Spotlight_Vol 23_Issue_3

While in Korea, she taught various age groups from chil - dren to business professionals. Brandon continued with his ESL career for many years, but MacNeil felt her path needed to take a new direction. After returning home from Korea, MacNeil went back to school to study Graphic Design at NSCC. During a brief period in between an internship at an advertising agency and becoming a graphic designer for Dalhousie Univer - sity, MacNeil saw an opportunity to self-publish a Q&A book she created as a school project. When she first came home from Korea, she took some of the questions she used in her lessons and made a party game out of them. This became an icebreaker at small parties to get to know the group. But the questions and game became her first creative project putting words and visuals to - gether. “The book was called twentythree. There were 23 questions. And I thought 23 is a time when you’re really learning about yourself more, what you want to do, and who you want to be. And these questions real - ly created a connection,” described MacNeil. Filled with photos, questions, and answers from 40 different peo - ple, it took 6 months to transform a school project into a self-published book. She then went on to sell over 200 copies and put on a couple of book launches. Shortly thereafter, MacNeil secured a full-time Graphic Design position at Dalhousie University. While doing design work for Dalhousie, MacNeil en - joyed attending markets as a casual vendor. She start - ed by selling cards with photos of Cape Breton on them. Then turned to printing a scenic calendar, along with designing a simple but classic silhouette shape of Cape Breton Island. It was during her maternity leave in 2013 that MacNeil began to use her design background on apparel. She saw the need for Cape Breton to have a modern, signature product for locals and tourists to wear with pride. MacNeil delivered with her first Captain Cape Breton t-shirt. Quickly followed by her Squaredance and Cape Breton Crew designs. These logos hit the markets initially as a side project. She loved being able to keep her day job while creating Cape Breton content.





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