Hello and welcome to Amow Design’s first blog post, my name is Kaylee Mandel. I am originally from Alberta but moved to Kelowna to get a diploma in graphic and web design. I have been in the program for fifteen months but have been living here for sixteen. It’s been exhausting and stressful at times but rewarding in the end. My final day of school is on December 17th, 2021. I’m excited to start this new journey in my life and to see where it will take me.
While living in Alberta, my family moved around a lot. I lived in small villages to towns to now living in a city, so I’ve seen it all. Living in towns where there was nothing to do besides sitting in a parking lot in your friend’s car for hours, is when I really started exploring my creative side. Doing things such as painting, drawing with different mediums such as charcoal, and picking up random hobbies. In high school, I did art classes as well as participated in band (I was a trombone player) but I was able to explore more avenues in art that I hadn’t thought about before. I was also able to purchase an IPad and that’s when I started exploring digital art. I use Procreate to create illustrations and I fell in love with this medium of art.
After high school I wasn’t too sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, so I stayed home and worked. I had a full-time job at a family owned business and was doing really good there. My co-workers were great and the days felt short but I knew I needed to leave and try something new. My boss was actually the one who brought my attention to graphic design. It was one of our many early conversations before opening when he asked what I was thinking about doing. At the time, I still had no idea. That’s when he mentioned maybe doing something creative because I love to doodle and make signs for the business. I didn’t think about it too much after that until my dad came home and mentioned a school down in Kelowna with a graphic design program. Of course my ears perked up at that comment because of the earlier conversation with my boss. I decided to do some digging and found the school and read about the program. After some thought, I decided why not. It is something that interests me and the worse that can happen is if I don’t get accepted, so why not try.
A couple weeks later I was working and going about business when I quickly checked my emails. That’s when I saw the email saying I was accepted into the program. I was ecstatic. My mom, by coincidence, was coming by to drop off a drink for me. When she pulled up, I went outside and told her the exciting news. We were just both happily cheering in a parking lot for a while.
With the help from my family, I made the move to Kelowna. It’s truly been a learning experience and I am unbelievably grateful. I got to go out on my own and explore more of the world and learn more about myself. Now that school is finishing, I can’t wait for the next chapter of my life to commence.