Aliesha Pilley is Moab born, but raised in
a town outside of Chicago, Illinois. At 25 years old, she
has come back to her roots, and her family, to pursue the
work of art in the place that inspired it.
To hear her optimistic view of life and art, it isn’t obviously
that serious health problems due to a rare cancer led her away from
a teaching career. In that adversity, Aliesha has found opportunity,
almost a freedom to pursue her dream because the dream, and her five-year-old
son Raiden, is what is important to her now.
“I had a tumor, and went through a bunch of stuff with that,” Aliesha
said. “I have since decided to live life, to live my dream.”
Aliesha has always liked to sketch. She remembers her first sketches
were of horses. She has fine detail in sketching people, faces, hands;
scenes from nature. She likes to use a Number 2 pencil.
“People have given me art sets and wonder why I don’t use them,” she
laughs. “I like to use these pencils.”
Aliesha has experimented with ink, as well, and still prefers the pencil.
Her leaning toward this medium carried over into photography, where
she likes to experiment with black and white nature scenes. In recent
months, however, Aliesha has found new ways to illustrate flowers and
people with color.
“On this one I sort of made a cartoon out of my sister pumping gas,’ she
said. ‘I especially like the reflection.”
And there is a mirror image – from the photograph you can’t
tell anyone is pumping gas. Aliesha’s sister could have been
standing by a lake.
“The digital camera is new to me,” she said. “It’s fun
to work with.”
In addition to drawing, photography and acrylic painting, Aliesha writes
poetry, She has a collection of about 100 poems, and has had one published,
twice. She was invited to a conference of the International Society
of Poets in August, where she was nominated as Poet of the Year for
2004. She regrets being unable to attend the conference but has taken
the honor seriously and will send more poems off.
Aliesha’s particular talent, however, may be in publishing children’s
stories she writes and illustrates. Working with her son she comes
up with practical ideas and story lines, and beautiful corresponding
illustrations. Aliesha has joined the cyber world only recently, having
purchased a new computer, and will be putting fingers to keyboard and
sending queries with the stories.
“I don’t do this for a living, it’s really more of a hobby,” Aliesha
said. “I would really love to publish books of poetry with my art, and
I’d love to publish children’s books. If I can get something out
there to share with others, I would feel really good about it.”
She says her son Raiden is her “best inspiration.”
Aliesha said poetry is something she never imagined doing, but has
since written poems for family that seemed to open a new channel of
expression for her.
“I do my best art when I have something on my mind, or when I’m bothered
by something,” Aliesha said. “It comes and goes, and I don’t
do it every day. It’s very hard to sell art by itself. I just like doing
Some of the more saleable art may be Aliesha’s jewelry, which
she has quite a collection of. Aliesha beads and puts designs together,
and has been doing so for a long time.
“I think I do it because people like it,” she said. “And I
enjoy doing it.”
Aliesha said Moab supports her at a time she needs it and in ways she
needs supports. She continues to have medical work done in the Salt
Lake area, and she has family in Moab.
“I can’t do a lot of physical stuff, so I figured I still have a
great mind, let’s use it,” she said. “Maybe someone, somewhere
will be touched by something I do in a positive way.”
Aliesha’s work adorns her walls at her home, which she has made
into a pseudo-studio. Raiden takes an interest in her work because
it involves him and so does she. Aliesha said she’d be happy
to show her work and will take orders for drawings, photographs, jewelry
and painting. She can be reached at 259-0658.