Dami Lee is a popular architecture YouTuber.
She has more than 600 thousand subscribers on her YouTube channel by the name DamiLee.
Dami is a licensed architect and an entrepreneur.
Dami Lee was born on 17 August 1992.
She hails from South Korea.
Her family emigrated from South Korea when she was 7.
Painting leads to architecture-
In 2008, while in high school, Dami had no definitive plans about her further studies.
She was interested in arts, sciences and business school and wanted to study them.
At that time, Dami had an adoration for painting and in her free time and after school, she used to paint in the art room of her high school.
Once, Megan, one of her student teachers, noticed her painting in the art room and thought that she might be interested in architecture and so suggested she apply to an architecture school.
Even though at that time, Dami had no idea of architecture, after researching it, she found it interesting.
In 2010, at 18, Dami wanted to move to a different city and learnt that Toronto had a couple of architecture schools and so, she readied her portfolio.
And in 2010, she moved to Toronto singly and joined Ryerson University (Toronto Metropolitan University) in Toronto, Canada to study for a Bachelor of Architectural Science.
While studying, from September 2013 to April 2014, Dami worked part-time as a Communications Officer at the Department of Architectural Science at her university.
She graduated in 2014 and then took a year off to work as a Junior Designer at Gair Williamson Architects in Vancouver.
In 2015, Dami rejoined Ryerson University to study Master of Architecture (MArch) as she received a full scholarship (Ryerson Graduate Scholarship).
From 2015 to 2017, she worked part-time as a Graduate Assistant while studying at her university.
Dami graduated in 2017 with a GPA of 3.91.
She received awards, Toronto Society of Architects Award and AIA Henry Adams Award and is a TD Bank Competition Winner and Small Cabin Design Winner.
In 2013, Dami received the Frank Leva Scholarship.
In 2008, Dami worked as a Setter/Hostess at Earls Kitchen + Bar in Vancouver, Canada.
Then, from 2008 to 2009, she worked as a Sales Associate at ALDO Group in Vancouver.
From 2011 to 2013, Dami worked as a Graphic Designer at Alfa Microsystems Inc in British Columbia.
Then, as previously mentioned she worked at Ryerson University and Gair Williamson Architects.
From July 2017 to April 2020, Dami worked as an Architectural Intern at MIZA Architects in Vancouver.
In 2017, even though she got a somewhat high paying job offer from a bigger firm than MIZA Architects, she chose the latter as they promised her good work-life balance and assistance for getting hours.
Thanks to working here, Dami got her architecture license within three years.
From September 2020 to February 2021, she worked as an Architect at Cutler in British Columbia.
Dami was self-employed from April 2020 to March 2021 and from March 2021 to November 2022, she worked as an Architect at FaulknerBrowns in Vancouver.
In 2023, she started her own business.
After finishing her master’s in 2017, Dami started interning at MIZA Architects and she started working overtime as the overtime pay was 1.5 times the usual pay.
At that time, she seriously focused on paying back her student loans and she lived at her mother’s house for a couple of years.
Dami also did a lot of freelance work and did renderings and architectural drawings and thanks to all these, she was able to pay back her student loans relatively quickly.
Quitting her stable job & starting YouTube channel-
While working at MIZA Architects, Dami was moonlighting for an owner of the franchise bakery.
In April 2020, she quit her stable job at MIZA Architects and wanted to take a break for a yoga retreat in Mexico before starting working for the franchise bakery remotely.
Unfortunately, at that time, the COVID-19 hit and the market plummeted and it badly affected the franchise bakery and most of its projects got cancelled.
As a result of all these consequences, the franchise bakery could not hire Dami and also, many firms were not hiring and so, became unemployed.
Her yoga retreat also got cancelled due to the COVID-19.
During that time, Dami had a lot of free time and she used to spend a lot of time on Reddit and YouTube.
She observed that a lot of negativity was being spewed by architects regarding architecture on the Reddit forums.
Once, Dami observed a 14-year-old kid trying to learn about architecture and was suggested by architects on Reddit to not pursue architecture as this field of work demands long working hours and without work-life balance.
This negativity annoyed her as she felt that the field of architecture has many positives too and she felt that architects should try to better their field rather than discouraging the youngsters to enter architecture.
As during that time, Dami was unemployed, she started growing anxious and started doing a lot of sketching and designing to control her anxieties.
Fortunately, during that time, YouTube recommended a video of Ali Abdaal in which he explained how he had been earning passive income on YouTube.
This video inspired Dami to start her YouTube channel and she decided to use her skill sets and interests of designing, storytelling and being an architect to earn money.
So, on 16 May 2020, she started her YouTube channel by the name DamiLee.
Dami started her YouTube channel not only to earn money but also to inspire young architects by providing them with tools, strategies, and processes for a successful career in architecture through her videos.
On 17 May 2020, she published her first YouTube video titled ‘Using my Anxiety to Design.’
Some of her videos became viral and thanks to this, she was able to secure the job as an Architect at Cutler in British Columbia.
A successful YouTuber-
As of March 2023, Dami has 605K subscribers on her YouTube channel and 36.7K followers on Instagram.
She earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, Membership and ‘Super Thanks’ on her YouTube channel, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and she also accepts donations on Ko-fi.
Dami also has a newsletter and website.
She shoots her videos with Insta360 ONE RS 1 and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K cameras.
Dami’s future plan is to start her own non-conventional architecture firm with her YouTube earnings.
Book recommendations & hobbies-
Dami reads and recommends the ‘Building Construction Illustrated’ book for architecture.
She also recommends ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ and ‘Principles’ self-help books.
Dami loves visiting buildings, photography, and video production.
She loves the architecture of Venice and loves walking around Venice’s labyrinth and alleys.
Dami is a polyglot as she knows English, German, and Korean.
She lives in Vancouver, Canada.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Dami Lee?
Share with me in the comment section below.
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