We had the good fortune of connecting with Aly Honoré and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aly, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson my career has taught me is to keep your heart and mind open. There are a lot of times when you ought to compartmentalize your feelings from your work when collaborating with others, but what I mean by that is this:

You shouldn’t allow a few bad experiences to deprive you of future opportunities.

A lot of people say you get jaded in creative industries as you get older, but personally, I found that the older I get, the more I learn, the more optimistic I’ve become. Now, I understand that instead of getting jaded, I can get better at acceptance and taking things less personal.

In my first couple of years pursuing my dreams in Los Angeles, I definitely let my own insecurities reinforce bad experiences with individuals. For example, having shoots cancelled last minute, being asked to work for free, working with people that’ve made me uncomfortable, etc. That made me jaded and distrustful.

That’s unnecessary baggage. And I brought that into many situations that didn’t warrant it.

Allowing myself to be open, to just be willing to give new people and projects a chance, has attracted so many positive blessings. We all carry trauma and bias based on our trauma. But allowing ourselves to leave behind predispositions is only fair to ourselves and to others. It also allows you to cultivate much healthier relationships. That’s the stuff that feeds the soul.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think some of the most important stories are neglected. From a young age, we’re kind of told this one homogeneous story of life and what we should aspire to and what challenges we should expect to encounter. And then for people like me or my family, life is actually nothing like that. For us, there is no suburban community, no lockers in our schools, no perfect love story, no financial privilege, or seamless transition into higher education. the problems we have shatter all of those paradigms.

When I was a sophomore in college I studied abroad in Ghana. My program was tasked with shooting a documentary about the villagers we lived with. We were specifically supposed to educate PBS viewers on the farmers’ methods of cocoa production (despite what U.S. coffee shops advertise, it’s not fair-trade).

I had such a life-changing experience living amongst the villagers for a semester. I could talk for hours about the beauty and revelations there are to be had in that single Ghanaian village, but I’ll just say that I really wish their stories were told to me from a young age. Instead I was internalizing Disney Channel Original Movies. That experience is really what kickstarted my career in digital media.

Yes I am a filmmaker, a photographer, a strategist, etc. but the end goal is really just telling stories. Telling stories that I find amazing, but have been wrongfully neglected.

If marginalized people saw themselves depicted honestly, or their histories depicted honestly, or were praised for their honest contributions to society, then I think we’d be in a better place than we are now as a country. So I’ve always loved creating beautiful images, but it’s meant little to me if I can’t use that skill to mend some of these gaps in representation. I’m really excited about the emergence of new media as a way of breaking down these barriers. People are telling their stories whether oppressive power structures like it or not, and I love that. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel!

How did I get to where I am today professionally? The simple answer is that I grew up with a single, Chicana mother who happens to be a Virgo. That makes for some very ambitious and capable children.

It wasn’t easy to get where I am today, and the path forward doesn’t seem particularly easy either. But I overcome all the challenges because it’s what I’ve always had to do. Like I said, I had a single mother, we lived in the PJs until I was in high school, I was the first in my family to go to college. It takes willpower, and a solution-driven mind. But none of this has been easy.

Some lessons I’ve learned along the way:

-Be open to being wrong.
-Your individual actions CAN effect positive change.
-Say no if you need to.
-Not moving forward helps no one.

What do I want the world to know about me?
Gemini Sun, Sagittarius Rising, Pisces Moon!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well first off, we need to go to Everson Royce Bar downtown. Order some Old Fashions, burgers, fries, and biscuits. Oh my goodness that place hits every time. I imagine we’d go see the Echo Park crowd and pretend to smoke cigarettes at Zebulon. Then wake up the next morning for a hike at the Griffith Observatory. We could spend the day at Griffith or Elysian park. If it’s my best friend we’re talking about, we’d definitely have to go get our nails done at Tyson’s on the west side. And while we’re there we’d have to go sit down to get some mimosas and chicken and waffles at Pann’s! We’d have to go to the Arts District, see the exhibits and book shop at Hauser & Wirth, and then window shop all the cute boutiques in the area.

We’d probably spend the rest of the week hitting up Los Feliz thrift shops and flea markets, taking scenic drives like down to Malibu, and catching some bad alt comedy shows.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes! Akeishein Wells. AKA Akeishein, Kiki, Bubbles, Ms. Black Girl Magic, she’s everything.

She brought me on as Digital Media Producer for a social justice-centered agency back in 2019, and that opportunity has had an immeasurable impact on my career. She saw my portfolio when I was basically a baby and she saw so much potential in me. It really changed my view of myself and my own work. I have to say, I have felt seen many times since I’ve been in LA, but Akeishein made me feel seen and SAFE.

Safe to have concerns, to have all the emotions, to have a voice, and to be my ridiculous self. When I say I am eternally grateful, I mean it. Not only to Akeishein, but to whatever fate allowed her to be there and to spot my portfolio in the sea of resume drops for that position. It was meant to be. The agency itself was just a pitstop in both of our long creative journeys, but at the moment, it was the whole world. It allowed me, coming from a very marginalized place, to get my foot in the door. It set a domino effect into action.

Thanks, Kiki!

Website: alyhonore.com

Instagram: instagram.com/alyhascurlyhair

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aly-honore-4207a8157

Twitter: https://twitter.com/c0rdialy

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCobJffczIOsB96Gov3My49Q

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