As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we talk to Karl Chan, art director at Media.Monks in Singapore.
When asked what she loved most about the job she told us: “This job has given me an official green light to deep dive and geek out into random things. Like having to play Mobile Legends. Or researching Web3 and buying NFTs. And going on a Star Wars marathon. All in the name of doing good creative work.”
Name: Karl Chan
Position: Art Director
Current Location: Singapore
How did you get your first break in the industry?
After graduating, I was fortunate to have a small multi-disciplinary agency have me on board as a junior creative. This gave me an impression of what I could shape my career towards, up until I started freelancing.
This stint gave me a taste of working with all kinds of clients, from large conglomerates to start-ups. There was even a time I co-founded a branding studio. Big dreams!
Eventually, I progressed into a full-time role with Dentsu X, continuing my journey as a junior creative. This opportunity propelled my career forward, working in a fast-paced collaborative environment with many equally driven friends from different walks of life. This helped to shape my perspective and understanding of what I wanted for my career in the industry, and built my array of large-scale ideation and empathetic thinking.
What is your personal mantra?
Kindness first, and always be hyper-curious about life. The world has enough cynics and could use a little more love.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
I believe it’s about the little things in life. Everyone has a little bit of magic in them. 🙂
I’m always amazed by what people from any industry are doing to push the boundary of advancement.
From futuristic dystopian Sci-Fi universes to a simple life on the farm, there’s always something to glean and gain insight from. We are, after all, in the business of businesses.
What do you love about the job?
I could go on forever about all the things I love about the job. To put it simply – it’s that I’m constantly learning new perspectives. Things about the world, and how we interact with it.
Our rate of evolution is moving ever so quickly and I love that we need to know a multitude of things to do good work. This job has given me an official green light to deep dive and geek out into random things. Like having to play Mobile Legends. Or researching Web3 and buying NFTs. And going on a Star Wars marathon. All in the name of doing good creative work.
“Our rate of evolution is moving ever so quickly and I love that we need to know a multitude of things to do good work.”
Beyond all that, I’m just really passionate about all things advertising and art direction. It’s all my favorite things packed into one – design, branding, psychology, and storytelling. Except for timesheets. The world would be a much better place without them.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
That my parents still don’t fully understand what I do –you’d think WFH would make things easier but they’re just more confused now due to the unpredictability of work. 😆
Oh, and did I mention timesheets?
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
One of my favourite projects is Shop Safer, for Google APAC. Even though this project involved a tedious communication process between the core creative team, our animation studio, and the client, I enjoyed it very much. Especially because we got to explore various art styles, sounds, and ways to story tell before settling on this baby:
Another one for the books is a branding project for a crypto token, Bitgay. A project by the LGBTQIA+ community, for the community. I couldn’t be happier to contribute to something bigger than myself.
You can find out more about it here.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
You’re really putting me in a spot here! In an alternate reality, my career would involve cats, farming, pottery, something about food, and some form of psychology.
Let me know if any of you find something of that sort.