post by Cara Howlett
Jim Mezei is an illustrator and designer from Stratford, Canada who often works with relief mediums like linoleum and hand-burnished items to create an imperfect look on his patterns. As one of the few men whose designs were submitted for the Surface Pattern Design Guide, we were curious to find out if this was a reflection of the design industry, or of UPPERCASE's primarily female readership. From Jim's perspective, the ratio is fairly even. Part of what he enjoys about the illustration and design industry is that there is a good representation of both men and women creating a diversity of influence and perspective.
What was your plan for your designs once you graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design?
My plan was to continue learning, focus on graphic design (I graduated from the illustration program) and keep making things with my hands. My first real client was Stratford Summer Music, a music festival in my hometown. I designed their poster. I did anything and everything to get noticed, from sending out promos to hand-delivering loot bags on a road trip to NYC to park installations.
What has been your favourite client or project that you have worked on so far?
This is tough. A recent favourite was with a team (Kellen Hatanaka, Adrian Forrow, and Tyler John) for "If Walls Could Talk" at the Gladstone in Toronto. We built a car crash, with movement and sound elements, out of found materials.
What are your hopes for the future? Where would you like to see your career ten years down the line?
I hope to have a steady stream of projects in many disciplines, a studio on Lake Huron, and a puppy.
To see more of Jim's projects, visit his website.