Dojo Studio in Norman is the brainchild of OCCC student Dylan Johnson.
“I wanted to not follow any rules or conventions of typical business models, and give myself a place to work, meet clients, and give artists and musicians a dirty underground place to play shows and hang art,” Johnson said.
He said he worked on web design at Orange Coast College in California, but took most of his multimedia and computer classes at OCCC where he graduated with a degree in diversified studies.
At the moment, he is finishing up coursework for his degree in Film and Video Production.
Johnson said he and others associated with Dojo Studio have produced websites, rock shows, music festivals, art shows, clothing designs, photography, videography, logos, press releases, business cards, fliers, and “pretty much about everything in between.”
The inspiration to create his studio came from his firsthand experience at a party in Los Angeles, at a place called BoxEight.
“It reminded me of Hansel’s house in ‘Zoolander’ because it was so cool it was almost comical,” he said.
The images stuck with Johnson and helped shape his own ideas about making a similar setting.
He said Dojo Studio became his ideal work and play place. He wanted to create something that had not been done yet in Oklahoma.
When he lived in Costa Mesa, Calif., Johnson said, he visited different art galleries, bars, and studios, collecting his thoughts and reflecting on each place he saw.
Dojo Studio’s name came about more or less by happenstance.
The word dojo in its origin means place or way.
“But the conception was not that deep,” he said.
When Johnson and his friends noticed the last occupant of the venue left behind little karate guy clipart on the windows, it produced the idea of a dojo, a training place for martial arts.
The name of the studio ultimately originated out of an inside joke, but they tried to keep the name pretentiously meaningful.
“I’m still surprised when I meet people from out of town who have heard of the studio,” Johnson said.
“I am happy every time I book a new photo shoot or website. But, at the end of the day, we just try to live by our creed. What would Don Draper do?”
Dojo Studio has been open for more than a year now. For more information, go online at www.whatisdojo.com.