April Bey grew up in The Bahamas (New Providence) and now resides and works in Los Angeles, CA as a visual artist and art educator. Bey’s interdisciplinary artwork is an introspective and social critique of American and Bahamian culture, feminism, generational theory, social media, AfroFuturism, AfroSurrealism, post-colonialism and constructs of race within supremacist systems.  


    Every artist has a story of how they became an artist. What was your earliest memory surrounding artwork April? And was there a moment it clicked that you would be an artist, or has it never been a question?
    I get asked this question a lot. It always brought me joy to create and be alone while creating and the love and friendships I captured due to being an artist. I just always was one. I had a few stumbles in life with my family and living situations as a young adult in regards to them not knowing what career path this would take or even where it should be pursued--I was living in The Bahamas where I grew up which at the time didn't have a strong career path in the arts so when my natural inclinations and interests began to push my physical life into another country I knew it was a serious and important thing in my life and I would do it no matter what it takes. 
    April, What 3 words would you use to describe your artwork?
    Extraterrestrial. Design. Introspective. 
    Can you tell us a bit about your process, and how each of your artwork comes to be? 
    I keep an everlasting gobstopper of a cell phone note of randoms words, lyrics, sentences and ideas. When the visuals come to me via reading, eating or speaking with friends I connect the text with visual imagery or ideas and piece everything together digitally knowing it won't be the same physically then I stumble through the physical works while trying not to burn my house down. 
    How do you feel about parting with your work?
    My work is supposed to travel farther than me, they always come back to me in the form of a new life-long friend who was a collector first or a new opportunity to create and share. Autobiographical sometimes but not all--I am also reporting on what I observe. 
    Who or what are your biggest influences, and how do you find them? How do these come out in your work?
    Late 60's early 70's science fiction films and 80's sci-fi, obnoxious french animation, Star Trek, WWI/WWII memoirs, Geishas, Textiles, design, fashion. They found me. I have no idea--my work is made currently from the perspective of me being an alien from another planet sent here to report on Earth, I'd say science fiction is definitely a huge theme in my work. 
    What do you want your work to say? What memorable responses have you had to your work? And which artwork would you like people to remember you for?
    I don't want it to say anything in particular I want it to ask questions and if it has to talk to say many things at once. 
    Memorable Responses: I had a piece called #Gradient that contained large drippy pigmented caulking strokes-- skin pigments from all the black people who sent me selfies of their natural hair for another piece called #PickyHead. I intended for people to see how colorism is acted out on black bodies that can range in skin tone by people outside of the black community by including along the gradient words commonly used to describe black people in the work place taking text directly from my e-mails at work. But people when viewing the piece placed their own arms up to the pigments to find where they placed on the Gradient scale which added to the piece drastically for me and is still one of my favorite installations. It immediately made people want to see where they stood on the scale and if they had these words every used to describe them. 
    What are your artist essentials? Where do you like to create the best?
    Essentials: fiction books on African futurism and jujuism, Faber-Castell watercolor markers, prismacolor colored pencils, wood wick candles, lavendar, artichokes, my studio assistant The Siberian Husky Maura the Dog Dog Maura, Start Trek Deep Space Nine and water. I like to create while listening to my friends talk about their dreams, in Ghana with my friend Kwame as he changes the world, in a west african taxi crossing borders and listening to music. My studio goes with me everywhere. 
    What are you working on at the moment? What is next for you as an artist? And what would be your dream project? What has been the most rewarding project you’ve done?
    Right now I'm working on at least 4 different artwork from 4 different bodies of work all involving drawing and sewing. Next for me as an artist is to rewatch another episode of Star Trek I've seen over 100 times and hopefully work on a solo show whether on this planet or my own. The most rewarding project for me is the textile research (yes academically) I do in west africa and the women I meet and collect from. 
    What is your greatest indulgence in life?
    My dog, she's getting old and I don't know what I'll do without her. 
    Favourite historical female artist?
    One of mine too! Favourite current practicing artist?
    Ebony G. Patterson 
    Who should She Curates interview next?