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I’m a Self-taught Graphic Designer and a Photographer- Olabode Ojomo

Olabode is a seasoned art director, photographer and a blogger. He is the CEO/Creative director of Zurieffect int’l (a brand strategy, design and production agency).

An award winning art director who has worked for more than a decade in the advertising agency on accounts such as BAT( British American Tobacco), DStv, Etisalat, pfizer, 9mobile, Lafarge, Cadbury, Startimes, Renault, Partner mobile amongst others.

Olabode’s artwork has won many gold and silver awards at the Lagos Advertising Industry Festival (LAIF). His images have been used for advertising purposes for top brands in Nigeria, Africa and globally.

Olabodeskills as he is fondly called among his creative peers and friends is a Cannes lion award winner in Print Category (2010). His artwork has been displayed around the country and across the world.

He has also worked on documentary photo story on Depression which was acknowledged by the World Health Organization. His works has received many awards both locally and internationally. His photography work was featured on National Geography while others have graced many tabloids in Nigeria and across Africa.

He is married to Temitope Ojomo and they are blessed with kids

Olabode was the guest facilitator during the maiden edition of the BMAN conference held in Lagos Nigeria on Friday November 24, 2017. These were his thoughts and advice as he shared his experiences with the boys while responding to the BMAN MentorMe Session;

Turning point and Greatest Success

My turning point was in 2002 when I reconnected with Mr.Ola Akinwe an ex-senior secondary student from my school. He gave me a book by Robert Schuller “Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do”. The book changed my perspective about life and I was informed about the opportunities on earth, the reasons why I needed to be up and doing and the fact that I could achieve everything I put my heart at. My greatest success was when I built my house in Lagos. I had a plan of building my house at 30 and getting married also at 30. I built my house before my 30th birthday and got married the same year. 

Biggest failure and lesson learned

My biggest failure has always turned out to be the greatest blessing for me. I had wanted to study medicine, but in one way or the other, it did not materialize. I was pained knowing that some of my mates who were not as brilliant as I, were all studying medicine. I followed their activities and I was uncomfortable. Today, I thank God that I did not study medicine, I would have been a disaster to the profession, because my latter self-discovery revealed that I was not a conformist by nature and could be quite impatient especially in my quest to achieve my goals. I later realized that the creative industry suits me more than the health industry. I have learnt that every failure is an opportunity to get on a fresh start.

Helping Hands

I am a self-taught graphic designer and a photographer. Between 2002 -2010, I paid N10, 000 tuition fees for a beneficiary to attend computer school. Upon completion of their studies, I re-train them on what they were not taught in computer school. In 2010, I came up with a website formerly called olabodeskills.com (now skillented.com) to teach people (free of charge) design software. I have been doing this for the past seven years. I am also a volunteer photographer for some NGO that caters for less privileged and vulnerable children.

Best advice ever received.

The best advice I ever received was from my mother. She will always tell me “Remember the son of whom you are”. That alone formed the man I have become.

I wished I had known

I wish I had been told about skill acquisition before now. I was hell bent on studying medicine until I got disappointed by lack of fund.  I thought I could only be successful studying a professional course. I never knew I could make it better working in ICT or just acquiring skills in other fields. I studied computer science, but today, I am an art director and a photographer, and also the CEO of a company.

Funniest thing I ever did

I was in JSS1, a class captain and a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) in my secondary school (Manuwa Memorial Grammar School). There was always an election to choose SS3 students into positions like President, VP, Secretary and others. Only SS3 students were eligible to contest and be voted for in these positions. The rest of us were just observers. But I felt it was improper for them to contest without opposition. I raised my hand when they asked for someone who will oppose the candidate. The entire student body was baffled by my effrontery. It was so funny that the candidate had to ask the House Master to allow me contest. It was such a funny situation that put me into serious trouble afterwards. 

Taking Courage

In the year 2001, I discovered that my only way of getting into a higher institution was through part-time studies because I had to be solely responsible for my education. At that time, my salary was just N5, 000. After I enrolled, it was difficult to pay for tuition. Before then, I had designed a company name for myself, and had started stocking newspapers from which I picked out company names in which I was able to pick phone numbers. I would visit phone centres to make calls on credit. I would call the companies, introduce myself and tell them what I can do. Most of these companies would tell me they already had someone working for them. That did not deter me, I continued to bombard them with calls while my telephone bills were piling up. I was however able to get away with some of these humongous bills due to good relationship that existed between the telephone operator and I. I did not give up until one of the companies decided to grant me audience and I was given a life-saving job that transformed my life. It was one of the most courageous things I had ever done, because it helped reshape my life and saw me through school.

Something I’m afraid of.

I am afraid of death. I know I will surely die one day, but to die without achieving my dreams and ambitions will be a sad one.

I’d really like to learn?

I’d really love to learn how to play a piano. I have always loved people playing piano. I have decided to buy one for my children. I believe if they know how to play, I can still learn from them.

My greatest question

What fond memory will I leave behind for my children and the world at large when I am gone? This has been the motivating factor to impart as many lives as possible.

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