“Don’t be afraid to bring your whole self.” – Kevin Lee
Who is Kevin Lee?
I’m a Marketing Manager at Digiday in New York where I lead strategy and execution of the Digiday Careers brand. I’m also an active leader and board member of multiple non-profit organizations including The Chinese Youth Club of Washington D.C. and advisory board for ADCOLOR.
Photo credit: Akintayo A. Adewole
What makes you jump out of bed every morning?
I look at each day as an opportunity to create and learn. Whether it’s just coming up with a simple idea or reading about the latest tech gadget, I’m always intrigued and excited about what the day can bring to me, especially while living in a city like New York. There’s a unique creative energy here that surrounds the people, almost to the point that they want you to join them – and sometimes I do! It’s the moments that happen when I least expect it that have an impact on my day and to live in that sort of environment is definitely worth waking up for in the morning.
How do you define inspiration?
For me, inspiration is my number one tool and that’s what keeps me motivated to continue doing great work and striving to do more. What I love about inspiration is that it can come in many different forms and no matter how big or small, it can be pulled, created, thought of or spoken from just about anything. There are countless times I’ve relied on my inspiration to push me forward or pick me up.
If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be and why?
Don’t be afraid to bring your whole self. What’s funny is that I don’t think I truly understood what this meant until recently, but nevertheless, it’s something that has resonated with my core beliefs. The idea emphasizes the mantra that you should be confident in sharing who you really are because if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, how will anyone else?
Who is your role model and how do they inspire you?
I have many different people in my life who I consider to be role models, but if I were to choose one, it would be probably be Mr. “P” aka Michael Piechocinski. Mr. P, was my visual arts teacher back in high school and he is probably the single greatest artistic influence I have. Everything I have learned to love about visual arts and creativity came from him. His vision and skill inspired me to pursue a creative career path and to never lose sight of the lessons I learned in his class.
What is an accomplishment you’re most proud of and why?
I would have to say that being selected to join the ADCOLOR Advisory Board and then to be named Mr. ADCOLOR were certainly two of my top moments. Thinking about my path into the organization and my involvement now, that experience has contributed greatly to my personal and professional life and I am truly grateful for ADCOLOR for introducing me to the movement.
If you could share with the world something interesting about yourself, what would it be?
In addition to my work life, I’m also a visual artist and love working with acrylic/oil paints and pencil. I try to keep up with my skills when I get the chance and sometimes I’ll take the day to visit a museum to refresh my mind. I usually look for exhibitions from the French impressionist era, because those were the masters that I studied. My favorite artist is Paul Cezanne.
How do you overcome fear?
I overcome fear by trying to get ahead of it. I believe that if you already have an understanding about what it is that’s holding you back then you should also know what it will take to turn that fear around. It’s like learning to master dribbling a basketball with your weak hand (my left). You know it’s a weakness, so you practice and drill yourself until it becomes natural and you don’t have to think about it. By acknowledging that weakness, you’re already taking the first step to overcoming it.
In what ways has travel positively impacted your life?
Having the opportunity to travel has definitely enriched my life in many ways. While I believe any sort of travel is good travel, I also think being in a new place and experiencing the world outside of your bubble teaches you not only about what’s unfamiliar, but also a lot about yourself. I believe that travel has the power to transform and shape your views of the world. The more and more you get a chance to see other parts of the world or even just another part of town, you learn that in some ways, we have more in common then we think.
What does the phrase “Keep Shining” mean to you?
“Keep shining” is the positivity that my industry needs. To me, it means to keep going, to keep producing, to keep being creative and most importantly, to keep being me. Never stop!
I am unapologetically authentic because…?
I believe in the power of my ideas and my beliefs.
ABOUT KEVIN LEE:
Kevin Lee is currently a Marketing Manager at Digiday where he leads the strategy and execution of the Digiday Careers brand. Prior to joining Digiday, Kevin worked at Nielsen and earned a BS in Marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition to his day job, Kevin is an active leader and member of multiple non-profit organizations, which include serving as a board member for The Chinese Youth Club of Washington D.C and on the advisory board for ADCOLOR, where he was most recently recognized as 2016 Mr. ADCOLOR. He also contributes his time as a writer and producer for Asian Cinevision and The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), where he helps to tell the Asian-American narrative through film and video.