The Odd, The Beautiful — Toaki Okano

Introducing the 8th instalment in The Odd, The Beautiful series. Take a look into the mind of Toaki Okano, the man behind the lens of ILU’s photoshoots over the past 10 years as we sit down with him in his Auckland Studio, a place that buzzes with creative energy and a consistent flow of caffeine. We explore the story of how he made his way into the industry as well as the mindset that it took to achieve what he has over his career.

2024 marks 10 years of us working with Toaki. And while that is an important part of the story to us, we were most interested in learning more about the years prior. From his introduction to the camera to scrapping his was into the industry with no formal education, but armed instead with a drive and work ethic like no other. As it goes for most people there were ups and downs but with a focus on the bigger picture, short term setbacks were all a part of the journey.

We went on a number of tangents throughout the filming of this interview, all of which were rich with knowledge, information and advice which we know will resonate with you on some level. Especially those looking to break in to and ascend through the creative industry.

Let us know if you want to see the full interview.

Some key points to take from this:

  • Education is not the only requirement.
  • Be curious.
  • Always apply even if you don’t think you meet the requirements.
  • Push yourself harder than the next person.
  • Don’t waste an opportunity.
  • Don’t lose your direction.

If you are looking for some more advice on landing your dream role we wrote this 5 years ago but it ties in so well with Toaki's words — How To Land Your Dream Job



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