We had the good fortune of connecting with Cat Sherwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cat, how do you think about risk?
Risk has definitely played a significant role in my life. If I had never taken any risks in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I believe making any change in your life involves a degree of uncertainty and risk, as you never know exactly what the future holds, “A comfort zone is a nice place to be, but it’s not where things grow”. I love inspirational quotes and have many pinned up around my home. If I’m ever procrastinating, or putting off doing something or feel scared to make another change, I read them. A few of my favorites are “Go for It Now, The Future is Promised to No one, “You Miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go” TS Elliot. Being a Makeup Artist was something I’d dreamed of as a little girl, but I came from a very traditional background in the North East of England. Art was not seen as a career and so I followed the expected path of going to university and then working in International business for 7 years. Not following my heart lead to a yearning for something more. Giving up the illusion of security in a corporate career, regular salary with benefits, a house and a car was not an easy leap. I handed in my notice, rented out my house (which I later sold to fund re-training) and booked a round the world ticket for a re-think to get some clarity. I had never travelled alone before. And that’s when I read my first inspirational book “Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway!” by Susan Jeffers. Sometimes that very first step into the unknown is the hardest. Following my travels, I immigrated to Australia to start a new and train in a new career, leaving everything familiar behind, with nothing but blind faith, passion and drive to keep me going. I knew in my heart I was following the right path, but when you start out, you have no idea what really lies ahead. 14 years later, I’d been wanting for some time to expand and push myself further into the American market. My move to the USA 4-5 years ago was again, another risk. Leaving an established career I had built, and a life in Australia to further pursue my dream was not easy. Again, there was no path laid out and I left the familiar behind to start again in a new culture and build my business and contacts from the ground up. Sometimes I am guided to take more fun risks – I met my partner by leaving a note on his car. I had absolutely no idea what the outcome would be. But in this case I felt I had nothing to lose other than the feeling of always wondering “what if”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For me being a Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist isn’t just about the art, although, like all artists I love the creative aspect & looking at different and unique ways of doing things. I believe I’m also there as a support for the talent I am working on and it’s really important to me to be able to offer a calm, positive environment for the client. Many people often comment that whatever the hour of the day, even under pressure amongst different personalities, I have a very calm and upbeat presence whilst working, and this is very soothing and relaxing for them before going on camera. Getting to where I am today was not always easy. And it’s an ongoing process – like a garden, it takes maintenance! Growing your business and your artistry takes courage and commitment -through the highs & the lows, the ups & the downs and not giving up when it gets hard. It’s the old analogy overnight success often takes 10 or 20 years haha. You learn from every experience. It’s important to not get down on yourself if something doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped. Just keep going. Try not to take rejection personally – sometimes if the door doesn’t open , it’s not your door and there’s an opportunity better suited to you. Think what you can bring to the table to help people. Someone once said to me, “it’s not about what LA can give to you, it’s about what you can bring to LA” What I’d love the world to know about my story is that it is possible to achieve your dream – it may not be easy, it will take work, the path may not be always straight, but in the words of Paulo Coelho “If you follow your heart, that’s where your treasure lies”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a beach girl and also love the outdoors and hiking, so those elements would factor into my entertaining. A morning hike up Runyon Canyon to view sunset over the city would be a must. And a sunset hike to Griffith Observatory as the view of the city is spectacular. LA does rooftop bars very well and there’s so many fun ones to choose from. There would definitely be a few sunset drinks at the Highlight Room in Hollywood, Mama Shelter, EP & LP, Eataly, and the Broken Shaker on a few of the evenings – although there’s so many to choose from. A night at one of the rooftop cinemas would also be on the agenda, with some yummy food and a glass of wine maybe. Followed by brunch at Abbot Kinney in Venice and a trip to Santa Monica Pier. I’m a massive coffee lover, so we’d have to make a stop at Bondi Harvest which has fantastic Australian brews. A sunset evening at Malibu for sure, probably at Nobu as I love fish and Japanese food– the drive through the mountains and the coastline makes me think of quintessential California. And I guess you can’t bring someone into the city without a stroll down the Stars at Hollywood Boulevard to finish it all off with a bit of LA LA Land sparkle.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Although my family initially thought I was just ‘going through a phase’ and it seemed somewhat reckless to leave the stability of a regular job and a house, my mum and dad are now my biggest cheerleaders. And without their love and support this would have been still possible, but a much harsher journey. Their encouragement and strong belief in me are immeasurable. I’ve read a lot of inspirational books over the years and listened to many inspirational webinars and participated in online courses. All the authors, speakers and trainers have had a significant support role in guiding me through taking risks and changes my life. There’s too many to mention here, but Richard Branson’s first book (Losing my Virginity) impacted me quite a bit as well as Susan Jeffer’s, ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ that I read now almost 20 years ago, many of Poelo Cohelo’s writings, including of course the Alchemist, quotes from Rumi, and more recently over the last 4 years Vishen Lakiani and his Mindvally Platform – the online webinars and courses platform have introduced to many inspirational change authors and speakers. Vishen Lakiani’s personal story and also his books The Code of The Extraordinary Mind & The Buddha & The Badass are awesome if you’re thinking of taking a risk to change something in your life.
Professional Photographs by Monica Orozco, personal images by me or friends