Cat Worsey transferred to FIDM from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts this quarter to pursue a career as a costumer designer for film and TV. Originally from Thousand Oaks, California, she graduated from high school in 2013 and has already shown her work to Oscar-winning costume designers. "I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way." Read on to find out more about this inspiring student.
Why did you transfer to FIDM? I transferred to FIDM because I wanted to be surrounded by my passion—costume and design. The creative energy here is unlike anywhere I have been to. Students are here because they want to be here. Students want to strive to succeed and that mentality is contagious. FIDM happens to also be the epicenter of TV as well as film, two fields that I strive to be a part of in the near future. California also happens to be my hometown, which is a plus as an only child coming from a very close family. The college that I originally attended felt very forced. I use that choice of wording because I felt as if I just needed to push through the curriculum to achieve what I wanted. I was there for a little over a year. Even with that mind set, I still was not acquiring the skills and education to pursue my dreams and goals. In fact I was told that I could never make my entrepreneurial dreams come true because they said it was not realistic. That is not the response that I received from FIDM. I was encouraged to continue to go down that path. It may not be an easy one, but I was never shut down for just mentioning it in the first place. That was when I realized the difference. Being able to attend FIDM and be among such dedicated and creative individuals has taught me that you need to be who you are. In comparison, I had to hide much of who I was for fear of being alienated, which eventually happened anyway. I am only in week three of the first quarter and I know that I made the right decision and that the fit is also right.
Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in California and I have stayed in the state for my whole life. I grew up in golden age of Disney films or, as some individuals call it, the Renaissance of Disney. The height of animation inspired me as a child to draw. It took a while but I learned how to draw my favorite characters. In my middle and high school years, I was set on being in illustration. That changed when I attended my first convention here in LA. It was Anime Expo, and no I am not embarrassed to admit that Japanese animation had and has a big role in my life. It was the first time that I had ever attended anything like it. A few of my friends from high school decided to go dressed as some of their favorite characters, so I decided to join in. At first I thought it was weird but after I attended, I absolutely loved it. The passion and creativity that goes into not only making a pre-existing character come to life but also making complex original characters as well. I adored it even though I did not make my first costume. I knew the next time I was going to try. I had never sewn before and I had taken some classes but just the basics. I put an outfit together the following year with garments that I altered. I was halfway there. Then I went to my first college. I learned a lot in one year, and the summer after I finished my freshman year I was able to make two costumes. I fell in love with the process. I spent hours, day after day, working and when it was finally over I had to ask myself, “Did I really make that?” I can't put into words the amazing impact it's had on me. That was the point in which I realized I knew which path I was going to take.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments? My proudest accomplishments have to be from a year or two ago. I could discuss that award I received in an art show but my proudest accomplishments are not necessarily tactile. When I first made my own character design into a complete costume—that was the achievement of my dreams. The pride was so overwhelming that I had to continue to ask myself if I was asleep or not. I was also able to meet a handful of costume designers from the Costume Designers Guild last year where I showed them my work and they were very impressed and loved it. That was a major wakeup call for me because I was told so many times that I was not good enough in art by multiple individuals. To get that validation from Oscar winning costume designers was amazing. I was also able to network with others in the industry. It was an amazing experience.
How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I feel as though irony has been knocking at my door these last couple of months. The reason is that I had FIDM actually advertised at my high school. They had a whole wall dedicated to arts colleges and I also walked past it and saw FIDM. I did not think much of it at the time because I was on a different path. I was not even aware that there was a costume program. I was set on coming here when I first visited the campus in September of 2014. It was professional and the student work was displayed for all to see. I could feel the creative energy. Every time I walk on campus for classes I am inspired. It is truly a unique environment and completely different from the college I transferred from.
How did you choose your major? It took a little while for me to choose my major because I have gone through a lot of changes. Originally I wanted to be an animator or be in visual development. As I look back on it now I would have to say that I was being very narrow minded. I only found my passion a year or so ago. I just love being able to bring concepts to life in a tactile way. It is the most fulfilling feeling in the world to be able to say, “I made that.”
What’s your favorite class at FIDM so far? The fundamentals of sketching class. I really enjoy interpreting garments and making sketches for them. It gives me a better understanding of how a garment is constructed, as well as how to draw it. When I originally just did sketches for fun I never understood how a garment could be depicted on a two dimensional character. I also enjoy the level of detail that we can incorporate into the sketches. I am a very detail oriented individual and I love the little things that push a design another step forward to a whole new level.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I have two career goals—the first is that I would like to be a costume designer in the movie or TV industry. It has always been a dream of mine to be behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. My other goal is to be able to have my own boutique. Whether I choose to be in fashion or in costumes, either way I will have achieved my goals. Ever since I was a child I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it has stuck with me ever since. I also want to keep an open mind as well because life is not black and white. I may achieve goals that I never thought possible with FIDM and I look very much toward the future.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? Some of the best advice I can give to someone who is thinking about attending FIDM is three main things. First be diligent in time management. It is one of the things that I have been taught since I was in middle school. I had to juggle many things back then and time management was a key necessity to my success at school. I swam, went to an art studio, and had homework every night at the end of every day. It may be a pain to work ahead but it pays off in the long run and prevents last minute or late night panic attacks. The second piece of advice that I can give is to be you. I know that sounds very cliché but I believe it is of key importance. There are students here from all walks of life and from everywhere around the world. Everyone is different and unique. I had a hard time being myself in high school, but now that I am here I don’t feel that I have to hide things any longer. The last advice I can give to a student who is thinking about going to FIDM is very simple—it is to be passionate. I believe in order to be successful here you have to have a passion for what you are doing. That makes all the stressful situations small compared to the main goal. I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way because I love and have a passion for what I am doing. It is not something that you can prepare for but it is important to keep that in mind.
Anything else you’d like to share? It took me some time to figure out what my true passion was. I always knew I wanted to be in some sort of art field but I was not quite sure what. I tried everything from dance to swimming to water polo to choir to orchestra and so on. Now that I have finally found my passion for design and garment/costume construction I feel that all those bumps in the road were essential. I want to someday give that joy and revelation back to someone else. That is one of the main reasons I want to have my own boutique in my hometown or even here in LA. I want to give back to students that have gone through hard times in their lives and are struggling with wanting to be an artist. I was very fortunate to have a family that supports me but I know that there are many that don’t have that support. That is one of the reasons that I someday wish to return to my high school and speak. In my mind the only one in your way of pursuing your dreams is yourself. I also write original stories in my free time and hope to get them up and running some day in stores. I also love all forms of art from sculpting, writing, cooking, dancing, and traditional and digital media.