How I missed 10 super important messages on Facebook

facebook - hidden messages
It started out innocently enough. I was thumbing through Facebook when I saw an article about hidden features on Facebook. I hardly ever click on these things but for some unknown reason I decided to give it a look. I wasn’t expecting much but what I discovered absolutely ruined my day.
Facebook filters your messages for spam. Hardly a shock, but I had no idea this was a thing. I guess it makes sense, I mean there is a fair amount a garbage that shows up on a daily basis and who wants to be bothered by it, right? Wrong.  This filter is built to detect and pull out spam and it does a pretty good job… except when it doesn’t. When I checked mine I found at least 10 or more VERY important messages that were filtered out. Some were from people asking questions about upcoming classes I was conducting, some from students or parents of students wanted to know what illustration classes to take. Some were even about potential illustration jobs that I missed out on because I had no idea they were there or even trying to reach me. The saddest part was these messages date back weeks, months and even years.
I have no excuse. Facebook does a pretty good job about explaining how things work. You can find information about all this and more just by Googling it but I really wish I had know about these filtered earlier, when I could have done something about it. If you’re like me and you had no idea this existed here’s how it works. Go to Messages > More > Filtered. Inside the filtered folde you’ll find a lot of spam but in between the spam you’ll probably find a lot of important stuff too. I am trying to catch up on the ones that are still timely. To the others that I failed to respond to, I’m very sorry and I hope you were able to find the information you were looking for another way. If anyone who was looking for help still needs it please feel free to get in touch through.

Creating a new style with Digital Watercolor

digital watercolor by bob ostrom

Digital Watercolor

I’ve been trying some new stuff for the last month or so here at the studio and I think it’s about time to let the cat out of the bag. For many years I worked traditionally, mostly with watercolor and airbrush. I don’t really miss the airbrush, that thing was a crazy amount of work and to be honest Photoshop just does a better job. The watercolor though, that’s a whole different story. I love the spontaneity of working in watercolor but trying to capture that look and feel digitally has been a challenge. I could never really get the subtle variations I wanted so it inevitably wound up on the back burner saved for another time. I supposed I could have just dragged out my old set of Winsor Newtons and scanned them but I really wanted to see if I could make this happen digitally. Here’s a little peak at what I’ve been up to. I’m pretty happy with the direction things are headed. Hopefully, as I get used to the brushes and how to mimic the translucency that make watercolor so special, things will only get better.