Our city has exploded with opportunities and it’s inspiring to see what is being created here.
A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining a connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
We are #OKGNtech is a showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Amanda Adams. Amanda is currently a Layout Artist at Yeti Farm in Kelowna. When she’s not creating all the fun things for Yeti Farm, you’ll find her doodling in her sketchbook, spending time in her garden, in the outdoors hiking, paddle boarding, and camping.
Why did you choose the Okanagan to call home?
I was born and raised in Kelowna, BC. I’ve lived here my whole 37 years! I’m still here because our town and surrounding areas are absolutely beautiful. Kelowna has also grown enough where I didn’t have to leave and I’ve been able to grow as an individual and a professional.
Where are you working now?
I’ve been with Yeti Farm Creative for the past 3 years! I’ve always had a passion for art and animation. That story began with a nine-year-old girl sending her resume to Disney wanting to be an artist, to now having a 13-year career I’ve had as an artist for various studios here in Kelowna.
What do you do there?
I began my career at Yeti as a character and prop designer for an Amazon Series on Prime called Pete the Cat. Since then I’ve worked on shows for all age ranges. I currently move between working on character design/color and layout/background design and color. I enjoy many things about my job here. From the shows themselves, the various art styles I get to work in, and the opportunities I’ve had to grow as an artist within these roles.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. I had the opportunity to pursue my passion and learn about the animation industry at The Centre for Arts and Technology here in Kelowna where I took their 3D animation program. Once I graduated, Disney’s Club Penguin had already been open for four years and had been acquired by The Walt Disney Company for two years. So I sent in many, many resumes to them! I began work in their customer service department and then was able to move into the art department where, along with my team, we designed the clothing and props players could outfit their penguins with.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Dedicate yourself to honing your skill. Whether that be in design, or layouts it’s best to choose a role and be a strong artist within that role first. Have these skills showcased well in your portfolio or demo reel. From there, having a growth mindset is key. You can push yourself to grow and learn further skills that will make you valuable within a studio. Essentially, never stop drawing, and never stop learning!
How were you first introduced to the #OKGNtech community?
I was first introduced to the OKGNtech at the grand opening of the Kelowna Innovation Centre. It was an amazing night and I met so many incredible people that make up this community. My involvement in tech began with Club Penguin, from there I’ve had various roles from support for QHR Technologies, art and design at startups, to where I am now as an artist at Yeti Farm. I love how many driven entrepreneurs are within this community. Growing up here I at first felt maybe one could not get too far in our small town. But now, our city has exploded with opportunities and it’s inspiring to see what is created here.
Do you think there is anything missing from the community here?
I would love to see more accessible opportunities for anyone thinking of pursuing a career in the tech industry. It would be great to see more opportunities for learning and growth here in the Okanagan.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Or can share?
Life is too short to live it “safe”. You need to believe in and trust yourself on this journey. Take those risks and try new things! But, as driven as you will be, make sure to slow down, enjoy the moments in the here and now because you’ll never realize how precious they are when all that remains of them are memories