Making his design dreams come true
Entrepreneur Stephan Johnstone has shared with Rotarians his journey to achieving a career in graphic design.
Within 11 years, Mr Johnstone went from a high school graduate of Mount Saint Agnes Academy, confused about career paths, to becoming a poet, artist, publisher, designer, webmaster and global businessman.
He is now the proud owner of SJDWorld, a design studio on Front Street that specialises in creative print and web work.
Mr Johnstone, 32, visited the Hamilton Rotary Club on Tuesday to share his accomplishments — and his failures.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I originally wanted to be a boat pilot,” Mr Johnstone said.
“I got the opportunity to sail tall ships from Boston to Halifax in 2001. During the period I purchased a scanner and when I came back to Bermuda the scanner didn’t work. I left it for a few months then decided to take it apart and managed to get it working. I have been scanning and manipulating images ever since.”
Having graduated from the George Brown School of Design in 2006, Mr Johnstone has been innovating and expanding SJDWorld.
The company aims to always bring a unique and innovative style guaranteed to be produced efficiently and of great quality, he said.
Some of his other endeavours have included releasing three poetry albums, publishing two books, one titled Click, selling more than 1,000 Cup Match T-shirts and being nominated for a Webby Award, which honours internet success.
“It’s been a great journey,” Mr Johnstone said.
But it has been challenging. After attending Acadia University for a year, Mr Johnstone quit and began to explore his own direction, which allowed him to gain experience in graphic design by working for a design studio in Toronto.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Mr Johnstone urges young citizens to express their art and passion.
He mentors two summer interns and hopes to educate more youth about graphic design.