping all the drawings on my bedroom door. I didn't start painting Until I was 16 years old. I took painting classes after school and I was always very exited to learn new things.
A few years later, I realized that painting was what I really wanted to do for a living; to create 24 hours a day. Soon after, I moved to Spain to continue my studies.
Your style of painting is so unique and so "Abril." You are well-known for your big-eyed characters, but this has grown into a much more diverse blend of themes. How has your style evolved in the last year or so? What is your favorite type of piece to work on?
I think my trademark will always be Big Eyes, but here lately I have been doing various types of eyes, not as big as the rest of my work, but it is just as fun to do.
My favorite has to be Frida Kahlo-inspired paintings. I’m a big fan of her work and her life. She is a big inspiration to me.
You and your husband, Matt, own 2 Dollar Pistol Tattoo Shop. How do you manage to help run the shop and paint? How many hours a week do you normally dedicate to painting?
When we opened the shop, I used to run the front until we had our daughter, and then I couldn’t work full-time anymore. It was hard to get paintings done while working at the shop. Now I’m a stay-at-home mom and I work different hours during the day, but at night is when I get my work fully done.
You are mom to an amazing little girl, Lucy. How has being a mom changed your life and do you think it has influenced your art work in any way?
Becoming a mom has been, by far, one of the best things that ever happened to me. She is my life and I enjoy playing with her and teaching her new things. Everything around me influences my life and she is a big part of that. I think I paint more babyish-looking characters now then I did before.
Can you tell us about upcoming shows and projects that you will be involved in this next year?
Right now I have put all shows on hold. Recently, I became the co-owner of a very busy company and I been really busy working with my friends, Heather and Kerri, on this new project called FFA (Find Folk Art).
Find Folk Art is an exciting one-stop shop, currently featuring the work of artists from around the world. We specialize in Mexican folk art, outsider, lowbrow, primitive folk art and more. This project keeps me very busy and we are very exited and proud of how fast is growing. You can find our shop at www.findfolkart.com
What is your favorite sweet treat?
Last updated on November 22, 2009 by Jinxi Boo