After attending college, April Hiler had her sights on becoming an English professor. She had graduated with a degree in English, but it was her minor in art that continued to call to her. “I took a full-time job at the university office and started graduate school to become an English professor, but I hated working in an office and felt stifled without any creative outlet. After a couple of years, I decided to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in interior design and took a part-time job at a florist. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
April worked as an interior designer until the 2008 recession hit. “I was laid off, so I took the opportunity to start a business on Etsy and later started selling my jewelry at art shows and festivals.”
I personally am very glad that April committed to living a creative life. I find her organic resin jewelry to be stunning.
Becky: Thank you, April, for taking the time to answer a couple of my questions about your creative life. In the beginning, what types of choices did you need to make in order to live a committed created life that also supported you financially?
April: Thankfully, my husband and I like to live simply. We both made a decision that we would rather enjoy our jobs and possibly have less money, than to have more money, and dread going to work everyday. Sometimes it’s hard not always having the security of a steady paycheck and having to buy our own health insurance, but to us, it is worth it.
Becky: Did you have a mentor or a role model?
April: My husband, Tommy. He is an extremely talented illustrator/muralist/tattoo artist, and I am blessed to witness his talent and creativity daily. He is the one who inspired me to pursue my artistic side back in college and he still inspires me now.
Becky: Was there ever a time where you weren’t sure how you were going to keep moving forward with your commitment to living a creative life? What did you do?
April: I experience this feeling often. I like feeling in control, and every time I encounter an obstacle, I feel anxious and helpless. I try to remind myself that the only way to be a professional and grow is to learn from the experience and keep moving forward.
Becky: What does a typical morning routine look like for you?
April: This is when I like to ship out my online orders, order supplies, return emails, etc. I usually feel more relaxed and creative in the afternoon and early evening, so that is when I like to create.
Becky: Do you have any particular habits or practices that you routinely practice to help you stay creative?
April: I love going on nature walks. There is not better artistic inspiration for me than Mother Nature. That is also where I find a lot of my inclusions for my resin jewelry. I also like following other artists on social media and in person.
Becky: How do you motivate yourself to be creative?
April: Sometimes it’s allowing myself time to just play around with different materials and ideas. Sometimes it means taking an extended break to clear my mind.
Becky: What would you say your top three strengths are?
-I persevere – which isn’t to say, I don’t sometimes feel like giving up. I do. But, I can’t imagine living any other lifestyle, so I keep on and do what I have to in order to make it work.
-I’m realistic – Sometimes, I like to dream bigger than I know is realistic for me. I know my limits, and try to stay within them. Sometimes this means spending less on a project than I would like or not committing to more than I have the time/energy for.
-I listen to my customers. I watch and listen to see what customers seem to like/not like about my designs and selection and try to adapt accordingly.
Becky: How does living a life of being creative enhance your level of happiness?
April: I often find myself looking forward to getting to work. My mind is always being stimulated. I don’t dread Mondays.
Thank you April. I’m certain you have inspired us all!
To learn more about April and follow her, visit her at:
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