Letter to My Younger Self
Society6 invited me to participate in their artist blog with a letter to my younger self. It gave me a chance to reflect on how my past and the events that led me to where I am now.
Childhood: 10/10. Backyard fireworks, those markers that smell like fruit, and chalk murals all over the neighborhood.
Adolescence: Massive cell phone bills, arguments over curfews, glittery eye makeup, and a solid niche of friends.
Adulthood: My "play it by ear" mentality has worked well for me so far, so I'm still experimenting, exploring, and figuring things out as I go. I don't have one big goal, more like a hundred little ambitions. Some will work out and some won't. That's the fun of it.
Dear younger Cat,
First things first: Pursue your dreams. Don’t listen to the people that tell you it’s impossible to carve out a living as an artist. There are a thousand different ways you can weave creativity into your career. Your path in life isn’t a linear one, but a shifting maze that takes you to incredible places. Stay in motion, stay inspired, and stay curious.
Some key points:
• When you’re comfortable, you’re bored. Take risks.
• Make mistakes, but pay attention to the lessons learned.
• You’ll never grown out of your wonder for animals. In fact, you’ll begin to entwine that love into the artwork you create.
• Have a tough skin. Critiques are key to growth.
• Most of your clients are great. Every once in awhile, you’ll get a difficult one. Learn how to accommodate without being a pushover. Things will usually work out.
• Don’t be afraid of change. Some of the best things happen after a huge life shift.
• Embrace various revenue streams. Invest a little in a lot.
• Prioritize traveling. Some of your best artwork comes from the experiences you’ve had exploring the world. Your office changes daily, although it’s usually in a buzzing coffee shop somewhere on the globe. Invest in the good headphones early on– they’re worth it.
• Passion and talent are key, but so is being a good businessperson. Learn how to negotiate, market yourself, and know your worth.
• Lots of people will offer you advice throughout life. Always listen, but ultimately, follow your own intuition.
• Spend more time baking with Grandma. She has some great stories to share.
• Mom and Dad are actually pretty cool to hang out with.
• If alcohol is packaged in a plastic container, it will give you the worst hangover of your life. Avoid at all costs.
• Be proud of every accomplishment and grateful of every success.
• Seize every opportunity for growth, even the ones that push you out of your comfort zone. Your confidence will bloom and your career will expand in ways you never imagined.
• Keep learning. Keep wondering. Keep experimenting.