How should one behave as an artist? What should their art look like? What is their art about? The answers to these questions are endless. For the artist April Midkiff, her answer is to trust her instincts, go with the flow, and just try what feels right. This has led her to explore creating art in various mediums, techniques, and subject matters.
When in the studio, April Midkiff finds herself inspired by the unbridled freedom and rawness of the artists Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Gerhard Richter. Their works have sparked her passion for experimenting, trying new techniques, and constantly striving to things a better way. In contrast, the works of Alexander Calder and Paul Klee draw her in with their seemingly effortless balance and harmony. April thoroughly enjoys the process and the challenge of creating new art. She desires to find her own ways of embodying balance and freedom during her creative process and embracing experimentation is key.
“As with life, I feel that art has so many lessons to teach us and that the only way to move forward is to pay attention and try to improve upon yesterday.” -April Midkiff
April Midkiff is a fourth generation Arizonan, growing up in the small town of Waddell in the far West Phoenix Valley. Spending her childhood surrounded by farms, animals, and the desert April formed a strong connection with nature. Her love for Arizona and all of its diverse natural beauty runs deep.
Joining the high school band led April to fall in love with music as well as her now husband Jason. April and Jason moved to Tempe, AZ to attend college at Arizona State University together. Shortly after graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Fine Art, April was married to her high school sweetheart. Life just kept moving along and soon after marriage, April was employed at Phoenix Art Group. While there, April worked as a Production Artist and Designer where she painted under the studio name Leila. The next 12 years she spent learning and growing as an artist. Working alongside many talented, loving, colorful and driven people at Phoenix Art Group helped April become the person she is today.
While working for Phoenix Art Group, April and her husband welcomed two beautiful boys into the world. April’s children remind her everyday to find happiness in the little moments and to not take things too seriously. They are the light in her life. With the addition of two gentle and sweet dogs who were rescued from the local shelter, April’s home life is a source of great gratitude.
With the recent retirement of the owners of Phoenix Art Group a new chapter has begun in April’s life. In early 2018 April established her own company, Studio ACM, where she showcases the art she continues to create under her studio name Leila and also her own name April Midkiff. April is truly grateful to have found her way back to where she grew-up and is now currently working out of a studio near her childhood home. Enjoying the freedom and flexibility that owning her own business gives her, April is now more motivated than ever to work hard for what she loves.