Staff Reporters
Jun 27, 2024

Creative Minds: Kar Men Lee is done with overexplaining her thoughts

The senior art director at Tommy Singapore gets candid on how she ended up as a creative and gained confidence when presenting to clients.

Kar Men Lee
Kar Men Lee
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Kar Men Lee
Origin: Selangor, Malaysia
Places lived/worked: Singapore and Malaysia
Pronouns: She/her
Senior art director, Tommy Singapore, 2024-present
Senior art director, VMLY&R Malaysia, 2016-2019 
Digital designer, VLT Malaysia, 2015-2016

1. How did you end up being a creative?

Before I even realised my calling as a creative soul, one thing always lit up my world: Drawing. Thankfully, my parents acknowledged my passion. However, it still comes down to: 'How do you make a living out of it?' After college, I landed myself as a digital designer. 

As I progressed in my career, I discovered that creativity wasn't confined to the boundaries of design alone. It flowed through every role—copywriting, strategy, or UI/UX experiences. 

This fuelled my desire to collaborate with individuals outside the creative realm and understand their unique approach to creativity.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio? 

Google Play's Astra: Knights of Veda.

We were tasked with creating promotional AV assets for one of their game titles, Astra: Knights of Veda. Although it seemed like a small production project, it holds a special place in my heart. I used to fear presenting to clients due to my lack of confidence. 

However, I'm incredibly grateful that my creative director allowed me to present and lead this campaign idea. I decided to be my authentic self, presenting with lightness and fun.

I'm glad I did that because it allowed me to witness clients smiling and feeling at ease during my presentation. I created an open and conducive space for them to express themselves. This ultimately infused our work with more depth and emotion, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.

3. What's the one piece of work you most wish you'd done? 

It’s called 'Music Video Overflowing' by Fujii Kaze. 

What I truly love about this music video is how Fujii conveys love. The music pierced my heart, bringing tears down my face. The artistic expression in this video evokes a sense of nostalgia, suggesting that time and places in the past were simpler and filled with more moments of happiness than the present. 

It brings a bittersweet reminiscence about the cycle of life. One profound lesson this music has taught me is that despite the seemingly meaningless cycle of life, we still find joy in simply existing.

4. What advice would you give to your 10-year-old you, if you could?

Have the courage to be your true self. Follow your heart and intuition, as your heart somehow already knows what you genuinely aspire to be.

5. What really motivates you?

The thrill of waking up each day and eagerly anticipating discoveries in the book I'm reading is genuinely refreshing. I'm always excited to explore various authors' perspectives on fascinating topics.

6. What would you do on your perfect day?

I'll visit my favourite tea spot and enjoy my usual white tea with some chocolate cookies.

7. What’s your favorite music / film / TV show / book / other of the past year, and why?

My favourite book is Kokoro by Beth Kempton. I've learned that instead of going through life analysing and judging everything with our rational minds, we should experience life heart-mindfully. 

Eventually, it will tune us into the beauty and joy in front of us and help us navigate from moment to moment according to how we feel. This is the closest thing to how creativity can connect all of us as humans, and it has guided me whenever I engage in something creative.

8. What makes you really happy?

Being able to witness someone's growth.

9 . Cat person or dog person?

Cat person. There's nothing profound about it; I just like them because they're cute.

10. Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert in socialising, extrovert in creativity.

11. Any regrets?

I regret often overexplaining my thoughts, but I’m gradually appreciating that 'less is more'. It’s essential to allow space for specific ideas or thoughts, and I love seeing how people interpret and find meaning in my ideas or artwork. This often sparks fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking.


Campaign Asia

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