Hello, I´M Mike
Executive Creative Director Mike John Otto

„I help forward thinking clients to stay ahead of culture by creating art- driven narrative brand experiences that attract and convert humans into brand fans“ 

Nice to meet you! I’m Mike John Otto, aka BlackBeltMonkey.
A Hamburg and Berlin based Executive Creative Director, Designer, Creative Consultant and Visual Artist.

I describe myself as a Creative that stands in between the unseen narrative brand experience, culture and a tech-orientated approach. Most of my work emerges from the cross-application of common creative teams and collaboration with other inspiring minds from neurosciences, developers, data scientists, artists or film directors, always looking for the unseen narrative to tell, how to tell it and where to tell it and base my work on the methodologies of human-centered design, (pop)-cultural trends and purpose driven communication. I believe in Narrative Brand Experiences that convert humans into fans and I aim to change the way brands communicate: by putting the human in the center of all communication.

I am working as a Partner and Executive Creative Director at Artificial Rome and I am Founder and Part of the Blackbeltmonkey Creative Collective. In addition to my commercial work I am a Mixed Media Artist. Titles change quickly, that’s why I don’t care a lot about titles but more about roles, responsibilities and passion. My strength and passion lies in creating relevant, mostly digital brand experiences with a creative, technological and cultural driven approach in the field of XR, VR, Metaverse and Web 3.0.

No matter for which brand I am working, I believe that everybody should have it’s own purpose, a north star to follow. Mine is to help forward thinking brands to change by creating culture driven narrative brand experiences that convert humans into brand fans.

My creative personality was shaped in the digital design boutique scene, advertising agencies and global consulting firms, where I learned to apply my skills interdisciplinarily.
I like to work on a variety of thematic projects that stretch across disciplines, I am able to quickly adapt to the complex and ambiguous variables of a situation, identify insights and understand challenges to create a roadmap to a shared vision that generates value for the customer in alignment with ultimate creative and business goals. My work not only draws upon visual theories and user-centered research but also purpose based marketing, Cultural Analytics, web3 tech and fast changing cultural trends.

With more than 20 years of professional practice, I gained the experience and had the pleasure of building products, shaping brands and create narrative experiences for some of the boldest global clients. I worked for digital agencies such as razorfish, e7 and Interone, design boutiques such as Hi-ReS! and Artificial Rome, advertising agencies such as ACNE or Philipp und Keuntje and for creative consultancies such as Deloitte Digital.

You can find me as a speaker at Creative and Tech-Festivals discussing the newest technologies and cultural trends, labs to test out the newest XR / VR equipment and judging at ADC, Cannes Lions and many others the recent Metaverse Experiences and at the Factory Berlin to philosophy about newest urban experiences and how brands become sustainable.

What I am:
I am a creative thinker, creative consultant, visual engineer, tech lover, visual artist, storyteller and brand shaper. 

Let’s find out how we can work together to change the way brands communicate and how they stay ahead of culture.

Download my CV for additional information.

CV & Portfolio as PDF.

Follow me @mikejohnotto

Titles & Roles

Executive Creative Director
Creative Leader
Creative Consultant
Keynote Speaker
Jury Member
Design Teacher
Lecturer for
Culture Driven Creativity
Art Director


Creative & Art Direction
Creative Consultancy
Brand Strategy
Brand Building/Shaping
Purpose Based Marketing
Narrative Brand Experiences
Digital Campaigns
Styleframes & Epic Looks
Ideation and Workshops
Purpose Based Branding
Product Development
(pop) -Culture Driven Stories
Brand Experiences
Branded Content
AR/VR Experiences
Web 3 & Metaverses

Skills & Tools

I styleframe in Adobe Photoshop
I do motion in Adobe After Effects
I illustrate in Adobe Illustrator
I use Midjourney for visual research
I co-text in Holo AI
I do 3D in Blender
I layout in Sketch
I present in Keynote
If there is a need I can MS Office
I start in Visual Explorations
I use Brand Maps and Archetypes
I take Science Fiction Novels to inspire
I use Art for Industries
I have a Human Centricity Approach

