The story of Johnny Montage, born John Okoli is a very dynamic one, it may sound like a cliche but it is no fluke. It is one of patience, consistency, hard work and guts.
Eight years ago he was a fledgling comedian at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, struggling to earn his keeps in the small but promising entertainment world of Awka via any platform he could lay his hands on. He had some goodwill as then-fast-rising comedian Prince Neche took him under his wing and for all intents and purposes, he had some promise.
Today he is the Founder / CEO of Johnny Montage Academy, a world-class graphic designer celebrated across the country and beyond with feats you can only dream of in all modesty.
But how did he come to such greatness and what were the things that guided his path to fame and fortune?
As a student of Unizik, he had a drive for creativity that could not be matched by his contemporaries in comedy. You could say that his studies as a Fine & Applied student contributed to his craft but creativity goes beyond the norm. According to artist & actress Mary Lou Cook, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
He definitely took risks that would set out to reshape his destiny. He was passionate and hungry for glory despite the odds not being in his favour. Comedy was the medium he used to start his professional artistic journey. He would then venture into photography and learnt the painstaking way of editing pictures for over a year at G1st studios in Ifite Awka.
This knowledge would come in handy as he attempted to passionately woo his newfound love for graphic design, which he eventually courted to be his lover.
Combining comedy and his newfound love for graphics design was no easy task and over time it became increasingly difficult to devote his attention to both beauties. He would eventually break up with his first crush comedy much to the dismay of his loyal fans.
He had encounters with some talent hunts back then to test his abilities and take on new challenges. Some of which were abortive, beneficial and others without depth.
However, his defining moment would come in 2016 when he won the SolidStar WEED ALBUM ART CONTEST 2016 and about two thousand people contested. Johnny, by the grace of God, won the contest. This did not only boost his confidence level but it was at that very moment he made up his mind to be a graphic designer.
Since then he has kept on working on himself and his craft. And without a doubt have gotten better over the years. To be the best of the best.
His areas of specialties with seven years of experience in the design industry include cross-platform proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, and advanced knowledge of Photoshop which cuts across corporate designs, product branding, photo manipulations and 2D illustrations.
So far, he has been able to achieve a great number of feats namely;
Winner SolidStar WEED Album Cover Contest 2016
Anambra Youth Exclusive Choice Awards: Best Graphic Designer 2018
He has also had the privilege to work on some movie projects that have won several awards such as “Living in Bondage: The Sequel” “Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story” “Nneka the pretty serpent” and “Glamour Girls” which topped the global charts of the streaming platform Netflix, barely three days after its release.
He may be at the top of the food chain but not without his challenges and they are;
Meeting Client Expectations
Adapting to New Technologies
Revisions and Feedback
Evolving Design Trends
Intellectual Property Issues
His upcoming project is the Johnnymontage Academy School of Photoshop & Arts. The Johnnymontage Academy is a school that would specialize in teaching graphic design and arts to young individuals who have the zeal to learn and create awesomeness.
In his words, ‘Graphic design can be a rewarding but challenging profession that requires a combination of artistic talent, technical skills, adaptability, and effective communication to overcome these challenges and produce successful designs.’
He may have achieved a lot, but he is not slowing down anytime soon as he does not want to stop at his transcendence. He wants to achieve success at success.
Presenting Mr. Johnny Montage.