Art School Reviews

Carey Missler

Digital Filmmaking Grad

The Digital Filmmaking program definitely prepared me for all of my business adventures-it gave me the right skills and technology to move forward in the film industry. I loved the people that I met and went to school with. I'm still in contact with them today and have even worked with a few since I graduated.  

During my time at the Centre, I started my first company DCD Productions, now in its 4th year in business. As a student, I also worked on a film called The Union which won the National Film Board's Best Canadian Documentary, and many other awards. From there I worked on several other features and produced many television commercials. I just finished producing my first television show called David Lea's Fight Camp and am now producing a film called The Canadian Surfer - it's really exciting to watch it grow from an idea to reality.  

I would just like to say that if you are passionate about something, try and do it, you only live once. It's not going to be easy, but hard work pays off eventually!

Jordan Kocon

Animation Grad

I decided to do the Animation program at CAT because I was interested in game production and the program seemed to cover all aspects of it in depth. The program not only gave me technical skills, but also the skills to succeed in a professional environment. 

As a student, I did freelance work for City Interactive on the upcoming game 'Sniper Ghost Warrior 2' and I am now starting at Slant Six Games working on 'Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City'. I currently work as an environmental artist, and would like to one day become a technical artist. I like that in this industry, you start off as a junior, and then as you grow you move into senior positions, and can specialize in whatever you want. There is a lot of room for growth, and you always have the option to switch things up.

I always tell people interested in the game development industry to be extremely passionate about it; it's more of a lifestyle than a career.

Trent Trombley

Animation Grad

I have always loved art and drawing, especially comics, movies, and games. After going to university, I decided I wanted to take a different path and train for a career in Animation.

One of the most important things I learned during the program was quality control. Sometimes you get caught up thinking the work you do is the best of the best especially when you've grown up being the best artist in your school, but the world is a big place and is very competitive. The instructors I had really showed me that you need to push the envelope to succeed in this industry.

After graduation, I entered a lot of contests and continued to work on my portfolio, which helped me my current job working as an animation artist for a large game design studio.

I always tell people that you need to love drawing and creating new things everyday to be in this industry – you have to love what you do, and persevere. And you always have to be learning, because animation is an industry that is constantly growing and evolving.
 

Jennifer Ann Rempel

Fashion Design & Merchandising Grad

I chose the program because I have always known I wanted to work in a creative field and when I stumbled across the program, it just seemed to fit. I love the Okanagan and this program offered what I was looking for. The staff was amazing and it felt like home to me.

I knew there would be classes I loved and hated, but having Suzy [Kelowna Fashion Design & Merchandising department head] there was such an amazing thing to me. My favourite classes were apparel construction and pattern drafting- the creative classes were definitely the most fun for me, as well as what I excelled at.

After graduation, I started getting my info out to people so I could pursue freelance work - custom garments and alterations. The program gave me the skills and confidence to pursue being my own boss, and it also expanded the skills I already had in sewing and design. 

I would tell students considering going into fashion, that going to school could be the best decision you make! There are so many opportunities out there… But you have to know beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that it is what you want. The industry looks glamorous but it takes a lot of hard work! You have to be committed.With passion and discipline, it’s amazing to come to the end of two years and see your designs walk on the runway - your heart will stop. And you will just know it was all worth it.

Curtis Campbell

3D Game Animation Grad

I chose the Animation program at Centre for Arts and Technology because I liked the curriculum, and I could stay in Kelowna where I had grown up. There is a lot to learn, and the instructors were really great and helpful, pushing you to succeed. I learned and practiced what the industry is all about – tight deadlines, team work, and the use of software. Once I graduated, I got a job as a designer at a local web design company. After two years I moved on to pursue work in the gaming industry. I freelanced for awhile, and now I’m working at Electronic Arts in Vancouver on the FIFA team!

I love that the game industry is always changing, and in the middle of huge transitions, so the innovative ideas coming out of independent studios and large ones like EA, Ubisoft, and Activision are pretty cool. I think you get out school what you put into it. Don’t expect the instructors to hold your hand on absolutely everything. They’re great and will do the best they can to help you, but you have to go out of your way and learn things on your own as well. Also, don’t expect to show someone your diploma and land a job. Keep working at your portfolio after you’re done school and keep applying to employers. The diploma is great on your resume, but the portfolio is what really counts.

Without Centre for Arts and Technology I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today - working at a dream job in the game industry!
 

