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It's Aw-lee-uh

Yes, my name is after a SciFi character from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles. Having an uncommon name like that, come from a story that truly spoke to my dad, is a base that makes absolute sense for my life. Correcting people on how to pronounce my name, and even changing the pronunciation myself, throughout my whole life was my initial intro and practice to teaching people my preferred pronouns as an adult. (the irony!)

I was born in Manhattan (1992) and raised in Pennsylvania. I Graduated Wallenpaupack High School, then got my BFA in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy (1 year in NYC and 2 years in LA) and then I completed my MA in Visual Development at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2017. I've lived in California for about 9 years until the recent events of 2020, where I had to go back to PA for a year's hiatus from my usual life. During this transition, I hope to focus a lot more on my career in illustration rather than my nine-to-five life sucking day job. Sometimes we have to take hard risks right?

It's always been hard to try and nail down what I've wanted to do for my career, because I was constantly interested in learning how to do everything. People, culture, nature, technology and music have always fascinated and inspired me. I've always loved to write, but it never quite felt like it quite hit the mark. When I was a kid, my biggest inspiration for art was my family and their rich culture and artistic history. My grandfather from my dad's side was an incredible artist, though I never could meet him, his work always resonated with me and I felt like I knew him all my life. My grandfather from my mum's side, for the 5 years I could be with him taught me just to color inside of the lines. He would play folk music and draw simple but imaginative sketches telling classic Czech stories.

The combination of music and art has such a hold on me that I want to be able to express that feeling to everyone. The adrenaline rush I get when just listening to the same three songs for 4 hours straight while making a piece is so satisfying and relieves so much worry or anxiety. In the same time, getting a similar excited response from a viewer makes it's all worth it. I want to spread it more and create ways of entertaining people with some of my stories so that it stays with them. The oldest way of telling stories is by just passing it from one person to another. I would love to be a part of that tradition. 

My huge passion for animation has resonated with me since I was a child. There were times when I was made fun of for it, but I held strong because their history and work put into them were incredible and precious. We have all watched animation since before we could speak, the pressure to be that first animation anyone watches or looks fondly back on is enormous! I would love to be a part of those essential memories that creates that amazing adult. A part of something that you could watch again later on and almost relive the childhood or pick up on something you didn't notice before. 

At the moment, I'm working to establish my artwork, illustrations, publications and online art-marketplace so that I can truly take my work anywhere. Juggling the insane school loan payments with mundane jobs, while still trying to learn/grow, and truly not loose the drive to get my art work polish and out there has been tough. I'm currently working on publishing my first teen illustrated book, and collaborating with an author and friend with the 2nd book. From those experiences, I hope I can continue to create projects and publications that I can share with the world. 

A BIG dream of mine is to eventually create a safe and creative space for fellow Enbys and LGBTQA+ peeps alike. Art has been such an important therapy for my mental health and understanding my own spectoral identity. I wish to create a community and home for artists and non-artists to feel that they can express themselves through human bonds and art. 

Thank you again, so much for coming and looking at my work. I look forward to the adventures ahead. Don't give up on your own dreams and passions! It will take tons of hard work and possibly a hundred of failures, but it's that hundred-and-one-th time that truly tests your courage and give you success that makes it all worth it! In the end, you will be a stronger person than when you have started! Believe in yourself!

Thank you for your curiosity! Stay Weird!

Without Wax,

Alia Haig