PRINCIPAL AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ORIGIN, HOUSTON TX
Complex brand systems have been a playground for Jim Mousner for the past 20 years. Having directed design solutions and creative strategy for virtually every medium, Jim thrives on the adrenaline of each obstacle being more challenging than the last. As principal and creative director of Origin, a firm he founded in 1997, Jim believes design can be fun, but also can have life and death implications. He has directed and delivered identity for the second busiest pediatric hospital system in the nation, provided compassionate results to the country’s largest death care provider and changed the way people experience God online, directing web presence for the 3rd largest church in the US. Along the way, Jim founded a non-profit that provides scholarships in support of the University of Houston, where he studied design and later taught as an adjunct professor. He has also served as advisor to the University’s College of Technology, School of Art and College of Architecture. Jim has lectured on brand and design internationally, been published by Rockport and, most recently, co–authored and taught an online motion design class for the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Jim is a native Houston and, today, derives inspiration exploring real playgrounds with his young daughter Minka.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Always do your best. At choosing professional opportunities that are truly right for you. At the seemingly most menial design project. At cleaning the production area in the studio or group you work for. By choosing to always do your best, you will develop a mindset for excellence and discipline yourself over a period of time to be better prepared for your next big break.
HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW EFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
Your cultural and environmental surroundings can certainly influence your work, but don’t have to. If you enjoy experiencing new cultures, exploring new places and opening yourself up to expanding your mind in that way, then your work can be influenced by a world of inspiration. Musicians refer to this concept as “fusion”, or the melding of complimentary creative influences to discover new and fresh experience for their audience.
Anything fluorescent, especially double-bumped or RGB
DIN, functional yet elegant
Hipstamatic. Who has time for Photoshop?
Photo blogs, I’m a visual grazer
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Anything on Nat Geo
Any documentary, truth is stranger than fiction
FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
Just about anything but new country or gangsta rap
FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
GREATEST STRENGTH AS A DESIGNER?
Letting go of my own biases when someone else has a better idea
TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Barista at a Starbucks in Breckenridge
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Honor the shoulders you stand on