Kien Tan

MOTION GRAPHIC DESIGNER
NAME: Kien Tan
AGE: 33
ROLE: General Manager
COMPANY: The Monkey’s Cobbler

Studying Graphic Design at TAFE, Kien’s career path into the events industry was more or less a happy accident.

Kien imagined a number of careers for himself, from digital specialist and animator to video production and television advertising.

When the global financial crisis hit, those jobs never eventuated and Kien became the first employee at The Monkey’s Cobbler (TMC) in the role of Junior Graphic Designer.  Ten years later, Kien has progressed to Senior Graphic Designer and General Manager.

TMC is a creative studio based in Sydney, specialising in motion graphics, video production and digital. TMC produces content for a range of events including the APRA Music Awards Interviews and GQ Men of the Year Awards.

While Kien’s title is General Manager, he is first and foremost an animator and graphic designer. Imagine producing the Academy Awards – this is what Kien does for many different industries.

He creates on-screen content for events, including award shows, brand activations, communications, conferences, exhibitions and trade events. Kien has produced content for events including the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards and Australia’s premier investor event, SOHN Hearts and Minds Investment Leaders Conference.

“Every job presents new opportunities and things you have never done before. Sometimes it’s a lot harder than it seems. You’ve got to back yourself.”

Over time Kien’s role has become more expansive also encompassing production management.

In his role as General Manager, Kien liaises with clients, assists with design production and ensures the content is successfully delivered at the event.

While Kien did not set out to join the exhibitions and events industry, he enjoys the variety it presents and the dynamic and fast-paced environment it brings.

“Every job is different. Even when we do the same award show year after year- each time the look will be different, the feel will be different. You’re never re-treading too much of the same ground.” Kien says.

Kien says this variety can bring about new challenges.

“Every job presents new opportunities and things you have never done before. Sometimes it’s a lot harder than it seems. You’ve got to back yourself.” He says.

Kien says it is important to keep an open-mind and attitude when it comes to your career path.

“When you actually get out and look for work and take on jobs, just be open, you might find yourself in a completely different position and that can be a good thing.” He says.