Shop Talk - Offsets
I had the amazing opportunity to talk with the Seniors of the Illustration Department at Mass College of Art and Design yesterday. Public speaking is not my forte but I'm always so happy when I've done it. I am so ecstatic about what I do and what I've learned and am even more excited to share it. Sometimes I am so focused on where I am right now with things I forget that I only started this process three years ago. I am impatient, especially of late. Talks like these sometimes are just what I need to put things into perspective. My professor introduced me to the class as someone who had reinvented themselves. I forget that beyond the art that I do or what I am doing with it, one of the things I've done is stop dead in my tracks and completly change the direction of what I was doing with my life. I have an art career now, where 36 months ago, I had an art degree and portfolio collecting dust in a closet.
Even better than the talk was getting to sit in on the class critique. Call me crazy but I LOVED critique days in school and I LOVE them now! How fun is it to see all the different solutions to the same project! Really though, when do I not like chatting about design concepts! They are working on coming up with an illustration to be used as tissue box design. I was very pleased to see that I could already sense what markets the students might be approaching out of school. Having an idea of this early in the year is so crucial in exiting with a well formed, well branded portfolio. Even though you have assignments which are looking for you to fulfill certain requirements I think it is so important to make sure the pieces you produce will work toward your final goal. What's that called, a "twofor"?
One of the things that came up a number of times was to make sure that the two sides of the image related so when you were looking at the box, "in the round" you would have an equally strong image. I brought up using the offset function as a way to layout their images. I thought it would be especially helpful in this sketching round. Turns out not too many people were familiar with that filter. I had never used it myself before I started learning to make patterns so I put together a quick little reference sheet for them. For illustrators these types of projects are less common but its still a great tool to have in your back pocket.
I use the offset function when I'm making patterns but I also use it when I do my boarders. It can also be helpful when adding a cuff design to a gift bag. I first learned how to create a patter by taking a dot and making a polka dot. Not the prettiest but it works. Even though my patterns are much more complex that same principal still does apply. I should mention too, you do not even need to own the full version of Photoshop to do these, Elements works just fine!
Here's the tutorial I stared with but here are some others
Half Drop Repeats Video