Kenneth Lim

The story so far…

As a kid, nobody dreams of becoming the marketing manager of a small company in the middle of buttfuck nowhere, right?

Yet, in 2009, there I was.

It wasn’t my first job either. In 2006, I started working at Accenture, where I designed marketing & sales automation systems. To this day, I’m very grateful for the experience. Designing software systems pushed me to think both analytically and creatively. It just never inspired me enough to continue doing it for the rest of my life and I quit mid-2007.

I did enjoy designing, and thinking creatively in general. In fact, I originally studied Industrial Design back in 2000. This was when the following question hit me: “I can design a product. Great, but why the fuck would anybody buy it?!” This intrigued me so much that I quit Industrial Design and enrolled in Business Administration. This included learning plenty of jargon, like “value”, “leverage” and “exponential smoothing”, but when–after three years–I still hadn’t figured out what “business administration” actually meant, it was time to move on. I eventually settled on a Master’s degree in Marketing.

I got my first marketing-related job in 2007 when I was hired as an Account Executive by a PR agency. This job offered me many opportunities to work on branding strategies, product launches and industry events and soon I was promoted to Account/Project Manager. When the agency was on the verge of being acquired at the end of 2008, I decided it was time to leave.

At this point, I could have taken a break, gone backpacking through Latin-America, learned to play the pan flute. So, did I?

No, of course not. This time, I applied for a “client-side” job. As a marketing manager. At a small company. In the middle of buttfuck nowhere. As you may have already guessed, this was a fucking stupid idea. It was at this point that I decided to start my own business.

Entrepreneurship has many meanings to many people. To some, it’s empowerment, autonomy, freedom. To others, it’s enablement, inspiration, opportunity. To me, it was a fucking nightmare for the first two years. It wasn’t until midway through 2011 that I started to hit my stride and get a steady flow of projects. It was a grind and don’t get me wrong, it’s still a grind. But I’ve embraced the grind and I’ve enjoyed the liberty of figuring out and becoming who I am, and being part of wonderful projects in the process.

When I was a teenager, I came across “The Bull”. It’s a series of 11 drawings by Picasso, in which he draws a bull―gradually moving from a very detailed to a simple, abstract image of the bull. The final drawing consisted of about 10 pencil strokes and the process has always fascinated me. To start with something large and complex, understand it, and then figure out how to communicate it in an elegant way. I’m not pretending to be Picasso, but “The Bull” has remained a great inspiration for me and the idea of using creativity to analyze and design is very near and dear to me.

Being a designer-analyst hybrid puts me at the intersection of understanding and expression. You need creativity to understand a data set or a behavioral pattern, just as you need creativity to create a logo or a cover. I’ve analyzed company invoicing histories; studied website visitor behavior; cooked up admin systems for complex financial products; created brand identities; designed websites, magazines, eBooks, brochures, flyers, posters, T-shirts, presentations, et cetera.

My work is characterized by: abstract, simple, clean, geometric. I welcome every opportunity to do something creative, something new, even something I’ve never done before, because life’s too long to do the same shit over and over again, right?

The story so far: I’ve been fortunate enough to have been challenged creatively throughout what’s been a career of relative obscurity but without the chains of mediocrity.

Keep checking back, I’m always up to something…