That’s how my career came: I learned everything on my own. Watching, getting mentors. But basically trial and error.

—Ophelia Chong

Ophelia Chong

Ophelia Chong is a photographer, graphic designer, art professor, co-founder of Asian Americans for Cannabis, co-founder of Push Mag, and the founder of StockPot Images, the first stock-photo agency specializing exclusively in cannabis-related imagery. She lives in Los Angeles with her one cat, three dogs, and four fish.

What time do you get up?

5 a.m.


What time do you go to sleep?

11 p.m.


Is your creative work your full-time job?



Do you wait for inspiration before you begin or do you begin regardless of inspiration?

I just begin.

How many hours a day, on average, do you do your creative work?

There is no average, our minds work creatively even when we sleep. 


At what point are you done for the day?

I am done when I am finished my cup of bottomless tea. I never see it as an end to the day, I see it more as a “to be continued,” days are only marks of time, not when we are really “done.”


Do you work primarily in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

All of the above with small breaks in between to refresh in the garden.

Do you have a daily routine for your creative work?

Emails, updates and then I just attack the day.


How does it start?

Coffee, check in, reply, walk the dog for 30 minutes and then back by 7a.m.


How does it end?

When I feel like I am done for the day.


Has your creative process changed over the years?

No not really. I am always working, thinking, creating. I wake up happy and go to bed happy.


Do you have a dedicated work space?

Yes, my studio.


If yes, do you have anything in your work space to encourage creativity?

My window to the garden. I also use social media to stay on top of how others are finding inspiration. Some of the most simple posts can lead to new vistas, and some of the most complicated lead to a new way to fine tune a similar message.


How do you stay focused in a world of the internet, social media, interruptions, and other distractions?

I treat myself for every check in on facebook I have to finish a task.


How do you maintain your creative energy?

Gardening, working and I read a book a week. I find books are the best meditation. They take you away to other worlds, to other people’s worlds and away from the digital world.


What other activities do you engage in to encourage your creativity outside of your creative work time?

My work life is socializing. I make as many friends in work as I do outside. I love books. I read historical fiction, thrillers, mysteries, anything that can whisk me away.

The deeper stuff...

To listen to the conversation with Ophelia on The Creativity Habit podcast: