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Inspiration


I haven’t really been posting on here have I?  Well I there’s a reason for that…

OK gimme a sec here.  This isn’t exactly easy to say.

<Deep Breath><Long Exhale>

I live at home with my parents.

<cringes>

Now please note that is not the reason I haven’t posted.  Its a contributor to the main problem. Its also a good starting out point.  You see the one thing I’ve never really figured out is how to be comfortable in public situations.  I would like to thank my experiences in elementary school for putting that little nugget into my psyche.  So I never really figured out how to socialize.  Now you give me a goal to meet that will give me a foreseeable outcome and I’ll be fine.  When I go to conventions, go to classes, or go to my job, I can walk up to anyone and sweet talk them till they are my best friend.  But going out just to go out to converse with people I’ve never met is very difficult for me. I also have a small problem making friends with people i work with.  I become social with them and friendly, I’m really nervous that I’ll say something disastrous and working with them will not work.  So because of that, I have stayed at home where I feel safe.

Now you’re probably scratching your head and moving your cursor to that little ‘X’ button at the top right corner of your screen.  But here’s how all of that contributed to me not posting.  You see I just got home from seeing Captain America…Stop laughing.  I warned you guys at the beginning I was Comic book nerd.  Anyway, when I got out of the theater my mind was going again.  It was then I realized what I have been missing…Inspiration.

It’s very hard to be inspired when you live in the same surroundings you’ve lived all your life.  Nothing new, nothing to get the juices flowing.  No one new to give you new ideas.

Now When i got out of the movie and realized that I was inspired again, I thought back to when the last time was that I felt like this.  I realized that it was every time i was at or leaving a comic book convention or a really good movie.  Reason I know this is because I always write after these things.  I come up with more stories for my world, a new character, or I kick ass on a design project…which i denigrate later, with this blog, because I know I can do better.   But due to my current circumstances (both domestic and work related), that inspiration doesn’t last long.

Now I know what many of you are saying right now, <Ahem> “GO OUT AND HIT THE BARS!  MEET A WOMAN YOU JACK ASS!” <cough> Ouch, you guys yell too loud for my throat.  Maybe you should stop smoking or something.  😛

But in response I would say…you’re right.  I should.  Can you lend me a fifty?  I’m broke. I got a credit card but I’m trying desperately to get it paid off.  But i can safely say I am changing.  I’ve already got tickets to a concert in Chicago and I’m considering checking out a burlesque show around the same time.  I’ll be going somewhere for a whole week in September and I’m flying to new york in October for the New York comicon.  If you’re there say hi.  I’ll be wearing the brown fedora.  I am trying to get better. So hopefully I’ll be posting more of these.  So I apologize that I haven’t been as able to entertain you like I was hoping to be doing since April.

I would like to ask one thing.  Post responses if possible.  One thing that would help inspire me is to know that people, whether they are enjoying it or hating it, are reading it.  If I knew that, I would be inspired so much.

Well I’m off, got to work on my podcast and my on-line entertainment company…Oh yeah, I also got an internship to redesign a company’s web site.  I guess things are starting to look up…though my pocket book is probably not too happy that I decided to start buying comics again.  😀

type ya later,
James McGill

 

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One would think doing this would be easier


You know, after all the schooling the one thing they don’t teach you is how to come up with something when you have only yourself to work with or for.  True that you have all the projects you did while in school to show them what you can do.  But really, do they want to see something you came up with when you had two weeks and lots of time to do it.  I’m willing to bet no.  They are probably wanting to see what you can come up with on your own for a client.  Plus if you are chomping at the bit to start job hunting but you have no portfolio yet and a blog filled with personal reflections, status updates, and smart ass comments to rely on, you probably don’t have much to impress them with just yet.  So what does one do when they’ve hit a philosophical wall like this.  You keep moving.  You keep the ideas running and you don’t question it.  You figure out what you can make and you make it.  I can’t make 20 different websites for companies or individuals that don’t exist.  But I can make Fictional Companies for graphic design projects for an on-line portfolio.  That would be a start for an on-line web design portfolio.  I can also use my very expensive camera, that was purchased so that I could get a advanced certification in photography, and create new photos for a photography on-line portfolio.  Plus there is the chance that I can use people I know who need web sites and start making a name for myself when I go to the New York Comicon.

