We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Being a risk-taker is a label that has always just resonated with me. For most of my life, I was always going off the beaten path and doing things that weren’t the most traditional. I’ve always been pretty progressive in my thinking and always yearned for an exciting and different life. I think the risk is vital to happiness and success. It is also essential in learning and evolving. I have always looked at risk-taking sort-of like, “Well, what’s the worst that can happen”? Failure? Loss? Heartache? If you’re a resilient person like myself, then you would overcome all of those things that happen in life anyway. So why not? My risk-taking started when I decided to graduate high school in 3 years. I worked my butt off to get the course load and credits I needed to do so. I had to opt-out of any lunch hour, study hall, and even did an “early bird” class each day, meaning I started school at 7:10 instead of 8:10. I got incredibly stressed and skinny, but I did it! I graduated and got the credits in 3 years as opposed to the typical 4. After that, I decided to move to LA at 19, only visiting the city once. I was desperate to leave my small town and try to make it in the big city. After that, I traveled to 51 countries in 9 months. Some labeled “dangerous countries.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always wanted to inspire people. I have tried to do things that weren’t self-centered or self-righteous and at least try to do something that I could combine my passions with helping others in some way. My project started because I had a goal to travel to every country and share my experience. I wanted to inspire people to take a risk and climb out of their comfort zones and travel too. I wanted to be even more impactful, hence why I created, “One Model Mission.” I would be Interviewing women all over the world about their perception of true beauty and women’s equality and empowerment. I’ve been a model for over a decade, but none of those projects gave me more fulfillment than meeting women all over the world and teaching them confidence and self-worth. Life is hard, failure is inevitable, but I’ve learned from every failure or rejection, there is a lesson in that, and typically something better for you. I have started to live my life by trusting the process and the universe. Patience is imperative. Never give up. You must be tenacious and relentless in your ambition and drive.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting LA, I would take them on some hikes. Malibu and Griffith Park have some amazing ones. We would also have a beach day in Malibu or the South Bay, perhaps OC as well, as those beaches are stunning. We would visit The Grove as I love the energy there. I would take them to all of my favorite restaurants for dinner which consists of Catch, Polo Lounge, Boa, The little Door, Cecconi’s, Sunset Tower, Katana, and Gracias Madre. We would do picnics in Malibu. (I have a secret spot). We would horseback ride up near the Hollywood sign, shop on Rodeo, and have some meals in Santa Monica at Water Grill or Elephante. I love the food scene in LA, so we would probably spend most of our time eating and/or drinking. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is such a tough one because so many people deserve credit for helping me get to where I am today. I could almost say everyone in my life has had an impact. My parents for always trusting my choices, even if they seemed crazy or scary. My family and friends for always being so loving, encouraging, and supportive of my career and life choices. The photographers and agents I’ve worked with throughout the years have taught me so much and given me so much praise and confidence in my work. My publicists for getting my project out there and my name out there when it was necessary. The people who helped me make “One Model Mission” not just some dream, but something I could start. My intern Mara was one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever dealt with. My project would be nothing without her help! Thank you, Mara! The strangers/followers/readers who have always been loving, positive, and supportive of my life, projects, and career. The women I’ve interviewed in my documentary, “One Model Mission”. They have been comfortable enough to open up to me and share their stories and hardships all over the world. I’ve just been blessed to have some pretty incredible people I have met throughout life. Everyone has had a part in where I am and who I am. So thank you all, your love and support mean more than I could ever describe!