We had the good fortune of connecting with Cat Huss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cat, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m not sure I think about risk the way most people do. I live with some fear but not a lot, really and I think that might be because I’ve always viewed risk as something interesting and potentially life-giving versus something life-threatening and debilitating. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not that I’m not scared. I’m afraid of failure and being eaten by sharks but it doesn’t keep me from doing things. When I was 18, I had just graduated high school and had a full scholarship to a performing arts college when I went on a graduation trip to Mexico. I think I thoroughly surprised everyone when I just didn’t get on the return flight back. A lot of people I’ve met have expressed how risky they think that was but I didn’t see it that way at all. It was an adventure for me and I wanted to learn and explore the world and I just didn’t see how returning and doing what everyone wanted of me was going to achieve that. I saw my life going in a direction I wasn’t sure of so I took a risk. I ended up staying in Mexico for 13 years. During that time, I was married, had children, learned a new culture and language and although it wasn’t all fantastic, I gained so much from it. That was my first real dive into risk-taking but since I left that life behind, I’ve taken many risks. I truly believe approaching life in a bold way can get bold results. I lost people along the way but I gained others. I don’t regret living boldly. I try to focus on the now and do as much as possible because I’m aware that any day it could all end abruptly. When I started doing art professionally a few years back I didn’t know how my work would be received and this is something many creative people fear but you just have to put it out there. There is nothing to be gained by hiding it in a spare room somewhere. Yes, with risk there is rejection and failure but there is also love, learning, adventure, and success. I have failed miserably but I’ve also had success and I think being willing to take risks made that possible. I’m not reckless with it. I weigh things out but the risk is almost always worth taking. It can be a wonderful catalyst for change.
What should our readers know about your business?
Honestly, I think what sets me apart from others is that I started very late in life. I lived a whole other life as a wife, mom, volunteer, divorcee, and retail worker before starting in the Communication Arts. Excellent communication requires a unique understanding of people and organizations, depending on what you are communicating and why so when I was in my late 30s asking myself what I wanted to study, I looked at all the experiences I’d had in life and considered what I thought I was good at and settled on communication. I don’t think there is any set roadmap for success. A person just needs an excellent understanding of self and a clear goal. If you understand yourself, you can look back on all your experiences and use them to propel you forward by connecting the dots of your life. I’ve often been told things like “You make it look so easy” and “wow, that must have been difficult” when I describe some of my life’s unfolding but I’m not sure I really define things as easy or hard…I just visualize a list of things I need to do to make other things happen. Consideration of whether they are easy or hard doesn’t really enter into the picture. All I’ve ever really wanted was to express myself creatively and be able to make a living at that. Right now I’m working on developing a lifestyle blog about ‘being better’. It’s about acceptance of self and creating the habit of focusing on being a little better today than we were yesterday. Not perfect….just better than before. More than anything, as an artist and communicator I want people to be inspired to become more themselves every day and to embrace that journey.
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?
I don’t actually live in the area but if I were to visit, I’d look for green parks and Spanish moss to hike around. That’s mostly because connecting with nature is an important part of my work. I need it to recharge be able to create again. I would seek out nature trails, explore the best city parks, and make myself picnics. As far as food…I always ask the locals what they recommend because they usually have the best advice.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
On a very personal level, I’m thankful for the support of my children, my best friend, and my significant other. These are the people closest to me. They are the ones I’ve chosen as family. I feel lucky to have people who just support me being me and don’t try to impose something else on me or control who I am. There are a few organizations along the way that have supported me in different ways. Drury University Communication Department, where I got my Masters, has such a fantastic team of professors who really do inspire and I don’t think I’d have any artist success without the experience I had there. Since entering the art world, Saatchi Art Online and The Other Art Fair have been extremely supportive and nurturing of my art career. I’m not sure I’d be anywhere without them as well as the community of artists I get to show with when I do their events. I feel lucky to have found people I can trust to work with.