Oh I haven’t told you guys about the little plan I’ve got going have I.  I’m planning on making my first comic ever…after 15 years of designing a world and second guessing myself.  Well the second guessing is over.  YAY, I’m not insecure anymore…or am I?  😉

I’m going to be producing a Comic book resume.  I’m going to be making a comic book using my photographic and Graphic Design skills (Both of which i still need to finish the programs for. One of theses days). The first page following the cover will be a generic cover-letter on the inside of the cover and my resume on the first page.  Then the comic will follow and I will hand this out to comic book artists and writers as well as comic book companies with the hope of getting either some freelance work or a steady job that will allow me to leave the Big Box and actually start a career.  Ok that was a long run-on sentence.  Probably could split it into two, but I’ll leave it since this is a stream of conciousness entry.  Did I type that out loud.  Anyway back to topic.

I’ll tie the website to the comic.  But First I need some graphic design stuff for the comic.  Since it’s photography that means changing names of businesses and products so the companies don’t sue me later on.  So I guess where I need to start is figure out all the locations I’ll be shooting at and figure out what i need to create to replace with what’s actually there.  🙂  🙂 🙂

I have no idea where this energy is coming from but I like.  Can I quit my job now and just do this until I have a new job…No.  Damn it.  I still have a lot of bills to pay and a 10 year old car with over 200,000 miles on it that i need to keep running until I’m either debt free or have a new job that pays better.  Ok.  Time to go create.

Type ya later,
James McGill

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Creative Progress Update

 

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JHM Project Logo figured out, now onto Website


Ladies and Gentleman, I have figured out my Logo, It will change as the weeks go on.  I like it, but I’m going to keep working.  Reason being If I don’t put things out when I’m first happy with them, it will be a long time before I’m completely happy with them.

Does that make sense?

Ehh, well you probably want to see it.  Well here you go:

Official-Logo

I went through a few ideas, you can see them on my flickr page.  But I settled on this because i always believed that the guy or girl who wore the fedora in any story was usually the one who could get it done or solve the problem.  Indiana Jones had one, Nick Charles had one, Poirot had one, and Cary Grant had them in all his roles…mostly.  I know its what all detectives in that era wore, which is probably why George Lucas gave Indiana Jones one.  But that’s what I always associate the fedora with.  So, I’m making it the symbol of my Project.  However this will not be the only version.  I like it and it will work, but I would like to try some variations on the look.  Since one of my classes at Waubonsee was about 3D Animation.  I’ll if this looks better in blender. By the way, Blender is so much cheaper than LIghtwave and it appears to do a good portion of what LIghtwave can do.  Probably not all, but it will work for my goals.

Now onto the next part.  The Website.  The Logo is the second step.  The First was this Blog, explaining to you what I want to accomplish with wall this work i’m doing this summer and how i got here. So I’ve got an Identity, a purpose, and a plan.  So I shall now try and catch up on HTML 5, CSS3, and fill in the gaps i’ve missed since i took the web design classes in 2008.  Shouldn’t be hard…right?

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Web Design Stage

 

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Ahh The Distractions


Ok, Its been a while. I’ve been promising and promising a new post and I have not been delivering. Not a good start for a blog designed to help me find a new job. Well let me explain a little bit why this happened. All my life, or at least since I’ve been aware of it in 2nd grade, I’ve had to deal with ADD. Attention Deficit Disorder if you haven’t heard of it or you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years. Now I’m not going to go and claim that I am a victim of my condition and that it isn’t my fault…it is….well I mean my current situation not the ADD. I was born with that. The reason why I haven’t been posting is because for the past two months I’ve had three jobs:
1) the Big Box – Pays me money and keeps me from having to sell my kidneys to pay for my social activities, schooling, and my car.
2) School – Gives me knowledge. Makes me a better person. Gives me the skills to get out of menial labor that gets me paid at the Big Box.
3) My on-line blog/portfolio – Will help market my skills, persona, and subsequent website to potential employers who would like to Employ an interesting person such as myself.

