Alia Wilhelm

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Amalia Navarro

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YOURSELF?

My name is Alia Wilhelm and I’m a half-Turkish, half-German photographer, illustrator and videographer based in London. I am a regular contributor at Rookie Mag, Tavi Gevinson’s online publication for teenage girls. I write and illustrate comics, curate playlists, make collages and GIFs, annotate photo series and occasionally write pieces for the website. I am decidedly indecisive about which medium to commit to; I love them all equally, especially when they’re mixed together. Identity and introspection are usual themes in my work since these are both things I think about a lot. I have contributed work to publications like i-D, Bitchslap, DRIFT, Girls Are Awesome.

PRACTICE?

I’m usually working on a variety of things. I like to be involved in several projects at the same time - I think part of me thrives off the stress; it helps me access my creativity to be in a bit of a frenzy! Right now I’m curating a playlist for Rookie Mag, as well as working on a photo series for them which involves taking pictures of couples all over London. It’s been a really interesting project to direct - to go into strangers’ houses and capture some of their most intimate moments! I have two comics due in the next few weeks: one is about how I spent my childhood moving around and the other is about how to travel as a group. And today as I write this I am filming something called the Hoxton Window Project, which is a project I direct every month.

DREAM COLLABORATION?

That’s a tough question because there are so many people I’d love to work with, but I’m also so used to working on my own that it’s hard to imagine what that would be like. I’d love to take photos with Petra Collins or Eleanor Hardwick; they both contributed to Rookie way back when it started and I’ve always loved their aesthetic. Their work has a lot of meaning to me because it really influenced the kind of stuff I wanted to create and the potential that I saw in myself. For many years I’ve also been a fan of Todd Selby’s work. He travels around the world taking photos of people’s homes, which sounds sort of underwhelming but isn’t really because he has a beautiful aesthetic where he mixes photography with watercolour. I love that.

LONDON?

That’s an interesting question. At first I was almost overwhelmed by how many talented people there are here, but it’s actually a smaller network that it seems. There are so many amazing people leading and contributing to all sorts of amazing projects, but they are much more interconnected than I thought; often I’ll meet an illustrator who knows this and that video editor or musician and I’ll realise that it’s not as big a community as it seems at first glance. Everyone kind of knows each other. It’s also more of an accessible scene than I expected, which is a really important thing for me - to be taken seriously by other artists even though I didn’t study anything remotely creative.

SSSHAKE?

It’d be great to spotlight different artists in London and to learn about who’s doing what work. I find that really inspiring, to get a feel for different styles, influences, themes. It’s a great platform if you want to provide a platform for artists from all kinds of backgrounds and in all kinds of disciplines to connect with each other. And it also sounds like a great way to make friends!

YOURSELF?

My name is Alia Wilhelm and I’m a half-Turkish, half-German photographer, illustrator and videographer based in London. I am a regular contributor at Rookie Mag, Tavi Gevinson’s online publication for teenage girls. I write and illustrate comics, curate playlists, make collages and GIFs, annotate photo series and occasionally write pieces for the website. I am decidedly indecisive about which medium to commit to; I love them all equally, especially when they’re mixed together. Identity and introspection are usual themes in my work since these are both things I think about a lot. I have contributed work to publications like i-D, Bitchslap, DRIFT, Girls Are Awesome.

PRACTICE?

I’m usually working on a variety of things. I like to be involved in several projects at the same time - I think part of me thrives off the stress; it helps me access my creativity to be in a bit of a frenzy! Right now I’m curating a playlist for Rookie Mag, as well as working on a photo series for them which involves taking pictures of couples all over London. It’s been a really interesting project to direct - to go into strangers’ houses and capture some of their most intimate moments! I have two comics due in the next few weeks: one is about how I spent my childhood moving around and the other is about how to travel as a group. And today as I write this I am filming something called the Hoxton Window Project, which is a project I direct every month.

DREAM COLLABORATION?

That’s a tough question because there are so many people I’d love to work with, but I’m also so used to working on my own that it’s hard to imagine what that would be like. I’d love to take photos with Petra Collins or Eleanor Hardwick; they both contributed to Rookie way back when it started and I’ve always loved their aesthetic. Their work has a lot of meaning to me because it really influenced the kind of stuff I wanted to create and the potential that I saw in myself. For many years I’ve also been a fan of Todd Selby’s work. He travels around the world taking photos of people’s homes, which sounds sort of underwhelming but isn’t really because he has a beautiful aesthetic where he mixes photography with watercolour. I love that.

LONDON?

That’s an interesting question. At first I was almost overwhelmed by how many talented people there are here, but it’s actually a smaller network that it seems. There are so many amazing people leading and contributing to all sorts of amazing projects, but they are much more interconnected than I thought; often I’ll meet an illustrator who knows this and that video editor or musician and I’ll realise that it’s not as big a community as it seems at first glance. Everyone kind of knows each other. It’s also more of an accessible scene than I expected, which is a really important thing for me - to be taken seriously by other artists even though I didn’t study anything remotely creative.

SSSHAKE?

It’d be great to spotlight different artists in London and to learn about who’s doing what work. I find that really inspiring, to get a feel for different styles, influences, themes. It’s a great platform if you want to provide a platform for artists from all kinds of backgrounds and in all kinds of disciplines to connect with each other. And it also sounds like a great way to make friends!

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