The mustard-colored cover is a 1976 issue of Wave Rider; The second image is my first issue as Art Director, 1978.
RMcG has provided
creative services for...
• International Paper (Strathmore Paper, Fine Papers Division, Liquid Packaging, Masonite, Old Colony Envelope)
• Keith Clark/At-A-Glance Organizer
• Yale-New Haven Hospital/PATH, Inc.
• Big Y Supermarkets*
• Massachusetts Bar Association
• GE Capital Services
• Allied Printing Company
• Big Boy/Abdow's Restaurants
• New England Promotional Marketing (NEPM)
• WRNX 100.9FM
• J.M.Lord & Associates (college catalogs)
• Springﬁeld Library
• ISD Games
• Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Lake Tahoe*
...and many others!
*Creative services provided as a subcontractor for another vendor
E-mail me to request a formal CV.
The Earty Years: Cocoa Beach, Florida, 1972-1982
Cartoonist for Surfside Slant/Sun:
When I was 12 my mom drove me to meet Doug Dederer, the editor/publisher of the local fish wrapper/shopper's news. I showed Mr. Dederer a bunch of my cartoons -- which I drew incessently, often instead of doing my school work -- and he offered to publish one. Depending upon the reaction he got, maybe he'd publish more in the future. I guess the reaction was good, as I wound up drawing a new "editorial" or local interest cartoon for the newspaper almost every week, until my senior year of high school. I was paid the handsome sum of $5 per cartoon at first. Eventually new owners changed the paper's name to Surfside Sun, and raised my pay to $20 per. Big time!
Art Director/Assistant Editor,
"Wave Riders from Planet X." 1978
Click image to view comic.
Wave Rider Magazine:
I spent a year in Boston after high school to be with my terminally ill father. I moved back to Cocoa Beach in 1978 and waited for the next term to start at Brevard Community College. To pass the time, I drew an epic comic called Wave RIders from Planet X and took it to the locally-published surfing mag hoping to hawk it for some beer money. Much to my surprise, they liked it and agreed to pay me a whopping $50 per page.
A month or so later the magazine hit the stands and I dropped by the Wave Rider office to pick up my check. The art director, Reggie Hodgson, told me he was quitting, moving to the North Shore of Hawaii. He asked if I wanted his job. He said he'd already recommended me, so all I had to do was meet the two brothers who ran the joint and I was in. Really? I took the job. I don't even remember my salary because paychecks were sporadic at best. But it was the coolest job ever, especially for a kid with no degree; the office was closed when the surf was good, and half-naked groupies were always hanging around. I mean, how bad could it be? Turns out, it could be bad.
Publisher/Art Director/Editor, U.S. Surf Magazine:
About three years into the Wave Rider gig, things had become total chaos. It had become less about publishing and surfing, and more a way to make sure the brothers had a W2 for the IRS. Advertisers, photographers and surfers alike were becoming fed up with the lack of legitimate representation for the fast-growing East Coast surfing scene. In my off hours, I came up with a plan, a logo, a design, and I called upon my closest confidants. Me, Kevin Welsh and Caroll Holland formed a partnership called Coastline Productions (I was President, Kev was VP, Caroll was Secretary...but she was really the brains of the organization). We lined up some investors, an international distribution deal, and within a year the first issue of U.S. Surf Magazine was in surf shops and on newsstands from Montauk to Malibu, just about anywhere there was a rideable wave, incuding Australia and Israel.
Our "parent company," Coastline Productions, also sponsored and organized professional and amateur surf contests for the NSSA and ASP. Cocoa Beach native and 11x World Champion Kelly Slater used to hang out at our office after school, checking the surf from our second story balcony. It was a fun ride while it lasted. Alas, the grind was unbearable, the money not good, and with our seventh issue on press we decided to close the doors. Of course, surfing really took off shortly thereafter. It figures.
New England, 1983-Present
Freelance Graphic Design:
After closing up shop at U.S. Surf, Denise and I packed everything into a U-Haul van and headed up I-95 to Connecticut, where she had been offered a job. I freelanced at various ad agencies, insurance companies and printers' in-house art departments, including a six-month stint at Charnas, Inc, where I handled accounts including Polaroid, Luxo Office Furniture and Helbros Watches.
Graphic Designer, Casual Corner/Women's Specialty Retailing Group:
While freelancing, I learned of a full-time job opening at the now-defunct women's clothing chain, which boasted 1,800 stores nationwide, second only to The Limited at the time. During my 4 1/2 year tenure, I worked my way up to Art Director for the Sales, Promotion and Marketing department, creating everything from catalogs to in-house sales manuals, and even doing photo shoots in exotic locations featuring beautiful models with only one name. In addition to my regular creative duties, I was responsible for computerizing the art department, bringing in the first Macintosh computers.
Freelance Graphic Design/Art Direction, RMcG Creative:
A print vendor recommended me to the Marketing Director at International Paper's Legacy Fine Papers Division, based in West Springfield, MA, and I left Casual Corner. Initially I created product sell-sheets, planograms and promotional materials for Legacy, but before long I had become their full-service ad agency under the dba "Monitor Graphics." I created advertising, directed photo shoots, designed packaging, participated in the development and branding of new products, helped position the company in the recycled papers market, and even designed their trade show booth. During my seven year relationship with IP, word of mouth within the company led to projects for their Liquid Packaging, Masonite, Old Colony Envelope and Strathmore Artist Papers divisions.
I opened a studio/office in downtown Springfield, MA (literally a stone's throw from Dr. Suess's old home on Mulberry St.) as part of a creative partnership with JM Lord & Associates, an educational consulting firm specializing in small colleges and universities. As Monitor Graphics (somewhere along the way I changed it to RMcG Creative) I built a diverse client base which included Yale-New Haven Hospital/PATH; The Massachusetts Bar Association Insurance Agency; GE Capital Services; the New England Big Boy restaurant chain; EKCO Housware/Kellogg Brush Co.; Keith Clark/At-A-Glance; WRNX FM radio (including voices for commercials and programming); ISD Games in North Carolina (doing interactive animations for big-screen displays), and many others. Sub-contracting for associates, I provided design and creative consulting services for Big Y Supermarkets' 60th Anniversary celebration; e-newsletters for Kirkwood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe; and helped develop a phonics-based reading program. I co-founded the artist's web site MindsIsland.com (now doing business as ArtID.com).
Art Director, Mission Control, Inc:
Having become increasingly interested in politics, I began drawing political and health care cartoons and posting them on my own web site, selling them to blogs, newsletters and even as framed prints for a mid-Western insurance company to hang in their corporate lobby. My response to an online ad for freelance work in 2007 led to a full-time job at Mission Control, one of the premier political advertising agencies in the country. My work for MC has been featured on MSNBC, The Rush Limbaugh program (not in a positive way, thankfully!), the Washington Post, and even on the wrap-around graphics for a NASCAR race car.
In my four and-a-half years at MC, I created literally hundreds of direct mail, newspaper and web advertisements. At last count, 22 of the pieces for which I provided art direction and creative visuals have been honored with either Pollie awards -- the political equivalent of the Oscar -- or Reed Magazine awards. I parted ways with MC in February of 2012, and am now available for whatever creative project you can dream up. And if you're having trouble dreaming it up, I can help with that, too.