I met April in Tokyo when I was sixteen. We were both shooting an editorial for GISELe and clicked immediately. She was a year older than me and American so right there we were destined to be friends. We had a great shoot together and added each other on Facebook. I saw her one more time after that but it was in a club so we didn’t have time to chat.
A month later, I was still working my ass off in Tokyo and I hadn’t seen her around so I assumed she left. I was booked for a campaign that was shooting in LA with one other girl and it turned out to be April! We flew there together and bonded over the course of three days. I haven’t seen her in a couple years but we still keep up over Facebook and whatnot. Recently, she drew a fantastic portrait of me and agreed to do an interview for The Retired Models.
Check it out!
M: So to start, tell us about yourself.
A: Well, I’m 21 and currently a Junior at New York University studying biochemistry and mathematics, aiming to go to medical school after graduation. I just finished a semester studying abroad in Sydney, and will be continuing my studies back in New York in the fall. I model on the side in new york during school and travel over the summer for work. This summer ill be working in japan. I am also an artist, and occasionally sell my work.
M: The picture you drew of me was uncanny! You’re extremely talented. What inspires your artwork?
A: Thank you so much! What inspires me.. Hmm. Well, being in the fashion industry I get exposed to a lot of creative people so I love being inspired by them. I also get inspired by music, sometimes I just let my mind wander and images come to me and I have to write them down so I can draw them later haha. It can really come from anything and anywhere though, from seeing a girl on the subway to studying for my chemistry final… I draw my inspiration from a wide variety of sources.
M: Out of all the cities you’ve traveled to, which is your favorite?
A: Ooh it’s tough between Tokyo and Osaka! Tokyo is so much fun and young and vibrant but Osaka has amazing food and the people are so down to earth… I can’t decide!
M: Where are your top three spots in Tokyo and Osaka?
A: In Tokyo, my favorite spots are shibuya/harajuku to hang out with friends during the day, go shopping, have lunch, etc. super colorful and young areas.. I’m sure you know 🙂 I also love going to yoyogi park to relax and read a book. At night, my favorite spot is New Lex Tokyo because I have so many friends there and they always treat me so well. Taka, the owner, is a good friend of mine. I can’t wait to visit Tokyo in a few months and hang out. Tokyo is definitely more fun of a city than Osaka, it’s younger, more fashionable. But Osaka… The food is incredible. My favorite spot here is this restaurant called Ka-You, where they have an amazing lunch deal with all organically grown vegetables and free range meat and it’s literally the best deal on the city. I go almost everyday when I’m not working hahah. I also love going to tsutaya book store in Umeda Osaka station. Tons of books, a Starbucks in the middle, and best part? Free wifi. I love going there to sit and draw or work on my laptop. I go there on my days off when I don’t go sightseeing to Nara or Kyoto or something. as for nightlife, it’s not that big in Osaka, but when I do go out I go to shinsaibashi. There are tons of small bars and clubs around the area and it’s pretty fun, also a lot of shops and cafes so it’s fun during the day too.
M: What has been your favorite job?
A: My favorite job. That’s another hard one haha. They all seem to blur together after a while. My favorite jobs are always the ones with a fun team and good lunch lol. One of my favorites was a wedding job in osaka, we drove out to the country and went to a horse ranch, I got to walk around in the forest with a horse in a wedding dress. It was so ethereal and tons of fun… The photographer and I are still friends to this day. Another set of fun jobs was in Tokyo when I worked for FUDGE magazine almost every day of the week… The team and I got along really well so it was just fun to work with them no matter what we were shooting. I did a Vivianne Westwood catalogue with them and that was a lot of fun. OH! I’ve also shot a commercial in Japan for an arcade. It was a long day of work, but it was my first commercial and quite an experience. Not much happened on my end, just a lot of walking around in front of a green screen, but the final product was quite spectacular. Lots of CGI. Tons of fun there haha.
M:What advice would you give to young models just getting into the industry?
A: For girls just getting started in the industry, I just want to say be realistic. It’s a fun job and you can make a lot of money but it’s not a life career. Have other options. Keep going to school and learning about the world around you. If possible, learn the language of where ever you go. It’ll make the experience 10x more fun. Love yourself and your body, treat yourself with respect and take care of yourself because this job can really ware on your self esteem if you let it. Overall, just have fun. It’s an opportunity only a small percent of the population get to experience so take advantage of all the traveling you get to do in the next few years.
M:What’s next for you?
A: I am currently going to New York University studying Biochemistry and Mathematics. I’m just started to get into research on cancer cell signaling and materials, and want to go to medical school after I graduate. I still model on the side, and travel during my summers, but I realize I don’t want to model as a career so I’m pursuing academia and loving it. Science has always been my true calling, so I was so happy when I went back to school.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, APRIL!