Interview with Kathy Mueller

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Kathy Mueller, professor at Klein College of Temple University

Who is Kathy Mueller?

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Kathy Mueller, who is a designer, an art director, and an educator at Klein College. She teaches courses in the advertising program related to the art direction track. Kathy has been teaching at Temple University for “seven wonderful years”. Before she began her journey at Temple, she was faculty at Moore College of Art and Design, and she has been teaching design and art direction for a combined total of 10 years. Kathy decided she wanted to teach when she was working at a branding agency. Her job included overseeing the creative department interns which led her to realize she enjoyed mentoring students. When offered a teaching job, she immediately jumped at the chance.

What Teaching Means to Her

Kathy considers teaching to be a gift in itself, but she says “the best part of my job is the variety of tasks I have the opportunity to engage with and the autonomy it affords me to pursue my interests.” She teaches courses in the area of her expertise while also given the opportunity to serve on select committees at the university and in the community. Kathy dedicates much of her time and work into a non-profit organization called Cocktails Against Cancer. She serves on the organization’s board and acts as the Creative Director. With this, she is able to use her professional expertise to benefit the community. She has produced four event branding campaigns to promote the organization’s annual fundraising parties and has been recognized with several awards, along with her work being displayed around the world in internationally traveling gallery exhibitions. Her work for the organization will be published as a best practice case study in the forthcoming fifth edition of Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler. The book is the world’s best selling global resource for branding. Not only does Kathy have her own work to be proud of, but she also has her students’ work. She has had “so many” proud moments as a professor. “My students are winning awards in prestigious international student competitions, including the Graphis New Talent Competition and The One Club’s Young Ones Competition. Nothing makes me more proud than to see my students create exceptional work and to be recognized for it on a high-exposure platform” Kathy states. She cherishes the opportunity to share her excitement and expertise to facilitate growth. Kathy goes on further to say, “I love what I do and I enjoy sharing a pursuit of greatness with my students. We are collectively engaged in a never-ending quest for creative growth.”

2015 County Fair, Cocktails Against Cancer
2016 Jukebox Boogie, Cocktails Against Cancer
2017 10th Annual Soirée, Cocktails Against Cancer
Kathy Mueller presenting a student with the Top Art Direction Award (Olivia Kenney ‘16)
2017 Senior Showcase Planning Committee

Why Advertising?

“Serendipity” Kathy answered when asked what made her want to get into advertising. She studied graphic design at Moore College of Art and Design as an undergrad, which led her to a job as a production artist at a branding agency, “and the rest is history”. Her biggest motivation while in school was to be the best designer she could be. She wanted a challenging program that would push her to fulfill her potential, which is why she decided to go back to school at Tyler School of Art for an MFA in design. Her advice to students currently in the advertising major is to work hard, seek constructive criticism, be persistent, and remember “grit is more important than natural-born talent”.

If you want to see more of Kathy’s work, you can check out her website at http://kmuellerdesign.com/.