Give us some background information about yourself.
My name is Micah Mills and I am a graphic designer. I’m 26 years old and originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. I recently moved to Chicago to look for better opportunities, make more connections and get outside of my comfort zone. I graduated from Jackson State University in 2011, where I started off as an engineering major. I only picked up engineering because of the money, but money isn’t everything. The arts has always been my first love. Therefore, I switched to graphic design at the end of my sophomore year. I had to go for what made me happy, and drawing made me happy. I picked up art as a minor and found myself focusing more on my minor classes than my major classes. I also draw and paint as well. I didn’t know anything about graphic design going into college; that’s another reason why it took me so long to switch.
Describe some of the work you’ve done.
I’ve made logos and designs for the Walter Payton Recreation and Wellness Center at Jackson State University, which is where I had interned for a year. I also designed a banner for the gym’s annual Sweetness “Fight Against Obesity” 5K run-walk. Participants at the walk in downtown Jackson could see the banner hanging up as they passed by. It felt good to look up and see something I designed. I also did a lot of marketing material for Walter Payton.
I have some designs called “Love Series,” which originally started off with the title “Black Love.” The first is of a black heart with the words “Black Love” emerging out of the heart. The second is of a black heart with a white treble clef symbol inside of it.
I have another design which is untitled. This design is a heart with wings, which represents a big collaboration of feelings you have with a loved one, whether it be with family or friends. When you break up, you have that devastating moment in the relationship; that’s where the pain follows. I personally look at the design from a religious aspect. When you get to that point when you’re looking for a higher divine intervention behind the struggle, you have the wings to lift you out of that burden. It helps you to continue loving.
Another design I have is a heart with a pulse rate (representing a heartbeat) inside of it. Also, the heart is wearing a pair of headphones. This design represents my love for music. I am trying to appeal to the crowd who loves music and has music in their heartbeat.
Who have you collaborated with.
One of the biggest projects I’ve worked on is when I designed the album art for my uncle’s CD. His name is Scott Guynn and the name of his album is “A Worship,” which was released in October. I do all of his promotional work. I also did logos and designs for a women’s outreach nonprofit organization called “Empowering women with purpose.” I helped them set up their websites and blog sites.
I’ve also done graphic design projects for my fraternity Phi Beta Sigma, Inc., including flyers for events hosted by the frat such as pageants, balls, fundraisers, etc. I’ve done logos for JSU students such as Diandgy Georges, better known to his fans as D.J. Thiiird World.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years.
I see myself with a higher clientele base and gaining more experience in a professional atmosphere. I see myself getting that corporate experience and broadening my knowledge. I want to work with anybody, big or small. I’m very humble when it comes to working with people, especially those who share the same passion that I do.
Interviewed by Nick Samuel