We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Mont and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking has played an extremely important role throughout my life and career. I feel like I grasped onto the value of taking risks early in my design career. I faced some adversities with my health while in college that led to me learning a few very important life lessons. I had developed Fibromyalgia as a fresh 21 year old and after six months I took a big risk by telling my doctor I was going to find a natural way to treat my disease. That decision led to two years of chronic pain, fatigue, depression, hope, research, vitamins, diets, trials, failures; I had to relearn and reset my body. Two years later, I finally woke up feeling normal again and today I’m going on five years of remission. That experience taught me that the secret to success is failure. Failure isn’t something to be sad about because every failure brings you closer to succeeding. I learned the importance of loving the journey that you’re on, because as soon as you reach that big goal that you’ve idolized, that want is going to be replaced with something new. It sounds selfish, but that drive and yearning is what keeps us growing and innovating. Lastly, I learned that I can do anything that I set my mind to as long as I keep working for it. Great things don’t happen overnight. Great things happen when you take calculated steps day after day to accomplish them. That fueled the beginning of a career highly based around taking risks. I went full time freelance straight out of college. That choice really left me saying “Yes!” to every opportunity that came my way (or I wouldn’t have been able to eat, ya feel me?). That’s the one thing they would tell us not to do in college and it’s obvious why. It’s hard. You don’t know what you’re doing. There’s so much behind running your own business. I worked. I failed. I learned. I fell on my face. I grew. Five years later, the value and wisdom that I gained from that choice is unfathomable. Almost three years ago, I was offered a job as Director of Marketing for The Sun Company, a renewable solutions startup. Joining a startup is a risk. Taking on a marketing position in an industry that you’re not entirely educated in is a risk. It takes patience, hard work, dedication, values, and passion. This position has been life changing. I’ve learned so much about the importance of our impact on this planet and so much about what I want to do to help it. It has entirely shifted the remainder of my life and the direction of my career. Taking calculated risks is risky. But life is all about highs and lows. Risk, failure, patience, and drive breed the highest highs. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel like my art is ever changing. I’m constantly overwhelmed by all of the things I want to create and the directions I want to go. But these past years have really had me feeling trapped by time. I’ve had a lot going on in a lot of directions (there’s a theme here), so the only time I get to sit down and focus on personal works ends up being when I setup and schedule an art show. Well, wouldn’t ya know it, I just scheduled a show that will be coming up on January 15th at Armor Coffee Co in Allen that I’m very stoked about. Now I’ve got an excuse to create some new pieces all throughout December! I’ve got some pretty intense and potentially crazy ideas for some sculptures I’m going to dive into. You can expect a new series of illustrations coming out and I was already planning on a website redesign for Katie Mont so it will be a busy and exciting end to my year. As for 2021, I am planning on working less than I have over the last few years. Trust me, that’s a good thing! I am finally at a point in my career where I can narrow down while still growing. That will leave me more time to focus on fun side projects. I’ll get to work on creating personal works because I want to, not because I have a deadline to meet in my calendar or bills to pay. I am weeks away from achieving a goal that I’ve been working towards for the past three years. It feels great. I have an alarm set on my phone that goes off throughout the day. It says what I would want someone that knows me to say if they were asked three words to describe me by. “Influential. Adventurous. Driven”. I see those three words every day. I keep project lists, deadlines, and ideas on a whiteboard that hangs over my desk. The very top of the whiteboard has a message from me, for me. “You are Fucking Awesome!”. I think sometimes it’s easy for us to get down on ourselves. Your personal voice, the one that you hear in your head all throughout the day, should radiate positivity and love for yourself. Sometimes that is easy. Sometimes it is very hard. If you wouldn’t like someone saying it to you, never say it to yourself. Set big goals. Take calculated risks. Embrace and welcome failure. Keep your eye on the prize. Celebrate victories big and small. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, energize you, and make you the best version of yourself. Remind yourself every day WHY you are here. Find a way to enjoy the journey because you will always have somewhere to go.

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?
Okaaaayyyyyyy, Let’s talk fave places to go in Denton! You’ve gotta start with Eastside. It’s the Denton staple and always the meet up spot. Have some blastitos to start the day. While you’re there, visit the food truck park. Snag some tacos from Freddy’s, steak from Saucy Hibachi, or a pork vermicelli bowl from Pickled Carrot. You can not go wrong. Mosey on over to Beer Alley, where Denton County Brewing Company and The Bearded Monk meet. These guys, Ben Esely and Seth Morgan, form the coolest intersection of a unique variety beer store and fun, chill-vibe brewery you can find. The regulars are friendly, fun, and some of the coolest people in town. Welp, we’re day drinking so we’re headed to Miss Angeline’s and Oak Street next. Angeline’s has the best *~*fancy*~* beverages and a plethora of very comfy, tufted furniture. Snag some drinks and get in a game of ping pong at Oak. When you find yourself hungry again, head over to Komodo Loco, delicious, asian-fusion greatness! All of these places have amazing staff, great service, and provide the best hangs (imo). The square is always a great place to be and it is beautiful, especially when they’ve got lights up on the trees. Stop by West Oak Coffee for a pick me up and check out the rad shops along the way!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thank you to every friend, acquaintance, family member, creative, and community member who’s ever bought me a drink, supported my art, hired me, shared my work, swung by my art show, paid me a compliment, told me they were proud, bought my broke ass lunch, worked at my booth with me, pulled me away from a long work week, partnered with me on a project, participated in an event, sent me good vibes, provided me with positive energy, and been there for me when I needed it. I could not be where I am today without the help of a long, long, long list of amazing and extraordinary friends. Your support means the world to me.

Website: www.katiemont.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/katie.mont
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-montgomery-b802488b/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katiemontdesign

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