Roxanne Garand

Fashion Design & Merchandising Grad

The teachers and small classes were some of the best parts of the Fashion Design & Merchandising program - there’s nothing like learning in a fun, close-knit environment. Once I graduated, I wanted to get experience in retail; after all, the goal of our industry is to sell clothes to consumers. I started as a seasonal cashier, then style specialist, and now I’m being trained as Assistant Merchandising Manager – a position I was offered one week after my probation period. I’ve been working on my own projects and hope to keep variety in my work, from retail to photoshoots, teaching sewing classes, and more.

When you graduate, you may feel timid because you practically live there for two years, but it’s amazing to see how what you learn comes into play. The program instills confidence in students personally and publicly. I love the creativity of my industry. Fashion is fabulous! When you find what you love, you keep coming back for more.

I love designing outfits, seeing the result of a photo shoot, and doing look book or magazine layouts. The tools we have at our disposal are phenomenal, and the mentors and friends we make along the way aren’t all divas (all the time). The program isn’t easy, if it were, it wouldn’t be worth it. If you’re excited to learn more, you know you’re in the right place.

Jolanda Redeker

Interior Design Grad

I chose the Centre for Arts and Technology because the accelerated program allowed me to start working sooner, and small class sizes meant a lot of one-on-one time with instructors. Plus, Kelowna is a great place to be a student! The instructors are industry professionals with relevant knowledge to share, which is priceless.

My favorite part about the program was the ongoing growth I saw in myself and others. Every week, there were noticeable improvements in our ability to solve problems, be creative, and execute solutions. It was a real challenge at times but the work ethic and passion you have to put into it was very valuable for where I am now.

After graduation, I quickly got a job contracting for an interior designer. I got amazing exposure to the industry and was motivated to take my position and re-work it into a viable business. Early 2012, I launched my own company called Homme Interiors- it targets men who are seeking interior design solutions (homme is ‘man’ in French). I run my company part time in conjunction with a full time position on the Project Management team at an oil and gas company. The Centre prepared me for the industry by providing me with the technical knowledge and language to use in a professional setting. Work hard, be passionate and make friends. Your classmates and instructors help you take your ideas and designs to a whole other level; be open to it.
 

Michelle Lysohirka

Graphic & Digital Media Design Grad

The start dates that CAT offers was very convenient for me. When I visited the campus I felt at home, and knew it was the place for me to study.

My favorite part about the program was the programming courses. They were the most challenging, but I caught onto the PHP and Javascript languages quickly. They require intense devotion, but it is so worth it! There are plenty of graphic designers, and plenty of programmers, but to be able to do both will increase your chances at landing a great job. I received two job offers before I graduated, and accepted one with Morningstar Enterprises. I currently work with iRok2, while maintaining a casual freelancing career. I have gained more experience with languages such as Python, jQuery and Django, vastly improving my Flash animation skills. This industry is very welcoming, and graphic design skills are required for many different types of work.

The one thing I would tell potential students about my experience at CAT is be social; the more you can work with others and learn from their experience, the better off you will be. Networking is crucial because it can open up new job opportunities. Most importantly, be dedicated to your classes. You get out what you put in, so don't do only the bare minimum, and don't expect everything to be easy. Live and breathe design.
 

Dale Berg

Event & Promotions Management Grad

I’ve had the passion to plan, produce, and promote events my entire life. I heard about the Event & Promotions Management program at CAT and knew it was what I had spent years searching for. For me, the best part about the program was the guest speakers who came to our class to share first hand examples and opportunities with us. Having the opportunity to talk with industry professionals was priceless since the connections I made in school have turned into business relationships.

During the program I formed my own concert production and promotion company called KeyNote Productions since each assignment allowed me to achieve success in my classes, as well as develop my company. Two weeks after grad I was on the road promoting a six week concert tour, and have produced over thirty events during my first year. The program at CAT focuses on practical projects which gave me the opportunity to learn valuable lessons while exploring the industry first hand. I love the industry because it doesn’t feel like work to me! There is a good balance of office and on-location work to keep each day fresh and interesting. 

Be prepared to get your hands dirty! If you want to dive head first into the industry, this is a great place to do that! By the end of the program you will be amazed at what you have accomplished.

Kyle Andrus

Audio Engineering Grad

I really liked the diversity of places and teachers. We were in big studios, small studios, analogue, digital, etc.

Now that I am graduated, I work as audio director at a large, suburban church, and as a freelance audio engineer in live and studio environments. I really like the flexibility that the industry offers. There are tons of different things you can do, and the hours are quite flexible.

My experience at CAT taught me that you get out what you put in. I worked hard, and did well, and I now have editing credits on albums.
 

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