We had the good fortune of connecting with Cat Calico and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cat, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks has been the most important part of my career and life. But I would say calculated risks. Without taking risks how are you supposed to get noticed? Shaking things up initiates change and without change you are stagnant. I used to always play it safe and I never got me anywhere. I think the moment I learned this was when I was part timing at an FX lab. I was still holding on to my safe Sephora job that I knew would pay the bills. I was too scared to jump into the FX industry with both feet. But that also meant I couldn’t make enough of an impression at the FX shop. One day they asked me to come in full time to help with a gig they were on. I felt it was a risky move, shops don’t always have consistent work but maybe if I do this I’ll make enough of an impression where they will have some loyalty to me during slower times. I gave my 2 weeks at Sephora and I felt so liberated. The final day of my safe job I found out the FX lab lost the job and they had and now had no work for me. I was left with no jobs, no income, this was everything I feared. That was 2013, turns out I should have left that safe job long ago because once I jumped in the universe took care of me, as long as I put in the work there has always been opportunities for me. I’m so grateful that FX lab screwed me over. Otherwise I might still be playing it safe waiting for opportunity to knock on my door. It doesn’t work like that.
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’m still figuring out what I want out of my career because I sorta just ended up here. But I’m starting to get a better idea of what that looks like. Growing up I didn’t have much faith that I would amount to much and didn’t dare to dream. I didn’t do well in school, probably couldn’t afford college anyways. But I really enjoyed expressing myself through doing my own makeup so I decided to pursue that. Not long after I started getting a little bored with making pretty people, pretty. I went to makeup school and discovered the world of FX makeup and a light switched on. After being the industry for a while I found out I like so many aspects of this world. I love fabricating, making puppets, building miniatures, making big art installs, sculpting, designing….. I realized I became a makeup artist because I’ve been trying to be an artist this whole time. It’s the thing I didn’t let myself dream about. So that’s been the recent shift in my career. I want to be an artist with all these things I do under that umbrella. I want to be known for my style and work with people who want that vision applied to whatever the project is. Be it makeup, art pieces, concepts, designs, whatever! I thrive on constantly learning new mediums and expressing myself through them. That for me would be a life well lived.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If it were to show someone this town, maybe we’d hit up my fav mexican restaurants for chips and margaritas and good conversation because that is my ultimate good time with friends. But honestly I’d mostly take them out of the city. The thing I love most about California is all of its landscapes. I love driving to the desert, the beach, the mountains, sometime you can even find snowy places if it’s the right time of year. Surviving LA for me is escaping it regularly and having adventures.
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?
My support system. My Mother, my friends and one friend in particular is my friend Anna Akana. She not only busted down the door for herself but holds the door open for other women to pave the way for their own dreams. Either by creating jobs, connecting people or just giving solid advice. Her work ethic is very inspiring.