Mindset. An empowered woman is only as strong as her mindset. As women, we are truly so powerful. If we set our minds to anything, we can achieve it. All we have to do is believe.
I had the privilege of interviewing an empowered woman, Terry Watson. Many times throughout our interview, Terry credited the importance of mindset, and the huge role it plays in her life and success. I will share Terry’s journey of how she created her dream life as a freelance Production Designer, and how her mindset plays a crucial role in her success.
Terry’s film journey began her freshman year of college. After realizing her heart wasn’t fully behind becoming an interior designer, a career she had dreamt about since the 5th grade, she decided to switch things up. She enrolled herself in a film class for fun. She had always loved film, and once she took that class her mind was set. She told her mom she was moving to LA and pursuing film.
“Working 3 days a week turned into working full time, so I didn’t finish school because the film world is more about diving in, and doing the work type of industry.”
While Terry was going to school, she worked part time as an art PA (personal assistant). Terry graduated from The Los Angeles’ Film School, and finished her educational career a semester shy from completing her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from UCLA.
“I was working 14 hour work days, getting coffee for people-- you could look at the situation, and be drained or upset, but it just goes back to mindset. I decided to look at the situation, for all of its possibilities. I looked at it like a huge learning experience. I was soaking up as much as I could, taking everything in. I would go get coffee for somebody, but at the same time I would also ask them ‘what are you working on today?’ It all goes back to mindset.”
Terry continued doing assistant work for the next 2-3 years. It wasn’t until a conversation with her twin brother that inspired her to take the next step with going after her dreams. He asked her, “What are you telling people when you go out there, what are you telling them that you do.” She responded, “I work in art.”
“Okay, well what do you tell them your title is?”
“Well I tell them I’m assistant to the production designer.”
“There’s your problem. You don’t even believe yourself that you’re a production designer. Say you are a production designer, and believe it, then you are.”
After that conversation, Terry began calling herself a Production Designer. She began to embody more of her dream self, and slowly she began to get music videos projects, and designing her own music videos with money while under her dream title: Production Designer.
Terry faced a lot of adversity while pursuing her dream of becoming a Production Designer. Not only was she diving head first into an industry dominated with mostly straight, white men- she was also struggling with the pressures of being a hispanic woman, coming from an immigrant household.
She shared her struggles with the pressure she felt to work in a more traditional, salary secured, field of work due to her background. At first she struggled with the freelance concept. The concept was so different from the secure, stable, always knowing what your next move ideology she grew up with coming from an immigrant household. Despite the adversity she was facing from so many ends, she shifted her mindset from fear to faith. Instead she chose to believe in herself, and see the possibilities, “Well if there’s no one like me, then I’ll be the first. And I’ll pave the way for anyone else who needs to see it. If you train yourself to use fear in a positive way, then it’s only there to help you, it’s not there to scare you. Because fear is really just a mindset.”
Terry credit’s her amazing mother for showing her what a powerful mindset, and an empowering woman looks like.
“My mom plays a huge role in how I’m able to look at things and put them in perspective for what they are. I grew up with a single mom. I watched her persevere through everything that comes with that. I watched how she was able to provide such a loving, secure, stable environment for me and my siblings. She could provide for 5 children! While others may look at things and immediately see the obstacles in a situation, my mom always saw the possibilities.
I think that’s half of our challenge. Mentality. We see all of the obstacles, like, nobody looks like me, I’m the only woman, etc. It is possible. If you change your mindset. So when things get overwhelming and stressful and fear kicks in, say I’m designing a movie with millions of sets, I put that in perspective. That I have to do one thing at a time. And I’ll get there. I like to look back when I have some breathing room and take time to reflect over the things I’ve done and give myself credit and say ‘I accomplished that!’”
Today Terry is a very successful Production Designer, who has worked with some of the top artists and companies in the game! Some clients she has worked with are Bad Bunny, P!nk, Lil Nas X, The Weeknd, Netflix, Samsung, Google +, and so much more. By going after her dream, and believing in herself, she has been able to create her dream life, her way. Terry is currently living her dream as a Production Designer, working with some of the biggest names in the industry. Fueled by her passion for creating with others, she enjoys working on free projects/films in her spare time with friends. The advice she has for those wanting to pursue a career in the film industry:
“I tell anyone that is wanting to work in the film industry, learn how to communicate. Because everybody communicates differently, and it helps overall working in a creative field. I took an interpersonal communication course in college, and that helped me out so much. It has helped me out more than anything!
With communication in general, you are always dealing with so many different personalities. We can interpret something differently due to our different communication styles. We were all taught things differently, and that’s a fact. In moments of miscommunication, people are probably having a difficult time being able to successfully convey what they want to express. I like to remind myself, we’re all here for the same end goal, and do my best to meet the other person in trying to understand them the best I can. I like to put a little humanity in it when I’m putting things into perspective.”
Lastly I asked Terry what advice she has for all women pursuing their dreams. She responded, “Just because you don’t see it’s been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be. It all goes back to mindset. If you have the drive to want to do something, you should follow it and not let anyone hold you back.”
Terry, thank you so much for sharing your journey with W.E.W Cosmetics, and giving us the opportunity to share your empowering story with our community. Be sure to like, share, and comment how Terry’s story has inspired you to make some mindset changes of your own.
See you all in the next one!