About Bob Ostrom of Bob Ostrom Studio
Ever since I was a little kid I always loved cartoons and drawing. I learned to draw by tracing my favorite cartoon (Peanuts by Charles Shultz) over and over again until I could draw the characters in my sleep. I did the same with all my favorite cartoons. I was always amazed at the way those artists could say so much with so little. Simple line and gesture, modest colors and little to no shading yet there was no mistaking the meaning of each drawing.
The thing I love most about cartoons is the humor. I never got bored looking at or reading a cartoon or comic strip. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate fine art and the work of the masters but as far as I’m concerned visiting the great art museums of the world would be a lot more fun if they included a few cartoons.
I knew that one day I wanted find a job that allowed me to draw cartoons for a living. I wanted people who saw my art to have just as much fun looking at it as I did creating it. I wanted a job that was fun and where my art would be appreciated. I wanted a career where my job was to make my boss laugh. So just how do you go about finding a job like that. It’s not as easy as it looks….
When I graduated college and started to look for work I quickly realized there were not a lot of want ads for cartoonists. So instead I landed a job with a small ad agency creating ads and designing logos. It’s funny how things work out though. It was a good job but eventually grew restless so one day I introduced a cartoon illustration into one of my layout. To my great surprise it was well received. I figured I had nothing to lose at that point so I began introducing them to some of our bigger clients as well and guess what?…it worked. I began to realize that cartooning wasn’t just about animation or funnies section in the paper cartooning also had a place in the real world. I knew if I looked hard enough I could probably find other places where cartooning could be a bigger part of my job. I eventually found a small toy company in Framingham MA and they just happened to be looking for a guy who could draw cartoon characters… all… day … long. (sometimes dreams do come true).
Cartooning is Big Business
The toy job didn’t last long but knowing that I could make a living doing what I do best changed everything. The more I looked the more I realized cartoons were big business and they were being used to sell anything from toys to books to cereal. I quickly developed a portfolio reflecting my new found knowledge and completely changed my marketing plan. In 1998 I started my own studio where my job from then on was to find those places and show them what I could do.
Since then it’s been an incredible journey. Understanding cartoons as an incredible marketing tool and their potential to reach millions of customers has changed everything. Since I opened my studio my work has been featured on everything for toy boxes to clothing, I’ve done mascots for professional sports teams and designed hundreds of logos for both large and small businesses all over the world but that’s not all. My experience with the children’s market eventually allowed me to begin illustrating children’s books as well. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest names in publishing. My art has been featured in over 200 children’s books to date and I can’t wait to do my next 200. Whether I’m illustrating a children’s book or working on a cartoon logo I always try to bring a little bit of fun to my art. If you want to know how cartooning can help your business stand out just give me a call or head over to my contact page and get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.