Artistry Meets Industry: Adriana’s Creative Evolution


Adriana Smith is a multidisciplinary artist and graphic design intern residing in Montreal, Quebec. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia/Cyberarts from Concordia University in 2020, where she explored the nexus of art and technology and honed her talent for creating unique and exciting visual work.

Upon the completion of her studies, Adriana took a leap by bridging the gap between artistry and industry, launching her small business, Her work explores themes and motifs with roots in Japanese and Korean artistic movements and mediums, such as anime, manga, and various other forms of both print and digital styles, evoking senses of nostalgia and lightness. In 2023, Adriana showcased her work at YES’ annual What the Pop! exhibition, attending pop-ups across Montreal alongside other artists and creatives in the local scene.

Currently a flourishing participant in the first cohort of YES’ new CREATE: Career Readiness + Employability Advancement Through Education program, Adriana continues to develop her artistic practice, business acumen, and technical skills as both an artist and graphic design intern at YES and Presentation Matters. Through navigating a new industry and culture as an anglophone studying, creating, and interning in Quebec, Adriana has strengthened her self-confidence and resolve, while also enhancing her technical skills, career readiness, professional network, and practical knowledge.


YES: When did you start your artistic journey and what were some of your goals when you started?

Adriana: My artistic journey started in childhood. Throughout my life, art has always been an anchor and important means of self-expression. My goal has always been to create something from my internal world that I could then share with others in the external world. I experience a great sense of fulfillment when others engage with my artwork and develop their own interpretations of and feelings toward it.


YES: What stage are you at now? What have been your greatest achievements?

Adriana: Right now, I’m evolving my passion for art into an artistic career. I’ve worked independently to develop my art style and visual brand,, over the years, completing commissions, managing an e-commerce shop, and engaging with customers and clients. I’ve also been able to showcase my artwork both digitally and in person, such as through YES’ What the Pop! exhibition and throughout the CREATE program, gaining hands-on experience at Presentation Matters. My greatest achievement is sticking to what I love to do and pursuing my artistic passions.


YES: What were/are your biggest struggles?

Adriana: Figuring out the next steps to take in my artistic career. Many artists, including myself, struggle to support themselves fully through their artwork alone. This has led me to explore practical ways to apply my creativity and passion as an artist. After graduating in 2020, I never had a clear path planned out for the future and was unsure of what my options were. This in turn led to a lot of self-doubt and anxiety as I started to question if it was possible to support myself through work that I would find genuine enjoyment and meaning in.


YES: What was the problem you were experiencing before you came into YES?

Adriana: Self-doubt and fear. I had been feeling very anxious about how to navigate life and support myself while living in Montreal, especially as an anglophone seeking creative work. Not knowing my options and having no real guidance, I was unsure if it was even possible to find a career path in the arts that was both fulfilling and financially viable.


YES: What did you find as a result of using our services?

Adriana: Through being a past participant in What The Pop! and a current participant of CREATE, I have gained a much better sense of self-confidence. I now feel a lot more confident in my abilities pertaining to both employability and design skills. Through YES’ services, I have learned how to tailor and improve my CV, use Adobe Suite software for design work, set achievable goals, and develop a better awareness of my strengths, weaknesses, and core values. I really feel that as a result, my initial thoughts, feelings, and views about finding meaningful work as an artist have greatly shifted into a more positive stance due to the care, information, and supportive environment that YES offers.


YES: What was the best thing about it?

Adriana: The best thing I learned is how important and rewarding it can be to apply yourself to something new and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Before coming to YES, I was really scared to do something new and push myself to find a new type of work. From all the experiences and connections with others that I have gained from the programs, I feel that I have acquired so much valuable self-growth and -worth. I now understand that the first step may be the hardest part of venturing into something new, but that things are not as scary and overwhelming as they may seem at first.


YES: How do you feel about the service you have received from YES?

Adriana: I feel very appreciative for all the consideration and care YES puts into helping others. This includes all the guidance, reassurance, positivity, enthusiasm, and commitment to positive change by helping their clients, like myself, reach their full potential. I really look forward to my days in the CREATE program in which we get to talk together in our cohort about navigating work culture. This is super beneficial to me because it helps me to realize that I’m not alone in my struggles to find work because – the reality is that there are many others like me going through the exact same challenges. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!


YES: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share?

Adriana: I would like to say a big thanks to YES, and especially the CREATE program facilitator Molly, who I felt really shows genuine and attentive care. Thank you for encouraging me to push through when I had been feeling lost in my artistic pursuits. I think it’s a really great thing that programs like CREATE and What The Pop! exist, and I’m so thankful that I’m able to take part.


Are you a creative with an interest in enhancing your employability and graphic design proficiency? Join us today and we’ll CREATE the future you dream of together at YES!