We had the good fortune of connecting with Katt Newlon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katt, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I think it’s safe to say every self-starter lives this question on a daily basis. Perhaps that’s presumptuous of me, but I feel for most people at the beginning, our brains and our hearts are in constant battle. We live in a culture groomed specifically to idolize stardom and wealth, and those ideals can sometimes stand at complete odds with the realities of the creative process. We turn to our idols for inspiration when we lack personal assuredness, but forget that it’s easy for successful people to champion tenacity — they’ve already done it and are there. I’d argue in those moments of self-doubt, it’s more important to tap in with yourself than with famous people for this very reason. Really take a clinical moment to examine yourself: are you still genuinely resonating with your craft, whatever it may be? If yes, turn off social media and re-focus. Find your workaround. If no, take a moment to check in with you. Have your priorities shifted? My general rule is to keep going until something stops feeling true, and if that happens, accept the change. It’s never giving up, it’s just rerouting. The goal should always be you, not what you can do to prove yourself to others.
Please tell us more about your career. What you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
As a musician, I am most excited about continuing to explore and discover what this art form is all about. I’m really proud to be at the start of a new transatlantic project with a group of my best friends (Artymis), and I’m really proud of the human I’m becoming because of the friends, opportunities, and setbacks I’ve had so far on this journey. It absolutely has not been an easy road to now, and I suspect tough moments will still continue to happen. Overcoming hurdles is the hardest part of being a freelance creative (or being anything, for that matter), but in my experience, nothing solidifies your sense of self and spiritual fortitude faster. You have to find your feet quickly in this industry or get spit out. Fight the good fight and fight it well: with dignity, strength, and graciousness.
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 would take them to Griffith (planetariums are the best), the Getty (both of them), the Santa Monica pier, up into Malibu for a drive through the canyons, to Belle Vie for some bomb French food, Wi Spa (the most magical place in the land), and all over Sawtelle.
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 shoutout goes to the ones who never let me give up on myself and always encourage/d me to take myself seriously : my family, the incredible humans in my band Artymis, my teachers Andrew Cook, Shari Raynor, and Louise Lofquist, and the team at Sonic Open Orchestra. I’d also like to shoutout to the books which encourage growth and an empowered sense of self when I’m full of question and doubt. “Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.” – Brandon Sanderson
Dario Griffin, Amy Read, Ian LeCheminant