Iliana has recently started identifying as genderqueer & pronprefers the pronouns, "they, their, & they're."
Iliana’s videography career happened by accident but in reality it was definitely not an accident at all. The talented young creative hit the ground running from the moment they decided to stick with videography. I think it may be safe to say that the Auto/Video Production class Iliana stumbled upon was meant to be. Iliana revealed that they initially wanted to be a music producer and joined an elective their sophomore year thinking they would be investing in that future, but it happened to turn into something completely separate. Throughout high school illiana created a documentary that later funded their very first professional camera. “I realized after graduation I didn’t have any of the essential things I needed to be a filmmaker...It just made sense to use the money from all of the [documentary] DVD’s.”
Iliana started the interview mentioning how effortlessly they like their life to be, “I like to soak it up because you really don’t know what’s coming the next day.” I wanted to get a feel for who Iliana really was, so I asked about their hobbies and was completely taken off guard when they mentioned stock trading. Iliana did jokingly mention that they are searching for new hobbies all the time, “I want to find more to do but I act like i’m not making videos all the damn time.” And then continued to talk about their interest in stock trading. “I’ve learned recently how easy it really is to invest into small businesses and use [the profit] as another form of income.” Another pass time mentioned was video games as iliana went on to say, “We [own] every Super Mario game imaginable”
Proceeding through the interview I asked if they’ve faced any struggles within the creative community regarding their young age or sexuality. Iliana did disclose that originally they did conceal their age, because regardless of all of the experience they possessed, they wanted to be taken more seriously. “I was worried if people knew how old I was they wouldn’t trust me with their money and would be worried I wouldn’t [be able to provide them with] something worth the money.” Now Iliana has fully embraced how much they’ve attained at the age of 20.
“I am actually very proud of how much I’ve achieved in the last 20 years compared to people who’ve spent their [prime years] in college and graduate at nearly 30.”
Iliana also mentioned that her age has come as an advantage not only because they’ve had a head start, but because they can relate to the interests of a younger crowd. Luckily Iliana has been fortunate enough not to receive any type of backlash or concern of any kind regarding their sexuality. They did mention that since their demographic is a younger audience they tend to be a lot more open minded.
“If I’m strong enough to be confident [and embrace] who I am, almost everyone respects me enough to just let it be.”
Although Iliana has faced no disadvantages regarding their sexuailty they feel, “as the years go by more and more people are trying to hire inside of the community rather than a straight white male.”
Moving further within the interview I asked Illiana what their definition of success was, and I came to find out that ultimately being able to do whatever they please and not having to worry about “What’s in my bank account” is something that Iliana is essentially striding for. “Being content with yourself and what you accomplish but also [being able to achieve] financial freedom, because nobody wants to live in debt or [be] sad.” Although Ilianna is not where they want to be they’ve definitely achieved a sense of success when it comes to being able to do what they want when they want. Iliana also mentioned how proud they were of themselves and how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time.
As of now, Iliana would say their greatest career accomplishment is, “Realizing that i’ve [come] to a point where I’m able to focus more on passion projects.” Rather than focusing on making any form of income on any of their other videos. Their most recent passion project was covering a local gym in Oak Cliff where they created content highlighting the gym it’s selve and their athletes. “The exposure is more for them than it is for me. I know that by [providing] them with an interview or anything really [that] I’m giving them a helping hand.” Giving back to the community and helping when they can seemed to being something that was also valued by Iliana.
Out of curiosity I asked how Iliana felt about fame and fortune and they touched on the idea of their younger self almost craving it but now it isn’t something that important. “Twelve year old me would have said fuck yeah, give it to me, but 20 year old me doesn’t want anything to do with it.”
When asked to describe their videography style Iliana said, “Imagine a Steve Lacy type beat but a video...That man’s aesthetic is very earthy, [with a] 70’s type tone. [Like Lacy] I try and stick with very natural tones and I like to take what the regular eye sees and make it cinematic.”
Iliana left the interview with the best advice they could give anyone wanting to pursue a similar career path, “Patience and Consistency. They are the two most important things to possess as a creative. If you’re working at consistency then you’re constantly practicing and working on improving [your craft.] Patience is something you can’t really have without it either, they both go hand in hand. The more you work and try to improve the more people see that and the more people see that it [raises the likelihood] of you getting booked and you’re [predisposed to] that success.”