Amanda Kythreotis, 2020

Hometown: Demarest, NJ
Major: visual art

“You have to do something that you have a passion for.”

Amanda Kythreotis has always been artistically gifted. But she was one of the last people to admit it. In fact, it took a friend to convince Amanda that her collection of high-school art sketches deserved a wider audience than the students in her art class.

“A friend came up to me and told me that my sketches were really good. She said they looked like the adult coloring books people are selling now and that I should publish it,” Amanda recalls.

Amanda liked the idea and, armed with 50 of her best sketches, she set off as a high-school senior to present her coloring book idea to the marketing team at a nearby printing company. They loved it. The printer agreed to print 300, which Amanda helped finance with money she saved up from her summer job at a frozen yogurt store.

“I broke even, and now it’s profit,” Amanda says of the coloring book, entitled Emergence, which she sells on Etsy. “Everyone says I have a lot of potential, but I was never confident about it. Now that my coloring book is selling, it has boosted my confidence.”

When it came time to choose a college, Amanda chose STAC because of its art therapy program reputation.

“I was thinking I wanted to work with autistic children or elderly people with Alzheimer’s,” Amanda says. “I researched art therapy programs, and STAC’s was one of best in country and close to home.”

Now, a full year into the program, Amanda says she’s feeling the desire to create art for herself and is considering changing her major to the visual arts. She is also pursuing a minor in marketing.

“Part of me wants to do art therapy, and part of me wants to focus on my drawing abilities and graphic design,” Amanda says. “It’s difficult for me to choose right now. I know I have time to figure out, and there is some overlap in courses.”

"We were impressed with Amanda's range of experiences and were very happy that she joined our Aquinas Leaders Program," said Vin Crapanzano, Dean for Student Success at STAC. "This program and Amanda have a perfect relationship. They are both great for each other!"

Amanda says her “dream job” is to work as a graphic designer specializing in corporate logos. But for now, she is set on earning her degree in an arts-related field and planning for her second coloring book.

“I’d like to do another one during the summer. It’s difficult to do one during the school year, because I want to focus on my classes,” Amanda says. “Summer is a good time for me to apply what I’m learning at STAC to my own passion.”

For information about Amanda’s coloring book, Emergence, contact her on Instagram at @a.k.coloring.books.

 

AQLP: 10-27-17