Originally from Myanmar, John grew up in Chin State,Tonzang. In his teenage years, John faced difficulties pursuing further education, and therefore moved to India to try and find better opportunities. When this did not work out, he moved to Mae Sot in Thailand, close to the border with his home country, to try and pursue his education and support his family, at the age of 18. While in Thailand, John was able to study at a migrant school where he learned art. Art quickly became more than a hobby for him, and his passion for the field brought him to become a teacher with Kickstart Art for 8 years, before becoming the director of the program.