Chloe M. O'Connor | Layout, Illustration, and Freelance Design

Portfolio and blog

Wind Still Whirling

One week of classes left. Believe it. One week and three projects separate me from the halfway-to-my-masters point. And when I make it there, I’m going home for a month. And I’m going to work at Target/Starbucks for at least two weeks so I don’t get fired. Ah, corporate rules.

What I’m working on:

  • An audio slide show for advanced reporting. We are all putting together 2 minute personality profiles on someone from our semester beat. I chose to cover Justin Mertz, the marching band director and co-conductor of the symphony band. I have gathered all my content except for a few last minute photos of the band in concert (that’s Tuesday evening’s task). Justin’s a great subject, so I’m having a difficult time cutting things down to 2 minutes. It’ll probably run a bit longer.
  • A website re-design for Danny Brown Films. Danny was cool enough to suggest I do his re-design when I approached him about my final project in web design class (design for a client). It’s coming together really well. Look for it in the near future.
  • Research project. I’ve been managing the team in my research class that is looking at how to improve the content management system for The NewsHouse. Everyone has been doing some amazing research and I’ve had the pleasure of listening to everyone’s ideas and helping where needed. In the end, I’ll layout everyone’s reports so hopefully the presentation will be as strong as the research. It’s been a great experience … but next weekend will be crazy as I try to get everything together for our professor!

Before I head home on the 22nd (‘less a snow storm decides to come and delay the three flights it’s going to take for me to get home), I’ll have a week to work on Danny’s website, and I hope to go see several movies since so many good ones are out.

Filed under: Movies, Newhouse


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve had papers, articles, classes to register for, an internship to apply for, and a whole lot of excitement has been brewing on campus about the upcoming break!

Tomorrow, Ira Glass is coming to campus. I cannot wait to hear him speak. I just recently started watching his Showtime version of “This American Life.” It’s wonderful. Anyone who has Netflix can instantly stream both seasons, so check it out. The man knows how to tell a story.

There is still a lot of work to be done before Thanksgiving.

I recently took on the roll as design chair for Medusa Magazine, a brand new feminist magazine at SU. We’re trying to get an issue out before spring break, so I have a lot of headway to make in creating an identity for the magazine. They have already designed a flag, which is nice, but everything else about the magazine is spread out. It’s my job to bring it all together through design.

I am also managing a team for my content management research class. We have a group (about 10 of us right now, but it could grow by a few more people) who is looking at The Newshouse site. Each person has to find an issue and a solution for something content management related. While I am not responsible for a report, I am making sure everyone else is on top of things, reporting back to our professor, editing the reports and compiling them into a beautiful package. Things will get crazy in the next few weeks regarding that class.

For advanced reporting, we are done writing. Our final project is an audio slide show personality profile. While it may seem easier because we don’t have to have seven sources (like usual), it’s not any easier or less time-consuming. We are each responsible for our own story, so we have to collect the sound and the photos, edit both, and put it all together. I’m having trouble finding a subject. But once I find him/her, it’s full speed ahead on that project.

In web design we have to build a website for a client. We haven’t really talked about it all that much, but I’m in the process of securing a client. More about that when it’s solid.

Ethics class is slowing down, since we just turned in our research paper. But we’re still having some great (and some not-so-great) discussions in class. And there is the take home final exam to look forward to …

A week and a half until I see my parents! They are flying up to Syracuse for the holiday. We’ll visit Niagara Falls for a day, and I’ll finally get to show my mom Syracuse and the Newhouse complex. I am so excited, I can barely concentrate. But I know each finished task leads me one step closer to the break!

Filed under: Movies, Netflix, Newhouse, Syracuse, TV on DVD

The Fall Semester Approaches

I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but I’m going to be an instructor’s assistant at Newhouse! The class is GRA 217, which is the undergraduate (mostly sophomores, some juniors and transfers) lecture section of the design class I took this summer. It’s an introduction to graphic arts for Newhouse students. I’ll be in the GRA 217 IA office (Newhouse 1 119) a lot, but my solid office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:45-4:45 p.m., right before the 5-6:20 p.m. class.

