One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Michael Lim

Highlighting young talent in the ad world
— one person at a time.

As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “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 highlight Michael Lim, Junior Art Director at TBWA Malaysia.

Although Michael studied graphic design, he fell in love with 2D animation after just one class, realizing that he could make stories come to life without any limitations.

After a trip to Europe to view one of his animations that was being screened, Michael’s mind was made up.


The Basics

Name: Michael Lim
Age: 24
Agency: TBWA Malaysia
Position: Junior Art Director
Hometown: Selangor, Malaysia
Current location: Selangor, Malaysia
Education: B.A.(Hons) Graphic Design, The One Academy

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

When I finished my degree, one of my lecturers suggested completing an internship at LIE Design Studio. It was here I gained some experience and visual library.

After my internship, I took a break and a trip to Europe as one of my animations was screening in Croatia. It was an amazing experience.


On my return to Malaysia, a friend told me her company was hiring, so I joined TBWA KL until now.

What is your personal mantra?

It’s important to have hobbies, remain curious and passionate about exploring and developing new interests, and even better if these hobbies, not only take you away from your work for a while, they enhance your thinking and spark new ideas.

From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

I draw inspiration from the world around me, anything that makes me stop in my steps, or work that makes me go WOW is inspiration.

What do you love about the job?

I love that I can create cool work, work that makes a difference, work that can solve a business problem creatively. Creative is still the most powerful way for our clients to solve business problems and I love being a part of this journey.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

Tight deadlines. Quality work requires time, all good things take time. It is frustrating when quality work is required and a short turnaround time is given.

What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

The recent work I created called ‘transmutation’ was recognised by the DA&D and I won a DA&D New Blood Award.

In the past, I won 4 Gold, a Silver, and a Bronze at Kancils x sCooler Award in 2019.

I’ve also won Silver in the Digital Animation category at the Taiwan International Student Design Competition 2019.

These achievements have really encouraged me to continue my exploration in this field.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

Start a Cafe X Gallery and organise exhibitions every month for artists to exhibit their art to everyone. People can enjoy my coffee, my place, and the art at the same time. While I can enjoy the people and the conversation.

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