The diverse career of Set Decorator Jim Mees began in 1967 when, at the age of 12, he met legendary textile designer Vera. That meeting resulted in a job as the youngest artist on Vera's 40-member design team, creating images for her scarves and sportswear. This association with Vera is largely responsible for setting him on a lifelong path as a designer.
Mees' experience in textile design nurtured his desire for a more formal art education, and in 1973 he enrolled in Carnegie-Mellon University, where he studied set and costume design for the theater. During his senior year, he was chosen by the Seattle Repertory Theater to work-study on George Abbott's final Broadway production, "Music Is." He moved to Los Angeles in 1977, and within a short time he became Assistant Art Director on a wide range of concert productions including the world tours for The Beach Boys, Diana Ross, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Doors soon opened to television production and in a complete reversal from rock 'n' roll, Mees began a two-year run working on The Lawrence Welk Show at CBS' Television City in Hollywood.
While working at CBS, Mees met the production designer for Norman Lear, and became involved in high-level creative design work on several of Lear's sitcoms including The Jeffersons, Sanford, One Day at a Time, and Who's the Boss? Mees' work with Norman Lear gained him a shining reputation in Hollywood and soon led to work on the film "Second Serve" starring Vanessa Redgrave. Following this film, he began his long association with Paramount Pictures. While at Paramount, Mees received the most attention and acclaim for his years of work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, where he helped to create and decorate sets ranging from the Captain's Ready Room on the Starship Enterprise-D to the down-to-earth bookstore in "11:59." With each season, Mees used the challenge of "future environments" as an opportunity to bring original, sensitive, thought-provoking and stimulating designs to the screen. These designs earned Mees and the Star Trek team the coveted Emmy award for Outstanding Art Direction in 1990 for TNG's "Sins of the Father," along with five other Emmy nominations.
After being with TNG for six seasons and Voyager for one, Mees' work on those shows prompted designers worldwide to enlist his talents as a decorator and design consultant. He temporarily relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, to tackle a diverse array of projects including commercials, furniture, theme parks, private homes, office buildings, and even a fashion runway extravaganza for Georgio Armani. But after two years he came back to Hollywood and rejoined Voyager in its fourth season, and stayed there until the series finale in 2001. He then stayed on the Paramount lot to lend his experience and expertise to the fifth incarnation of Star Trek, Enterprise.