Clients I currently work with
I did PROJECT for and with

adidas . Audi . AMG . Armed Angels . Astra . AC Milan . BMW . BMW Motorrad . Bundesliga . Bacardi . Chanel . DFB . DIESEL . GotBag . Fc Chelsea . Fc St Pauli . Gucci . Y-3 . Hyundai . Jägermeister . MINI . Opel . Montblanc . Polestar . Rimowa . Real Madrid . O2 . Sennheiser . Suse . SEAT . Siemens . smart . Telekom . Telefonica .

Agencies I worked for (Permanent or Freelance)

ACNE . AKQA .BBDO . B-Reel .
C3 . Denkwerk . Deloitte Digital .
elephant7. Elastique . Hi-ReS! .
Interone . Jung von Matt .
Neue Digitale . Sehsucht .
Saatchi & Saatchi . Scholz & Volkmer .
Strichpunkt . North Kingdom .
Philipp & Keuntje . Publicis .
Mutabor . Mother . Razorfish .

What previous COLLEAGUES and clients say

Mike is a brilliant Creative Director. I worked with him at Philip and Keuntje. He loves excellent art direction and graphic design. He’s got a fantastic combination of creative talent coupled with natural leadership. He was a great mentor. I would recommend him highly for any project.

Luke Li
Creative Lead / Art Director at IKEA

Mike John Otto is a very good creative guy, an extraordinary art-director and designer. High recommendation, you can expect great work from him.

Martin Gassner
Managing Director at SinnerSchrader / Accenture Interactive

Mike is a passionate and brave creative with undying commitment to ensure the best, innovative and unseen results. He is especially good at exploring new technology, how it works best and best applied in future projects. He loves brands and shapes the purpose and story to match it what the target groups want.

Uwe Greunke
Global Brand Manager Sennheiser Electronics.

Mike’s work has been awarded internationally numerous times so he hardly needs any more recommendation from me in that regard. But it is worth mentioning that he can lead by example, design with utmost clarity and slick style, spot on when it comes to brand and innovative in its context.

Tim Buesing
Group Creative Director at Publicis Sapient
Long Story short

While studying graphic design at the Münster School of Design, I started my  professional career working as a freelance design student for BBDO Interactive. I then worked as a designer for razorfish in London and later in Hamburg, moved on as an Art Director for Springer and Jacobys’ Digital Spin-off e7 and become then a Creative Director for BBDO’s Interone. I joined Hi-ReS! London and brought them to Hamburg and Berlin. I was a Executive Creative Director at Philipp und Keuntje and worked as a freelance creative director, designer, artist, film director, creative leader and digital consultant and founded the creative collective blackbeltmonkey. Since 2019 I am with the Deloitte Family, working at ACNE – a Deloitte Business as a Executive Creative Director and Chief Creative Officer for all german based ACNE / Deloitte Digital Studios.

Besides being a Creative I am an Artist. In my Art I transform fragments of design, moodboards, styleframes and layouts I do into analog Art Pieces. Most of the Work is a mixed media between sketches, painting and using a drawing robot that is controlled with processing scripts and feeded with assets of my commercial work. Each piece is a unique work. I do exhibitions across europe. I believe in „Freiheit statt Freizeit“ (a quote by Joseph Beuys). That is why I see my studio and commercial work as one part of my story and my Art as the other part. Both are able to survive and co-influence side by side. Follow me @mikejohnotto

Download my CV for additional information.

CV & Portfolio as PDF.


