Hello, my name is Apryl Kelli Hughes. I’ve known all my life I am an artist. I started this blog to be able to share my journey with whoever would like to join me. You see, I am on a mission…To take over the world!!! 😉 No, really. Please allow me to share a piece of myself. I would like to give you a bit of my background as a developing artist.
Makeup is the first medium I taught myself…I will never forget the moment when my Mom came in my room with a box of her grease makeup from the 70’s and told me to “Have fun.” She said, “Play with this… you can’t make any mistakes, if you don’t like it you can always wash it off and start over.” That was the defining moment for my artist. I was 6 years old. I did what my Mom told me to do. I played with my art. I put makeup on myself and anyone else that would sit still long enough, including my little bothers. I devoured magazines that had pictures with makeup I liked. I studied the photos, from the overall composition to the lighting, styling, set design, and hair. I thought about how the photos made me feel and I looked at what the artists did to inspire that mood or emotion. That was the beginning of me being interested in producing my own photographs. By the time I turned 14 I was doing hair and makeup for my girlfriends for their dances and proms, etc. My best friends step dad was a photographer that had his own business selling “Glamour” photos; he hired me to do makeup, hair and wardrobe.
When I was 16 my “Dancer” woke up; I happened upon Riverdance. It was on PBS. The raw power and energy that exploded from such a stunning art form had rendered me hopelessly obsessed. It was in those moments realized; I had to learn how to do that. I searched for classes in Chattanooga to no avail. After about three months of almost frantic searching, I finally found a school in Northern Atlanta. By this time I had turned 17 and after convincing my Mom and Dad to let me drive to Atlanta by myself twice a week I began taking Irish Step Dance classes in April of 1998. It is traditional Irish dancing done in a competitive arena. Most Irish Step dancers begin training between the ages of 3 and 6. I was 17. The school that I joined did not have an adult beginner class so what do you think I did? That’s right; I wanted to learn so bad, I jumped in with the little beginners. Imagine a 17 year old girl in a class with ten 3 to 6 year olds. To this day it remains one of the most amazing learning experiences of my life. Kids really can teach us a lot. We just have to get on their level and really listen to them. I was never judged by these little people. We all encouraged each other. I had so much fun I ended up teaching the class. As a peer to them I was a big person but we had the same level of experience. And as I learned I taught them and they followed me because I was their friend while I was showing them how to do it… I trained and competed for two years and I finally qualified for world competition which is held in Ireland every April. I did not go. Not figuring out a way to go is a major regret in my life. I made a promise to myself after that… If there is something I want to do I will not let anything stop me from figuring out a way to facilitate it coming about. While I was in Atlanta I was approached to be a go-go dancer at a club. I worked as a dancer for two years Designing my own costumes and hair and makeup. During that time I saw Cirque Du Soleil and in those moments I wanted to run away and join the circus! 🙂 The overall production value in that show is breathtaking…it has forever colored my artistic flair. It was in that environment that I really began to explore my “Costuming” and creating character play….I still do that… Play dress up I mean.
My friend and neighbor, actress Jodi Marks, would allow me to watch her prep for upcoming roles…She was the first “Working” artist that I mentored under. I was forever asking “Why? And, How?” …so much so that she finally told me she would not answer another question until I went to the Alliance Theater and took an intro to theatre class. Oh boy, what an experience that was. The defining moment for me was when we were having to pretend that we were holding a cup with some sort of liquid in it… we had to determine what the liquid was and then describe it to the class… My “Artistic Dragon” stirred at the exact moment, I could see, feel, and smell the orange tea in the cup I was holding. I know…I’m weird.
I knew, after I took that class, I had to live the life of a working artist…I decided to go to school for makeup/hair and for acting…I found a month long makeup/hair intensive taught by a master cosmetologist that had been working in the industry for 20+ years. It was a wonderful experience…I spent three grand and a month of my time to be told that I already knew what I was doing and that I just needed to keep doing it because it was already working for me…A few months after that is when I moved back to Chattanooga, TN. I immediately began to search for performance schools to attend… I was confident in my abilities as a makeup artist so I decided to look at both acting schools and dancing/circus schools. Logistically speaking it was a wiser choice for me to stay in Chattanooga to study… That’s when I found out about The Professional Actors Training Program or PATP and Rex Knowles and Sherry Landrum. “There is no more exciting place to learn and refine the skills of live theater than Chattanooga State. Sherry Landrum, Rex Knowles and company have brought the best of the New Actors Workshop curriculum from New York to our caring and manageable campus; and they are making this exceptional program available at a fifth the cost.” This program will transform your life! – James L. Catanzaro, President CSTC
I interviewed and auditioned for Rex and Sherry and was accepted into the PAPT class of ’06….That process took two years of some of the most intense focus and commitment I have ever experienced….My journey has been my entire life and I am only just beginning to understand the depth of my talent as an artist. I grew up in a family of frustrated artists that all chose to conform to the system instead of pursuing their dreams… I am the first one in my family to actually live my dreams. I made the commitment to myself to jump into living my art and having it support me… and its a very vulnerable place to be in all of the time.
My training has been unconventional to say the least but that’s a part of who I am, unconventional.
In 2010 my daughter was born and thr world changed for me. I began my own company, ReMake Me just 4 months after Navilie Haylo made her debut. In 2012 I decided to do something I had been thi ki g aboit for a decade. I went back to school to get my training in skin care. I had been working with faces for so long and had heard so many people lament about feeling the need to wear makeup in order to correct some flaw or the perception of a flaw that I wanted to be able to help anyone get to the place that they didn’t feel the need to cover their skin. I believe makeup should be an accessory not a necessity.
I graduated top of my class as valedictorian and have been a licensed aesthetician since March 2013. I use my training and skill to help other people achieve their personal lifestyle and image goals through teaching the art of self-care and personal growth.