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Meet Cat Sherwin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cat Sherwin.

Cat, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Becoming a Makeup Artist was a passion for me back when I was ten years old. I used to love fantasy & Sci-Fi films & shows like Star Wars, Star Trek & Dr. Who. But I came from a traditional family and town in the North East of England, growing up at a time & in a place where ‘alternative’ careers were far from the norm. I was told I wouldn’t make a living from art & that this path was not possible for me.

So that was that – door closed for the time being anyway. So, I successfully finished my studies and went to University to Study International Business with French, before beginning a corporate career of seven years or so in Sales & Marketing for Jaguar Cars. I had excellent business training and traveled globally, finally attaining the role I had wanted upon joining the company.

However, I was desperately unhappy, unfulfilled and still dreamed of following my ambitions of becoming a Makeup Artist. Never a black and white decision, I left the automotive industry, booked around the worked trip for some time out & a rethink. I was supposed to be traveling for three months but ended up staying in Australia for seven months, working in a surf shop and beachside nightclub bar on a working holiday.

After always serious school, serious career, it was fantastic to take some light-hearted time out. Ultimately, events during my time in Australia lead to me qualifying for a place on a makeup course in Sydney, to re-boot in sunshine and positivity. I quickly finished off my travels, returned to the UK for five months to organize my visa and worked at Benefit cosmetics in a store to gain experience applying makeup to a broad spectrum of faces in a busy time pressured environment.

I honestly never intended to stay. The plan was to train and start again in a positive environment and return to work in Europe. However, in the beginning, you do a lot of free work, and my dividends started to pay off after many long, hard hours. Even after the year of training, all my contacts were being cultivated in Australia.

Although I did a creature workshop and made and designed a super cool Aquatic female warrior, I’d moved away from my original desire to do special effects and really wanted to concentrate on beauty – editorial, television, and advertising. For this in Australia, you really need strong hair skills alongside makeup, to work consistently. So, I trained in hair for two years and more. But it started taking me away from my original desired path.

So I left the salon and studio I was working at and focused on building my work in television and commercials. Building any business is like building a house, laying the foundations, working hard, construction delays, painting the windows… it took time, dedication and commitment to building my career, but I had a driving force of determination and fire to succeed no matter what.

By the time I left Australia, I had worked with all the main television networks and had built a strong body and experience of work in live and reality television, advertising, publicity, and red carpet work, amongst other artistic endeavors. I moved to Los Angeles three years ago, as I still had burning ambitions to fulfill, yearning to expand further, grow my talents and work in a bigger global playing field.

Australia is a beautiful country, and I loved living and working there, but ultimately, I felt there was ‘more,’ and for me personally, I felt drawn inexplicably to the US and Los Angeles in particular. I love the vibe, the energy of living and working here, I believe really anything is possible in the City of Angels.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey always shapes us and makes us grow, and I would never take any of it back for the world. But the road has not been smooth, and it’s certainly been no picnic.

Moving countries and starting again twice has come at a price – both financially and personally. I sometimes look at my older brother, who is very senior in business, has a fantastic house, investments, a beautiful car, family and stability, but I know his path is not the right one for me. And those things will come in time, and by following my passions.

The path is never laid out clearly and in a highly competitive industry, town and world, which is extremely contacts driven, it takes a lot of drive, determination, time and faith to build relationships from ground zero. “If you can see your path laid out in front of you, step by step, you know it’s not your path.  Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path” Joseph Campbell.

Migrating to America has been humbling and mind & heart opening at the same time.

It’s not only been a matter of rebuilding my client base and workflow, but learning cultural differences, driving on the other side of the road, the climate, the food, different laws, rules, regulations, building a credit rating from nothing (credit ratings are not permitted to cross borders;) many different nuances, which was all a little overwhelming at first!

I really feel as though my heart and soul belong here, I do love living in California and have never once looked back with regret, despite everything.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a freelance Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist, with vast experience in print and motion commercial, publicity & editorial and live & reality television and drama. I’m strong in both makeup & hair styling – it’s not so common to have both here. I specialize in beauty – both clear, luminous skin & natural looks as well as red carpet glamour.

As an artist, I’m extremely driven and always go the extra mile, looking at new ways of doing things on artistic, creative projects. Reliability, Confidentiality, professionalism & sound ethics are non-negotiables for me, without question.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Passion, drive, tenacity, energy/good vibes, adaptability and of course talent. Being able to create beautiful, quality, flawless looks, sometimes under pressure, being able to think on my feet & stay calm and focused in sometimes rapidly changing situations are some of my strong qualities, and also essential to the job.

Talent alone is not enough to succeed though – I am extremely driven and tenacious in cultivating new business – it’s a constantly evolving path, and I don’t back down or allow myself to become complacent or lose faith, no matter how tough things have been at times.

Client’s often commenting that I have great energy, extremely calming and good vibes – so I’ll take that!

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