Local artist, April Caverhill is part of an unorthodox love triangle with her art and her bike.
“I ride a Marin hybrid. It’s just a really nice, solid commuter bike. It’s sexy in its own way, but it’s not a super hot racing bike or anything. It’s a good hard-working, loaded up with my paniers, sort of bicycle,” she says.
Caverhill, an illustrator and fabric artist who is originally from Ontario, has lived in Victoria since 2001 and has logged more than 13,200 commuter kilometres since.
“Fortunately, my bum has not become the inverted shape of a bicycle seat,” she jests.
Caverhill is the artist of Vive le Velo, found on the cover of Monday Magazine’s Summer Guide in this issue. (Original illustration is shown on right)
“I want to do a little myth busting around the idea that artists are all mushroomy slugs that sit in the dark and don’t necessarily get much exercise,” she says. “Although the stereotype of a typical artist might be that of a night dwelling, pasty-faced navel-gazer who survives on cold coffee and stale Triscuits, I am out to dispel that myth.”
As an avid cyclist, Caverhill is a lover of all things bike related, and says the time and energy she spends on her bike helps her be a better artist.
“It keeps me healthy,” she says. “Because my bike is my car, I have to ride it everyday. It gives me the energy to work a 16-hour day if I have to. And it also allows me to see a great deal during the day that I may not if I was driving. There are little bits and pieces of life that go by that can end up being incorporated into something I’m working on, and at the same time it can be a head clearing experience.”
Often I’ll go for a super long ride with the sole purpose of decompressing, because it always seems like projects converge and a long bike ride can really help reestablish equilibrium.”
Caverhill was tired of seeing the same old coverage for Bike to Work Week and thought to send in her illustration, which depicts two French people enjoying a bike ride on the way to a picnic.
“I sent it in because I wanted to see a diversity of stories around people and their bikes. Bike to Work Week often only features stories about politicians and their bikes. I figured Monday wasn’t afraid of ideas that were a little off the wall,” she says.
Although cycling isn’t a theme that comes up regularly in Caverhill’s work, she did this piece for personal enjoyment.
“I was thinking about biking and Bike to Work Week and thought it’s not all about work — it’s about play. So I thought ‘what about bike to play week?’ I just wanted to have people being self-indulgent and happy and to work with the idea that cycling is something that is good for body and soul. It’s a form of transportation, it’s a form of pleasure, it’s a form of entertainment and I just thought it would be something fun to do,” she says.
Caverhill’s works are featured in books and magazines — she does the illustration for the monthly Finding Balance column in Focus Magazine. M