James Yarnell grew up in England, where he earned a B.A. (Hons) degree in 3 Dimensional Design. In 1995 he came to the U.S., where he found work as a production assistant on Dallas. This led to work on various television shows. He eventually began working with the renowned Roy Christopher and Bruce Ryan. Today, Yarnell works as a production designer; he has earned multiple Primetime Emmy nominations, and in 2009 won an Emmy for the art direction on American Idol. Yarnell is currently the production designer of Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. He has served on the Art Directors/Set Decorators Peer Group Executive Committee for six years.