Offshoot Art Show Presents: Hop Luck & Friendsgiving with Jason Roberson

Designing cans for November requires a bit of a seasonal touch. Thankfully, Jason Roberson had just the right idea for this month’s double-can release. As the leaves fell and chilly wind gusts blew right past our doorsteps, Hop Luck (IPA) and Friendsgiving (Hazy DIPA), our festive fall-colored IPAs, were a big hit during your friendsgiving potlucks and Thanksgiving dinners. The art surrounding our cans were not only a perfect representation of the hoppy beer within; they were also a colorful reminder of the changing season outside.

After stuffing our faces with plenty of turkey and mashed potatoes (and hoppy beer, of course) we caught up with Jason to hear a little more about his background as a designer, his inspiration for this month’s cans, and what kind of beer he enjoys when mowing the lawn.

1. Let’s hear a little bit more about you! What’s your story as a designer?

I’m an independent artist and designer specializing in craft beer package design. I was the first in-house designer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. where I worked as the Art Director and Designer for 11 years. I started in 2015, and now work for some of the best brewers in the world. My mom was an artist and art history buff, so I spent a lot of time in museums and galleries growing-up. I have a B.S. in Design from our local University, but I truly gained the skills I would need in my career at our community college.

2. You have an interesting background as an Art Director. What made you interested in doing design for craft beer?

After working on a freelance logo design project for Sierra Nevada in 2002, I was offered a part-time graphic design job. They thought there wouldn’t be enough work to keep a full-time designer busy, but after a month or so I had a full-time job. When I left Sierra Nevada over a decade later, we had seven full-time designers on staff. Today, I really enjoy sharing my experience with the rest of the craft brewing community.

Every creative agency in the U.S. wants in on the booming craft beer industry, but to truly understand Craft you need to be familiar with the industry as it was before going mainstream. Craft brewers are scrappy do-it-yourselfers and they understand their brand better than any agency ever will. Working directly with independent brewers is a perfect fit for me.

3. Let’s chat about your style. How would you say your work is unique from other artists?

The best thing about working for so many breweries is being able to work in a wide-range of design styles. Every week, I have the opportunity to try my hand at a new style or technique. Hop Luck and Friendsgiving represent my favorite style to work in and are a true reflection of my style as an artist: bold color contrast with loose etching-style linework and strong branding architecture.

4. Hop Luck and Friendsgiving remind us so much of what it feels like to be outside this time of the year. What was your inspiration?

I grew up in a small town, with a creek running thru our backyard. Illustrating river and mountain scenes always takes me back to simpler times. I find most of my artistic inspiration from nature. The scenes featured on these cans represent an outdoor take on the holiday. I love drawing hops, bines, leaves and hand-lettering type. Both works feature my favorite things to illustrate in rich, contrasting colors of autumn.

5. Speaking of the holidays, any plans for Thanksgiving or any friendsgivings of your own?

Our roots are deep in Northern California and we’re looking forward to 60+ family and friends at our Thanksgiving celebration. It’s completely out of control.

6. Let’s talk beer! What are your favorite types of beer? Least favorite?

I’m a crazy hop head always on the search for the biggest, oiliest, enamel-pealing hop bomb on the planet. This time of year, big stouts are starting to pair well with the Northern California skies. I like dark sour beers and big Belgian beers with a bready backbone. My lawnmower beer is a session IPA and I only drink lager beer on the beach in Mexico.

7. Any cool artists or designers you find inspiration from?

Finding new artists and looking to new work for inspiration is a daily ritual for me. My morning coffee is always paired with the most recent and trending artists on social media. As an Art Director, I always found ways to work with my favorite artists and design heroes. Ken Taylor, Nate Duval, Jeremey Holmes, Bruno Mallart, and Delro Rosco are some of my favorite artists to work with.

Check out more of Jason’s work on his website and Facebook.
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