OFFSET Dublin 2017 | photo Caroline Mc Nally

The sun greeted our highly caffeinated heads for the start of Day Two as we welcomed award winning illustrator Yasmeen Ismail. Yasmeen sets the bar for Day 2 and reassures OFFSETers that it’s okay to flail about for a bit. Straight from the get go she had us in fits of laughter, as she described with such brutal honestly her circuitous route into children’s publishing. She spoke about her journey to get to where she is now, being lost for a few years, her struggles with her identity and heartbreak all within the journey of her career and offered the following tip for those struggling with inner demons, “Don’t ever think that you are a fraud. Unless you are a fraud.”

Up next, the stage was filled by the tremendously talented Ryan Jefferson Hayes from MPC  who spoke candidly about his transition from 12 years freelance to a full time job at MPC. Ryan spoke about his challenging role in managing multiple creative departments in such a large global company. After taking us behind the scenes of the Cushelle advert animation from how the scene is constructed down to taking facial expressions from their employees, he also showcased some of the tear jerking Christmas adverts for John Lewis including the very much loved Christmas Buster ad

Mike Garner and Emmet Wright from Dublin based Advertising Agency Chemistry closed our morning program and what a show they put on especially when they spoke about their controversial ‘I want to Get Cancer’ campaign for the Irish Cancer Society. A powerful point was made when the audience (2,200 people) were prompted to stand up, with half told to remain standing to demonstrate just how many people in Ireland will have cancer by 2020. It really was a poignant moment and showcased the mix of emotions and range of problems that design can provoke and express.

Alan Aboud, one of the best known creative directors in fashion and beauty, was the first to brave the main stage after the frenzy of lunch. He spoke about how he started started his iconic collaboration with designer Paul Smith in the 90’s, “I was the wrong person for the job & Paul agreed.” After a very slick and beautiful presentation that spanned an uninterrupted relationship of 25+ years with Paul Smith he ended with his last and proudest project with Paul Smith called ” A Suit to Travel in”. It’s clear Alan was the only man for the job.

Kelli Anderson was next and she grabbed our attention from the get go especially when she spoke about “Thinking through our skin” – now THAT’S when your know you’re super creative! Kelli credits her process and output to remaining curious and experimenting in reference to her astonishingly inventive and unique projects such as Paper Record Player, “It’s like a legal psychedelic! Let’s get drunk and do it!”.

Kelli Anderson @ OFFSET Dublin 2017 | photo Brid O Donovan

A man with many strings to his bow – Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, CGI, Sculpture, fellow Dubliner Shane Griffin strode onto the main stage. Taking us through his impressive client list (Nike, Ford, Google, and National Lottery to name but a few), we can clearly see why he is making serious waves in all fields of visual arts. Shane concluded with these wise words “I know our jobs can be emotionally heavy but we should always remember to feel lucky because we get to make beautiful things every day”.

Award Winning Illustrator Marion Deuchars ended Day Two of OFFSET with a truly headline-worthy talk. Anahita Tabarsi from Brownbag films listed Marion as one of her OFFSET highlights –

“Marion Deuchars advised us to draw for pleasure and reconnect with our child brain. Her beautiful childlike lettering and illustration style utilises this advice exactly and exudes a freshness and deceptive simplicity. She also posed the question “when was the last time you painted a rainbow?” and how pleasant it can be to go back to the way we drew in childhood and return to the notion of “play” when creating.

Before Day two came to an end Marion left us with her favourite quote “Sometimes the mistake is more interesting than what you had planned in the first place” Inspiring words & advice.

Marion Deuchars @ OFFSET Dublin 2017 | photo Brid O Donovan

And as soon as it all began, Day Two had come to a close. We were already chock-full of creative motivation and inspirational butt-kicking, and the third day was still to come. Once again, we waved goodbye to the friendly staff at Bord Gais Energy Theatre, with a wink and a nod that we’d be back in the morning.