Conversation with: Maly Mann
KI: What's your background and where did you grow up?
MM: My parents are both from Cambodia. They moved to the states during the Khmer Rouge, which forced many people to evacuate the country. With them came my three oldest siblings, Sam, Sameth, and Samai. It was a huge struggle but they were able to find a home in Long Beach and had three more children, Nancy, Tina, and me being the youngest.
KI: As a model, painter, and photographer, where or who do you turn to for inspiration?
MM: Oh man, this question is one of the hardest to answer. Since I try to take on so many different forms of art, it's hard to find inspiration for all of them simultaneously. It really takes the right mindset and surrounding, which is hard to achieve in the city. All I know is that if I am ever feeling down or creatively stumped, I turn to the ocean. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand, and the misty smell has one of the most calming and inspiring effects on a person.
KI: Any current/upcoming projects you're excited about?
MM: Not any that have actually been set into motion. I do have a lot of hush hush projects that I hope to do with my partner, Noah, very soon. He and I are in the process of saving for an 8mm. I have written a few screenplays that we have planned to shoot end of 2018 or by early 2019.
KI: Where are some places that bring you joy?
MM: My little craftsman home filled with my boyfriend and my pup.
KI: Drink of choice?
MM: Alcoholic: Whiskey + Ginger Ale. Non-Alcoholic: Key Lime La Croix
KI: Is there something you recently read that inspired you?
MM: Take my advice and read 'Letters to a Young Poet' by Rainer Maria Rilke. I was given this as a gift two years ago and to this day, it still brings me inspiration.
KI: Favorite author or book?
MM: Ah, too many great reads to pick a favorite. Although, I do have a favorite poet: Anis Mojgani.
KI: What are you currently listening to?
MM: This Eve of Parting- John Hartford
KI: Mountains or the sea?
MM: That's tough- I truly love both. I'd live in the mountains and spend time by the sea.
KI: What are your favorite colors to paint with and why?
MM: Very light, neutral and dusty colors because they appeal to the eye in a gentle way.
KI: Favorite part about yourself?
MM: My eyes. They help me see beauty.
KI: What are you grateful for today?
MM: The sunshine after the rain.
KI: Where could we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
MM: On a hike with the little family, making lunch, or sitting on the porch with a nice cup of coffee.
KI: Do you have a bedtime routine?
MM: Watch a movie with Noah and the pup, have some late night tea, wash my face and then go straight to bed.
Photographed by Christina Morgan