Avril Macdonald was born in Scotland and studied woven and knitted textile design at the Scottish College of Textiles and De Montford University, Leicester.
Following textile design studies, she moved into journalism with DC Thomson in Dundee, then Radio Clyde in Glasgow and subsequently became Scotland's youngest female weekly newspaper editor.
Then, working for BT, and directing PR operations in Glasgow and London, she was responsible for the company's sponsorship of the arts in London and the South East, for which she received several awards. During this period she continued her lifelong interest in photography.
In 1998 she set up her own public relations and PR agency and was elected FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacture and Commerce).
In 2008 she studied drawing and painting, then printmaking, at the Institute Arts Centre, East Finchley.
She is a member of the Printmaker's Council, and East Finchley Open.