Richard McMillan



I have built a portfolio that consists of a severely edited selection of work that I have created mostly since 1980. The first project which is New Work covers all areas that interest me, includes works made in the last year or so and will probably be updated on a yearly basis. The next three Projects, current work from 2005 on, is divided into the major areas in which I work: Computer Images, Photography and Graphic Design. Also included is Archive work from when I was in college in 1960s up to late 70s but it is very sketchy. Most of the work in the Archive Projects is from 1980 thru 2004.

A Brief Biography

I graduated from Birmingham City University (previously Birmingham College of Arts and Design) in 1966 with a Bachelor's degree in graphic design. My first job as a junior designer was at the London branch of Ogilvy and Mather, an advertising agency with offices in over 150 cities worldwide. I flourished there for five years working on national and international accounts such as Schweppes Tonic Water, John Player Cigarettes, Worthington Beer, and Hertz. Mostly I worked for Art Director Roger Phillips, now an internationally known gardening and nature photographer. I next worked on the design team of "Nova", a U.K. national fashion magazine and competitor to "Cosmopolitan". The Art Director was David Hillman, formerly partner at Pentagram in London.

During the late 60's I found myself taking some small distance from my working and social life. I spent time reading books on mysticism, primarily Sufism which is originally connected to Islam. This direction was fostered by my parents' interest in G.I.Gurdjieff and P.D.Ouspensky. One day I was in one of my favorite bookshops, Watkins in Charing Cross Road, and I saw an advertisement for a lecture by Fazal Inayat Khan on Sufism. This was very exciting for me as all the mystics, poets, and gurus I had been reading about were dead and one of the major tenets of Sufism required the relationship of a living teacher and a student (termed by Sufis as a mureed).

My involvement with Sufism deepened and In 1972 my wife and I quit our jobs, sold the house and joined a Sufi spiritual community, The Sufi Way located to the southwest of London. My experiences during the years I spent there are the pivotal point in my life. To support ourselves we operated, among other enterprises, a small publishing company, headquartered in Holland that eventually gave me the opportunity to emigrate to California in 1979. I worked for the U.S. subsidiary, Hunter House, for several years designing books, book covers and promotional materials.

Since then I have held many positions, as Director of Communications at University of La Verne, La Verne, CA, as Senior Designer for a small advertising agency in Claremont, CA, and as Principal of my own photography and design firm, Aster Creative. I worked on projects with Brian Eno, Christo and Vaughan Oliver (4AD Records, London) and had some success licensing my images to stock photography companies such as Photonica (Getty Images) and Uniphoto. During that time I also studied life drawing with Tom Van Sant in Malibu, CA. In 1987 I started teaching part-time at La Sierra University, Riverside, CA. This led to a full-time position at Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA, for four years before I was hired as full-time faculty at Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA, in 1997. I was Lead Instructor for the Advertising and Graphic Design Program (1997-2012) and Chair of the Art Department (2007-2010). I retired (graduated!) from teaching in May 2012. I am expanding my work in computer graphics and photography and taking baby steps in a very new direction... music. My intention to explore ceramics is, for the moment, on a back burner.

To see the Art Department site at Fullerton College click on these links: and for the Advertising and Graphic Design Program:

In 2008 I made a decision to open up my photo archives which had been gathering dust in the computer. I chose a selection of work that I feel has a wide appeal for general usage. From time to time I will add more images. You can browse hi-res images of my photography and use them in your projects... for free! Click on:

My Influences
Computer Graphics/Photography

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Jeff Wall
Sally Gall
Robert Rauschenberg
Richard Hamilton
Felipe Ehrenberg

Graphic Design

Vaughan Oliver
Lester Beall
Herbert Matter
Piet Zwart
Stenberg Brothers
David Carson