I’m excited for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is I get to connect with undergraduate students whom I may otherwise never meet. I don’t want to be stuck in my graduate bubble when there are a thousand other people around me who love media as much as I do!

The second is I get to work with Professor Greg Hedges. He was the main professor in this summer’s lecture. He knows his stuff and I can tell we have similar ideals when it comes to design and the process of finding a good solution.

Another reason to be thankful for this position is the financial award I received: six tuition credits (which is half of my fall semester), and an hourly wage for 10 hours a week. This definitely takes some strain off the debit I’ve been accumulating over the years. School is an investment, and I understand that. I glad to have been able to come this far in my education, and the awards I have been given along the way (at Ouachita and Syracuse) have been a blessing.

This IA adventure begins Tuesday, along with my first fall semester class! I cannot wait. Well, maybe I won’t mind my last few days of vacation!

Filed under: Newhouse, News, Syracuse

Taking a Vacation

I’m on vacation. Well, it’s more like a break from school for a week. It’s halfway over. Here’s what I’ve done:

Saw “(500) Days of Summer” with Victoria and Melissa. It was a wonderful movie and I recommend it to anyone who loves a love story. And if you love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, do not miss this film. It was also a lovely day out with the girls. We shopped for jeans and other clothes! How girlie is that?

I got a pizza from the Italian Chef on Butternut St. It was an amazing pizza. They sell their sauce, so I may have to get some of that so I can almost recreate their pizza. I think it was the crust and the cheeses they used that made it so special, though.

I went Downtown to C.L. Evers. It’s a grocery store with not very much stuff. They do have a deli, though, so I can get fresh meats and cheeses. They also had a key ingredient I had been looking for so I could make my mom’s cool garden pizza: Ranch dressing mix. I’m glad they had it because today I made the pizza with fresh cucumber, carrots, green onion, and a pizza crust from the farmers market, which I went to on Tuesday. I took this picture that same day. It’s a little piece of “Big Fish,” right outside my front door.

Today I stocked up on food products and some bath things. Yay. I like running errands before it gets to hot outside.

I’ve been working on Ryan Patch and Mike Koehler’s brochure for “The Sheol Express.” It’s going well! I’ve been designing the cover and the page backgrounds, and will soon begin on actual layout design. We had a long phone conversation yesterday and the guys really let me know exactly what they are going for. Looks like we’re going to have a project that truly shows the feel of the film. I can’t wait to show everyone the final piece!

Filed under: Entertainment, Movies, Newhouse, News, Syracuse

Design Can Change

After overhearing a conversation in graphic design class the other day, I felt compelled to post about design sustainability, that is, the impact graphic design has on the environment.

At Design Can Change, the issue of global warming is addressed from a designer’s point of view. The info graphics on the Issue tab are particularly interesting. They really break down the issue and the possible effects.

Thinking about how your work and how the final production of that work impacts the earth’s well-being is certainly a matter of personal ethics. Some people won’t print unless it is on 100 percent recycled paper or cotton paper, or printed with water and soy-based inks. Others require large single orders so trucks won’t pollute the air by driving to a business multiple times in a week. Other designers just design for a client and that’s the end of their thought.

I think it’s important to think about your ethics as a designer, just as you would as a director for a PR company. Will you take a client that buys bottled water for its employees instead of installing a drinking fountain? Will you design for a company that sells hybrid vehicles? Your ethics will also determine who comes to you.

This is an interesting web site to look at going into our next project. It functions in a completely different way than other not-for-profit groups. It is obvious it was created by some top-notch designers.

My last say on this debate of design ethics and the earth is this: the simplest thing a designer can do for the environment is recycle paper. So at the very least, do that.

For those who have trash pick-up here in Syracuse, recyclables are picked up the same day and you can get bins for free. See this 2-page PDF file on what every Syracuse citizen should know.

Filed under: Design, Newhouse, News, Syracuse

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