2023-now Partner & ECD,
Artificial Rome
2019-2023 CCO & ECD,
ACNE / Deloitte Digital
2018-now Founder, Blackbeltmonkey Collective
2014-2018 MD & ECD,
Philipp und Keuntje
2011-2013 MD & ECD,
Hi-ReS! London
2008-2011 Owner & ECD, Blackbeltmonkey Studio
2004 -2008 Creative Director, Interone (BBDO)
2003 AD, elephant seven (Springer & Jacoby)
2000-2002 Art Director,

Jury Member

2023 Art Directors Club ADC,
Web3 & Creative Tech Jury
2023 iF Design,
Communication Jury
2022 eurobest,
Brand Transformation Jury
2022 Creativepool,
Rebel Jury
2022 Art Director Club,
Digital Craft Jury
2022 IF Design, Communication Jury
2021 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Craft Jury
2020 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury Chairman
2020 Deutscher Digital Award Jury
2019 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2018 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2018 Deutscher Digital Award Jury
2017 Cannes Lions, Mobile Jury
2017 Deutscher Digital Award, Jury Chairman
2017 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2016 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2016 Deutscher Digital Award Jury
2015 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2014 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2013 Deutscher Digital Award
2013 Art Directors Club ADC, Event Jury
2013 D&AD, Digital Design Jury
2011 Deutscher Digital Award Jury
2011 D&AD, Digital Design Jury
2009 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2008 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury
2007 Art Directors Club ADC, Digital Jury


2011-2017 Münster School of Design
(FH Münster Design)
2013 Brand Academy Hamburg.
2007-2009 Design Factory International


Member of the Factory Berlin & Hammerbrooklyn
Member at the ADC
(Art Directors Club)
Member at D&AD
Member of FC St. Pauli
Member of the Blackbeltmonkey Collective


1x Gold Cannes Cyber Lions
3x Silver Cannes Mobile Lions
4x Bronze Cannes Cyber Lions
4x Finalist Cannes Cyber Lions
1x Grand Prix LIAA
3x Gold LIAA
6x Gold ADC
6x Silver ADC
8x Bronze ADC
30x Finalist ADC
2x Gold Clio
3x Silver Clio
7x Bronze Clio
3x Gold NY Festivals
14x Bronze NY Festivals
3x Gold IF Design
8x Finalist IF Design
2x Gold Epica
2x Silver Epica
2x Silver DDC
10x Annual Multimedia
1x Gold DMMA
8x Bronze eurobest
3x Finalist eurobest
2x Gold Golden Award Montreaux
1x Gold Deutscher Digital Award
1x Silver Deutscher Digital Award

Awwwards Site of the month:
Sennheiser – Reshaping Excellence
Awwwards Site of the day:
2020 Mike John Otto Portfolio
2019 Mike John Otto Portfolio
Blackbeltmonkey Collective
Sennheiser – Reshaping Excellence

FWA & Adobe Cutting Edge Award:
Sennheiser – Reshaping Excellence

FWA Site of the month:
Sennheiser – Reshaping Excellence

FWA Site of the day:
Sennheiser – Reshaping Excellence
Hyundai Light Reveal
adidas Teamgeist
adidas sign for your club
MINI – incredibly MINI Cooper
MINI – incredibly MINI Cooper S
MINI John Cooper Works GP

Css Design Award:
2020 Mike John Otto Portfolio
2019 Mike John Otto Portfolio


15.12.2022 Part of Markenfilm Art Exhibition, Markenfilm Hamburg

30.11.2018 Part of Tabula Rasa, Oberfett Gallery Hamburg

01.12.2017 Part of Tabula Rasa,
Oberfett Gallery Hamburg

28.09.2017 Bots and Cars Exhibition,
Island Gallery Hamburg

06.04.2017 Mike | Bot,
Oberfett Gallery Hamburg

09/10.07.2015 The Extra Hour Cube
XH Collective Hamburg


+49 173 62 12172
motto (at) mikejohnotto.com
Follow me @mikejohnotto

Mike John Otto
Bismarckstrasse 60
20259 Hamburg, Germany


Mike John Otto
Yorckstrasse 82
10965 Berlin, Germany




Please visit the Blackbeltmonkey Collective, Me on Linkedin on Behance or Vimeo