Artist Profile: Ileana Aleyda (Coughs)
“I just want to be an example and inspiration to others like me. I am a 19 year old girl from Riverside… I’ve mentally gone through shit, so I know how tough life can be for teens/young adults. I want my work to influence people to go out and do whatever the fuck they want just like I am. I really can’t say where I’m headed but I’m having a hell of a good time” —Ileana Aleyda
This quote most embodies the spirited photographer hailing from the Inland Empire who has come to make Los Angeles a second home through expanse exploration with camera in-hand. Currently shooting with a Canon 70D, ‘Coughs’ has come a long way since the days her point and shoot pictures were driven by the infamous social-media site Myspace which first introduced her to the world of photography, highlighting a notion we will only continue to see grow going forward as many of the next generation will catch their first exposures to media creation through or for online social means, and continue to witness the impact of aesthetics being heavily influenced by digital formats such Instagram, VSCO, Flickr, Tumblr, etc..
Aleyda, herself, was keen to her calling as an artist at an early age and turned down a traditional quinceañera and used it as an opportunity to receive her first professional camera and travel to New York instead, which is emphasized by her immense gratitude to her family. Gratitude seemingly pervades into everything she does an artist and human, showcasing an exciting idealism that is often highlighted by the youth and its movements.
“All I can say is it really is just a blessing. Everything life has gifted me with… all of it. The opportunity to work on projects such as this one… the opportunity to work with other talented creatives… it’s all amazing. It’s all so beautiful seeing what artists can achieve when we get together as a collective. I’m just grateful for all of it — plain and simple.”
Before photography, it was painting that took precedent in Aleyda’s life. Escapism played a role in the transition: the need to be out exploring the natural world. Though painting still remains in the young artist’s repertoire, photography plays an irresistible mistress that provides an excitement, instant gratification, and daunting realism that may be unmatched.
Preceding her cold digital style, Aleyda went through in a high school photography class that worked in strictly black and white film and introduced her to the dark room. The qualities of that print style has made its way into her much more current work, and balances the factors rather well. When speaking about her influences, Aleyda states she has been more so inspired by stylistic qualities more so than specific individuals, with special attention to fashion magazines and, like so many of us, Tumblr culture. So whether it is alter-ego or just alias, Coughs has been trailblazing her own artistic development through sheer experimentation creating a combination of the aforementioned with urban photography to create a stunning outlay. For a limited time you may purchase her one-of-one prints at coughs.bigcartel.com //