Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Close Up Interview with Photographer & Translator -Monica Li

Monica Li

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I am a full-time student studying Bachelor of Arts at Monash University, majoring in Chinese Translation and English as an International Language. I am also the Secretary and PR/Marketing Manager at Monash Photography Club.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?
Life. As Ruth Bernhard once said, “If you are not interested in life, then photography has no meaning.”

Where do you get your inspiration from when you're taking photographs?
The moment. I believe a good photo is produced when the photographer is inspired and touched by a certain moment, and has the passion to capture it. 

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?
Perfectionist, funny, smart, kind, thoughtful

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
Hmmm… Does a voluntary position at the Monash Photography Club count? Well, after joining the committee I participated a lot in club activities and since met a lot of talented photographers who inspire and amaze me.

As an creative artist, what is your biggest frustration?
When I cannot please MYSELF. As mentioned above, I am a helpless perfectionist, and for me, sometimes it’s not others that I find hard to please, but rather myself. I am surrounded by extremely supportive family and friends, who always encourage me no matter what I do. But sometimes I find myself being not so supportive to myself and obsessing over a few details, and I get frustrated really quickly lol

Tell us about how you prioritise your work.
At the moment I have to prioritise university work over my photography projects, which isn’t as bad as it sounds (I hope), because this way photography is left as a treat for me, but not some kind of project with a deadline (don’t you hate that word?). And based on experience, photo outings in a hurry or under pressure NEVER ends well.

Tell us about the project you are working right now with ArtSHINE?
Right now I am working on a coffee table book with ArtSHINE and Quantum Compass. Vinh has picked out some wonderful inspirational quotes, and I’m providing the inspirational photos ;) And I believe we all have something very exciting to look forward to!

ArtSHINE's Inspirational Quote Book

Tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?
All of my friends are an artist in some way. Needless to say I have lots of friends who are photographers (professionals and amateurs), and my best friend from high school Julia designs fashion! She makes most of her clothes herself, how cool is that? 

 Monica & Friend Julia

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions 
“ Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?
Hmmm… I still want to pick up my French =P And of course travel the world! Who doesn’t want to do that =)

What is your proudest moment so far?
1.      When Vinh asked me to collaborate with him on the ArtSHINE coffee table book =)
2.      When I won 1st Prize at the Home-Economics Victoria Food Design Challenge
3.      When I met Shaun Tan at a very small film festival and got his autograph along with a  little doodle!!!

ArtSHINE's Inspirational Quote Book

Who do you most want to meet and why?
Ahh, I’m too greedy, I want to say Joshua Radin and Nigel Slater. Both because they are so unbelievably sensual and passionate about what they do. Radin touches me through his music and Slater through his words. I can’t even begin to describe how and what I feel about these two gorgeous men, if I do attempt, we’ll be here all day lol

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
I’m currently going through my second time of “Toast” by Nigel Slater, I would recommend this book to everyone who loves food and life. Shaun Tan’s “The Bird King and Other Sketches” is breath-taking. And Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”.

 ArtSHINE's Inspirational Quote Book 

Where do we find you and you to learn more about what you do?
 You can find me on Facebook =)

Some of my archive work here:

And this is my blog, where I go about whining and gossiping, and well, sometimes post photos ;)

 ArtSHINE's Inspirational Quote Book 

Images courtesy of Monica Li- Petit Moni Photographie

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