Faculty and Staff

James M Blasi

Professor • Department of Art

I’ve long been interested in drawing the figure. All of its complex contours are an endless source of story telling. What solidified this interest into a formal study was my work as an undergraduate at Philadelphia College of Art (now Univerisity of the Arts) as an Illustration major. It was at Philidephia that I honed my skills as a visual communicator. Upon my graduation in the mid 1980’s, I found that the jobs for Illustrators were few and far between. At this early stage of my artistic career, I was confronted with the need to reinterpret my skills to find work. I packed up my belongings and headed back home to New York in the hope of finding more opportunity.

It didn’t take long for me to find an entry position as a designer at a magazine. I was immersed in the world of graphic design in a corporate setting. This was a far cry from the painting studios in Center City, Philadelphia. Artistically it was a little different than Illustration, but not so different that I wasn’t able to quickly teach myself the more graphic form of visual communication. It was early 1987 at this time and there was a revolution on the horizon, but not the kind that would overthrow a government. The birth of the digital revolution had started, and there was a new tool to learn how to use: the desktop computer.
​Most graphic designers during this time were eager to learn computer-aided graphics, and I was certainly one of them. The very first versions of programs like QuarkXpress and Photoshop were beginning to be introduced and I was more than happy to start learning them. It took a few years for them to make their way into a corporate setting, but when they did I was ready. I saw this as an opportunity to advance my career. In my mind, though, I still had that desire to be in the studio and paint. I still felt that I hadn’t come close to reaching my potential in my fine art life.

Professional Interests

Fall Semester 2021 / Spring Semester 2022 Milestone Summery

I was very pleased to be selected to join the full-time faculty as an NTTP instructor. As a decades long art director in the New York publishing industry, I had many career and character-building experiences that I bring directly into the classroom. I bring a valuable perspective to students and show them what is expected in today’s demanding design field. My goal is to expose students to new tools, ideas and processes to prepare them to enter the field of digital arts.


Updated Intro to Graphic Design ARTS 2500 class project in accordance with University student learning outcomes. Introduced new tools and techniques to lay a solid design foundation and prepare students for the current demands expected for design professionals.

Redesigned Advanced Graphic Design ARTS 3510 class project in accordance with University student learning outcomes. Introduced a pilot project in Adobe After Effects in preparation for submitting new course proposal.

Modernized Package and Advertising Design class project in accordance with University student learning outcomes. Introduced new tools and techniques to encourage inter-disciplinary exploration.
• Order in installed new lighting and camera equipment for the graphic photo studio in Ben Shahn Hall.

• Joined the Curriculum Committee
• Wrote and submitted new course Motion Graphics I ARTS3838. Approval granted; course offer date is Fall 2023

Redesigned the William Paterson University Master of Fine Arts on-line catalogue for 2022-23. Working with Graduate Director to implement a marketing strategy to increase enrollment.

Mentored several students in the creation and submission on undergraduate and graduate shows, “Here and Now” and Graduate Review. Two students recognized for excellence, Christian Tavis, MFA student for He was the Tornado, and Jordan Lynch for Honor Band 6: Motion Graphic Advertisement.


Maintain a vibrant freelance marketing business. Current projects include Le-Vel Lifestyle custom publishing print titles Strive Magazine and Thrivin Magazine. Print and digital assets for CareOne Healthcare Facilities, WestBergen Mental Healthcare, Eduscape Educational Services and Motion Graphics for the upcoming streaming documentary, The Jersey Sound.

James Blasi

Instructor Graphic Design

Other Interests

Drawing and Painting


MFA Painting, William Paterson University Wayne, NJ


Digital Design

Notable Courses Taught

Intro to Graphic Design
Package and Advertising Design
Advanced Graphic Design
Digital Publishing
Digital Methods
Introduction to Visual Communication
Intro to Motion Graphics

142 Ben Shahn Center

By appointment