Meeting Alice Gao in New York City was something of a dream. To me, she is a bit of a superhero. Her photography and blog has always been on my very high admiration list and I have often thought that I would like to be like her when I grow up. Gush I might, but I have to say that meeting her in person only heightened my keenness towards her. We met on 10th and 2nd, at Third Rail Coffee. The hour that was to follow went all too fast - probably because I was far too excited. There was green tea, talk of Alice's Chinese history (quite the inspiring immigration story), snap chatting and the very cute, featured fox umbrella. She was oh so kind and incredibly generous with her time. It's a lovely feeling to meet your super hero. Especially when they are even nicer than you had imagined them to be. I honestly believe one day we will be best friends...
I still can't quite believe that it happened. Alice Gao. New York. Goodness gracious me!!
What projects are you currently working on?
I've definitely been keeping myself busy with the new site I launched with my friend Kristy -- A Standard of Living. I'm also wrapping up a female chefs cookbook that should be out in Spring 2015. Besides that, I'm working with some new clients on fun shoots.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
This city, traveling, slants of light and shadow, and my favorite books.
Why a photographer?
I'm not sure I'd be happy doing anything else.
Do you listen to music while you work? If so, would you be so kind to share some of your favourite artists?
I could really go either way, which is shocking to some people who definitely need music while they work. I'm terrible when it comes to music -- in that I'm not super picky about what I listen to. When I need to get through tedious work, I often listen to Bon Iver because it soothes me.
Do you have a morning ritual?
Yes! I am a total disaster if I don't make my daily pourover coffee. It's not so much the caffeine that I need as it is the routine and ritual of it all. Even if I have an early morning coffee meeting, I still need to make the first cup at home. Other than that, I don't care for what else happens in the morning.
What's your idea of a perfect Friday night?
Ooh that depends, but I think having a small handful of friends over for wine or cocktails and catching up all night sounds pretty nice to me.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The Bolivia salt flats is always high on my list.
Best piece of advice you've ever given or been given?
I think I'm too cynical to take most advice seriously hah. There was once a fortune cookie I kept that said, "The harder you work, the luckier you get." I like that.
What's for dinner?
Probably something super simple -- this summer, I've lived off rice and green market vegetables (tons of squash, fairytale eggplants, tomatoes, etc.).
The best part about being a creative?
All of the freedom it allows. And there's no real "limit" to what you can do and accomplish.
The worst part?
I can't say there really is a worst part. Maybe it's that I can never really shut off and my work takes over my life often. It's hard to remember to recharge and not overcrowd my plate.
Day or night? Night
Old or new? Old
City or Country? City
Coffee or Tea? Coffee (but I'm an equal opportunity drinker)
What do you enjoy most about living in NYC?
Well, everything. You can't slack off here. The city pushes you and it can destroy you if you let it. Or it can be the best challenge of your life.
Thoughts for the future:
Right now I'm taking it a day at a time, though I do hope there are greater travels in my future and an all-glass lake house somewhere...