Category Archives: Academic History

Academic History Part 2 – Graphic Design Spring 2007

::Whoosh…Hackk…Aaaaa…chooo!:: Ahh damn.  All this stuff is so damn dusty.  You see what I do for you folks.  I put my lungs at risk digging up my old projects.  You see I don’t like some of these things.  You know why?  Because I can do better.  I don’t want these being the only thing that will represent my abilities when I go looking for a job this fall.  But I should at least show you folks how I’ve gotten to where I am.  Now the following are photomontages I created for GRD 170 aka Digital Image.

Chicago in Alaska

In this assignment I was told I had to create a montage involving a road and I had no other restraints.  Now my teacher, Dr. John Fu, required us to do sketches before we did any work.  My problem was and still, kind of, is that I can’t draw.  It’s why you won’t see that many sketches on here for my Academic history.  They weren’t very good and I did not keep them.  But he did not require it for this project.  I created this picture by doing searches through Google Image search and then picked out ones that I thought would work well together.  Then I spent three classes playing with the masking and image adjusting abilities of Adobe Photoshop CS1. I’d say this isn’t too bad for one of my first projects. 

The next picture was our final.  Dr. Fu told us we could come up with our own idea if we want.  So I decided that I would make a photomontage.


Yeah I’m a nerd.  This picture is the only copy I have left of it.  I posted it to my MySpace page shortly after I made this.  I never deleted it.  Yes the picture and the MySpace account.  Hey why don’t you see if your MySpace account is still active and what you might have forgotten that you put up there.  😛  
Now I know you folks are noticing little imperfections because I didn’t do a very good masking job on a certain Mega-Nerd.  This was not an easy piece to do.  Plus, I think, I the monitors i was using back then, were not as bright and articulate as the monitors i use now.  My monitor at the time was an Old color television from the nineties.  In fact, the black frame around all the figures is actually said television. I connected my PC (that I built) to the TV with an S-Cable.  So I ended up missing small little things and when I printed them out, the gray spots were overpowered by the black ink that was printed at the same time.  Now a days I have a much better screen thank you.

Well now that I’m done defending myself I’ll explain the piece.  🙂 
I decided to try to make a photomontage of everything that I found nerdy or everything that I enjoyed and the people who made them happen.  I put Wolverine, Magneto, and Sabertooth playing Dungeons and Dragons (With Magneto as the Dungeon Master) on the moon. For you non comic book fans, Magneto had a fortress in space called Asteroid M and many stories also took place on the moon.  So I figured the moon would be as good a place as any for the game to occur.  Their game was also being acted out for them on the board as they played….

What…you say Mario and master chief aren’t in Dungeons and dragons?….Well duh.  This is where I started turning it into something that would represent all that I enjoyed.  I couldn’t figure out how to integrate the video games I enjoyed into the story the picture was telling.  So I put Mario and Master chief off to the side, facing off against each other just for fun.  Now Since I was in space I was going to try to have the Enterprise D face off against the Death Star.

::Covers Ears:: DAMN.  Gentleman and Ladies…please…leave the arguing over which one would win for a later date.  I’m trying to explain why i put them in there.  ::Room quiets down.

I did it because I wanted too.  😛

 But I could never get them to line up properly.  So I just placed them on opposite sides of the page.  Then I still had a lot of room so I put in all the nerds who created these things that I so greatly enjoyed.

::man Raises his hand:: Yes, you in Tulsa, Arizona.  You have a question?  Why is Bill Gates in this picture??  He had nothing to do with anything in it.  Well technically he did.  Microsoft made Xbox, he made Microsoft.  But that’s not why he’s in it. 

 It is because if you notice the computer keyboard at the bottom of the picture, this whole scene is clearly not occurring on a Mac.  Sure, the Hypothetical PC probably crashed 20 minutes into the game because I didn’t have enough ram, but the PC got big because of Bill Gates.  So no steve jobs for the apple followers out there.  sorry.  Also he’s the richest, most powerful nerd I know of.  If you folks know of one richer, drop me a line.   

Well that’s it for these.  You want to critique, go ahead.  I can take it.  /:-\   

More to come.
Type ya Later,
James McGill

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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Academic History


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Academic History Part 1: Graphic Design – Product Pamphlet – Summer 2005

Hey Everybody, The picture below was my first job after NIU. I had graduated the year before with my BS in Marketing and I had found that whenever I asked people if I could do marketing for them, they all said that they wanted me to make a pamphlet, magnet, etc. Now I’ve known the owners of Ream’s Elburn Market since I was three. When my parents moved to Elburn my parents made friends with the Ream’s because my dad is a big fan of cooking. He loved buying the food at the Meat Market. Eventually Mrs Janelle Ream taught my sister how to play Flute and piano. So I grew up knowing these people. For some odd reason that still eludes me, they liked me and still do. They hired me to work at the market for the summer of 2000 before I went to NIU. Fast forward to summer 2005, i was working for them again before I started working at the Big Box.

GraphicDesignProject1SdA by JHM Project
GraphicDesignProject1SdB by JHM Project

GraphicDesignProject1SdA, GraphicDesignProject1SdB, a photo by JHM Project on Flickr.

This was the first Graphic Design Job I did after I graduated NIU. This is what basically started me on the path i’m on today. I was only considering going to Waubonsee Community College when I got this job. When I finished I knew I could do better once I learned how to use Quark and Indesign. 

This is how it came to be.  While I was there I asked them if I could do some marketing to try and improve my resume. They asked me to do a pamphlet, just like everyone else. So I said I’d give it a try. If I messed up, they wouldn’t pay me and not think I was wasting their time. I got all the information from them to put in the pamphlet. I took the picture of the front with my mom’s Sony Sure Shot Camera. I then created the whole layout with my mother’s copy of Microsoft Publisher. I went through the templates, because I knew nothing on how this worked at the time. So I took bits and pieces from different templates to create something that wasn’t just plug and play. I charged them what they were paying me to work at the Market. As you can see they got what they paid for. Something simple. I still am very greatful that they gave me this chance and helped me figure the path I wanted to take.  That’s pretty much how this came about. 

More To Come.

Type ya later
James McGill

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Academic History


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