“New shape, new layer,” my high school digital art teacher would say over and over and over again because we were stubborn and most of us never grasped the concept behind the words. In Adobe Photoshop, it’s crucial for the user to create new layers for each individual aspect of a design. The layers are the building blocks. As someone who has now studied design in both a university and professional setting, I understand the concept. Back then, however, I created new layers whenever I was reminded to do so.
In fall 2017, I had the opportunity to teach my own class of students venturing into the world of graphic design, many for the very first time. Digital Art Design brings together familiar art concepts and modern technology. This semester, I focused on Adobe Photoshop and introduced its tools and best techniques through hands-on creative projects. Some of those projects included Google doodles, movie posters and personal logos.
Throughout the class, I often found myself passing on the same tips I had shrugged off once upon a time. With each lesson, I flash back to images of my younger self sitting behind an older computer model with no idea she would one day pursue graphic design as a career.
“New shape, new layer,” I tell my class. And when they ask “why?" I always have an answer.
The layers are the building blocks. Accepting their purpose and function allows one to get comfortable and familiar with the program. Once you are familiar and comfortable with programs like Photoshop, the possibilities for creation are endless.
This class has added a new, enriching, fantastic layer to my life and I look forward to working with new students each semester.
Written by Cass Lang, Digital Art Design Instructor and Assistant Director of Marketing and Special Projects for The Department for Lifelong Learning
Digital Art Design classes will be held on Fridays at 4:30 p.m. starting September 28 for the Fall 2019 Semester.