This is how I was first introduced to the work of April Heather Davulcu.
Yup, that’s right. Those are Downton Abbey embroidery patterns. Be still my heart.
Heather is a talented illustrator and embroidery artist. She has a knack for whimsy and sells through her etsy shop and website, which is a very happy corner of the web to visit. I’m so glad to have her here on Stitch Freak!
When did you start sewing/embroidering and why?
I started embroidering about 3 years ago for a couple of different reasons. I am a native Texan living in PA-its cold and dark here in the winter! I get mighty blue. I started stitching in the evenings while my hubby & I watch a show. It just helped me relax and has been very therapeutic. I also take it with me when the kids have appts and lessons. The other reason was because I’m a terrible nail biter! But if my hands are busy I don’t do it. SO it’s helped me break a bad habit.
How would you describe the style of your art work?
My art work style is summed up pretty well by my tag line “happy + inspirational art.” I think that says a lot. I would also add that its very whimsical, sometimes funny, and it is generally like taking a walk on the sunny side of the street. My new work is based a lot on fashion and fashion history-which are hugely inspirational to me!
Name three things that inspire you…
1. BIG sky country-where I can see the horizon, 2. Old movies, 3. my family-they are very funny & I want to draw the silly, crazy things they say & do! I just created a whole line of greeting card art based on the funny things my teenager says. For example “I’m not even kidding” & “This is happening!”
What was the last good book you read? Why did you like it?
Last good book I read would have to be Grace-by Grace Coddington. Right after that I read a book about Chanel that was excellent. I also just got Maira Kalman’s book “And The Pursuit of Happiness” which I LOVE.
Where do you do your work (in a sewing room, on your patio, in front of the TV, etc.)?
My studio is what would be the dining room of our house. So no dining room! But I love my studio because I can be in here and close to everything going on. I do like to stitch on the couch though in front of the tv–I especially love it when its raining and there’s an old movie on. That’s the best stitching! I’m in the studio when I’m developing new patterns and fine tuning drawings or painting.
Ok, you’re stranded on a desert island. Which five items do you hope to have with you?
If I’m stranded on a desert island, can I have a boat & a map? If not, then I most assuredly would not be happy without a sketchbook and a pencil. I would also like tortillas, a camera, a needle, thread, & fabric. That’s too many, isn’t it? I guess I would say lose the camera, keep the tortillas.
What is your favorite kind of item to stitch?
My fave kind of item to stitch is something that has other elements in it. I just started adding in felt and other materials to my patterns & I love playing with that. I did a new Dorothy & Toto pattern using red felt for her shoes and the poppies. I even added little seed beads to her shoes. Those little details are SO fun!
You work with other mediums too–do you have a favorite?
I’ve worked in acrylics for years, but recently grew tired of them and needed a break. I started watercoloring and I LOVE it. I also love adding in colored pencil to the watercolors.
What do you hope people will come away with after engaging with your work?
Gosh this is SUCH a good question!! I really want people to walk away smiling. I want them to look at my art and think “Awww-I love that!” I want to create illustrations that make people pause and think of something happy—be it an experience, or special time. I’m hugely influenced by Mary Engelbreit & Susan Branch! Their artwork makes me smile & it warms my heart. I want to do that too. That is my mission.
Anything you’d like to add:
I’ve elaborated so much I don’t know what to add. I guess I’d like to say that after I had my daughters (14 & 10) I experienced a period of about 8 years where I had severe and completely debilitating migraine. I could barely care for the girls & was in & out of the hospital. I took so much medicine. It was awful. And I didn’t paint much, or sew. I had a hysterectomy 6 years ago and it took my migraines away completely. I had to learn how to live again. I “painted my pain” & found that it was very healing. I am committed every single day to creating the life I want because I remember so clearly when that wasn’t a choice. I don’t want to waste a single second of this beautiful pain free life I’ve been given!! I guess I would also add that I’ve been married for 20 years! He’s a doll & I still love him like crazy.