People to Watch in 2012
ART DIRECTOR, [x]cube labs
Jimmy Ball is an art director and producer for [x]cube labs in Dallas TX focusing on mobile applications. He studied advertising at The University of Texas at Arlington and, after graduation, focused on the creative side of the business. His design and photo work has been recognized worldwide and is showcased in dozens of books, magazines and websites. Ball has been a member of the AIGA since 2003 and recently completed a term as the AIGA DFW chapter president. He lives in Flower Mound with his wife, Oanh and five year old son, Ethan.
Where were you born or grew up, where do you live, does this effect your design style or sensibility?
I was born in Texas and moved around frequently growing up, which helped my design sensibility, or at least my process, by teaching me to be adaptable and flexible.
If you were not a designer, what would you be doing for a living? A chef, as they are in many ways like graphic designers: you take the same ingredients available to everyone and through a combination of technical skill and experience create something greater than the sum of the parts. And, ideally, tasty.
What is your greatest strength and weakness as a designer or design manager?
Greatest strength is probably humor, though some co-workers might say patience. Greatest weakness? I’m my own harshest critic; no matter how good a project or piece turns out it never seems to match what I originally envisioned in my head.
First, Mervyn Kurlansky. Were it not for him I would not be a designer today. Second, Mirko Ilić, a tremendous inspiration and a very funny guy with a unique perspective.
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No favorite. Every typeface has a use, even if only to serve as a warning that the user doesn’t know type.
Instagram on my phone, Noteshelf on my iPad
Favorite TV Show?
I got rid of my tv in 1992 and rarely watch anymore
Alan Fletcher’s The Art of Looking Sideways is at the top . . .
Blade Runner, Animatrix, Spirited Away
Just about anything but country, though I will make an exception for Willie and Johnny
Favorite Fine Artist?
I’m a little old school. I prefer the abstract expressionists of the 50s and 60s, my favorite among them being Ad Reinhardt.
My mountain bike, but my iPad is gaining
aigadfw.org, idnproshop.com, dublab.com, and 9 billion others
Over committing, and trying to do it all
New Year’s Resolution?
Exercise more and eat better
One Thing You Can't Live Without?
Air. Seriously though, my family.
Talent You Wished You Possessed?
Either the energy of a 5 year old or Time Travel. Result is roughly the same.
Best Gift Ever Received?
My son, Ethan
Mantra or Saying You Live By?
Practice makes permanent. Learn to do it right.