Now I’ve had a lot of…hurdles, you could say, to get over. Challenges if you will. For instance if I am doing something, be it writing a story, playing a video game, or doing my job at the Big Box, I have a need to get to a certain point before I can stop. If I am forced to stop before I reach that point, I can get frustrated and annoyed. Now I have figured out how to not show the annoyance and mental anguish (too strong a word?) that occurs. This is very common among people with ADD.

Happily, I’ve figured out a lot on how to deal with my ADD. However over the years I have noticed that I have developed some interesting habits. One of these is that when something gets really important, I tend to concentrate on that and nothing else really. This is what happened around the end of April. School was ending, I had finals coming up , and I didn’t want to do badly by not paying enough attention at school. My attention was already split between school and work and I had split it again with this Blog and the Start of designing my website. So I decided to put the blog to the side and concentrate completely on school.

A month goes by and I finish. Now I can start back up again right? Nope. The following two weeks I had two major events occur. After each of these events, both of which were physically intensive, it took a few days to relax. That wasn’t easy since I had to work the days following. So that’s six weeks that you guys had to do without my Angelic company. I know I’m sorry your lives were so gloomy while I was gone. I’ll try not to leave you like that again…at least until I get a new job.

What? What about the last week? The time line I gave you only covers up until a week ago…hmm. Well…yeah, we had an act of Bad Social Engineering occur at my house. You see the town I live in likes to buy Police Vehicles and hire cops who don’t really have much to do instead of upgrading their sewer systems. That means every time we have rain that lasts longer than 3 hours, our basement floods. Yeah lots and lots of fun. So last year we thought we fixed it by having a stop valve installed. It worked. We had no Sewer water come in. However, apparently the pipes we have under our house were kind of broken and when the ground got saturated with water, it came pouring into those pipes and up through our basement drain. So For the past week, we’ve been cleaning the basement and construction has been going on down there. Not the best environment to be creative in. Now I know many of you will say: “James! Why didn’t you go to the library or somewhere its nice and quiet?”

My problem with that is, I’ve never really like public places. The chairs are never really comfortable. There’s always other things going on that look so much more fun than what I’m doing. I like picking specific places that are really comfortable, generally my house (or apartment if I ever move out), to do my work. Now we’re back to my ADD. If things are going on around me, I have to know what they are. Its a small compulsion. I deal with it quite well, but if I go to a public place I would have to do it when there is a good chance their foot traffic will be at it’s lowest.

Now you know why I haven’t been posting. But I’m back. School is over. I now have a AAS in Web Design (if they ever mail it to me) and I can completely concentrate on my blog and my website. Plus the twitter account. Follow me if you like. I’m @JHMProject. You can find the link on the side of this blog. I still don’t get Twitter, I really don’t. But Its proven to be a great marketing tool and I should learn all I can about it. Anyway, thanks for your time. I’ll be back. I promise.

Type ya later,
James McGill

 

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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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Attempt #2


Ok, I just spent the last hour and a half surfing the freem themes here on WordPress.com.  Many are quite interesting such as Toolbox, Sandbox, and of course twenty ten (the one that I was given when i first started).  But what caught my designers eye was Choco from CSSMayo.  It matches the theme of the purpose for my blog, which is to be a written documentation of my On-line portfolio.  The next step is setting up all the nick nacks and pattiwacks, then I’ll give the dog a bone…what the hell is dog doing in my house.  GIT!  GiT!.  I said GIT!  Anyway, If you know of another theme that is similar to this one and you think it will do me better,  post a comment and tell me about it.  Please supply a link so that I can go to it or make it real easy to find it. I’m a busy man with busy fingers.  I don’t what that means but it sounds really professional.  Anyway, tomorrow I’ll start telling the story of my Academic history and you’ll finally get to see some pictures.  YAY!!!. 

Type ya later,
James McGill

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Attempt #2, WordPress

 

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