SCBWI Carolina’s Annual Event

Getting to Charlotte

Note to self…Charlotte North Carolina  is not 2 1/2 hours from Cary North Carolina its actually closer to 3 and the best time to figure that out is not 3 hours before you are due at an event. Luckily the sun was shining down on me and Siri guided me to my destination, arriving at a crisp 1:55. Just in time to walk in, grab a faculty badge and sit down at my table to review portfolios. And so it went through almost the entire weekend from one event to another until the late hours of the night. I had no idea what a jam packed weekend I was in for. 

It was super cool getting to meet everyone, after months of preparation, and to finally put some names to faces. Our breakout session came late in Friday. It seemed like the hour went by too quickly and we just barely had a chance to scratch the surface. Luckily Deb, Vanessa and I had a handout that went into much more detail than we were able to cover. I believe the pdf version will be available online soon for members to download. 

The WIN Group

We were finally able to announce our new WIN group which will be available to members soon. WIN of course stands for working illustrators network. If you are an illustrator and a member (or are considering becoming a member) of SCBWI than this group is for you. I will be writing more about the group in the weeks to come so stay tuned for some really great stuff you are not going to want to miss this.

I’ve got some crazy deadlines to catch up on this week so here are just a few more quick thoughts on the event before I sign off.

  • Met some great new friends
  • The accommodations were excellent 
  • Everyone was super friendly and super helpful 
  • The days were filled with activity starting at 7:30am and continuing until 10pm (and a little bit later for the the crew of friendly illustrators I had traded laughs with at the hotel bar)
  • I am looking into starting a new art group here in the Raleigh area for those who are interested. (More on that at a later date)
  • The Tom Carvell impression still kills at parties and events
  • I’m very happy and thankful for being invited to participate as a faculty member this year and hope to see everyone again next year.
  • Thank you so much to everyone who went out of their way to make me feel welcome and help me navigate my first ever SCBWI event.

Oh one more quick reminder. My adobe Illustrator class starts this week at Wake Tech so if you are interested in learning this program hop on over to the wake tech website and do what all the super cool kids are doing, sign up for my class. You only have one more day so hurry!!!!

SCBWI Carolina’s Week

photo scbwi week materialPortfolio.

Well this week is all about the SCBWI portfolio. I’ve got the printer inked up and ready to roll. I have to admit I feel like I’m stepping back in time a little with an actual printed portfolio, its been so long since I’ve shown one I almost feel like a kid again. Twenty three skidoo!!! 

Getting all this stuff ready is a lot of work so I decided to use InDesign to help make the process a little easier. If you’ve never used the program you’d be amazed at how well it streamlines a task like printing out a portfolio. As I was  working it occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity to share how easy this program makes something like putting together a portfolio. So, as soon as I get back home next week I’m going to put together a little demo and pop it up over on BobTeachesArt.com. Those of you who have used the program know exactly what I’m talking about. Those of you who haven’t are in for a treat.

zazzle tshirt comparison photoZazzle Quality Question

Before I sign off just wanted to ask all my readers a quick question. Has anyone here ever ordered anything through Zazzle? Particularly a dark colored T-shirt. I got mine back in the mail Saturday and the quality on that thing is very poor. I’m really hoping they were just having a bad day and we can get this straightened out because if this is the quality they produce on a consistent basis I would be very disappointed and very surprised. If you’ve had a similar experience please leave a comment and let me know how you resolved it and or if you were able to find a better solution. 
Thanks and see you in Charlotte!!!

SCBWI – Crunch Time

alligator art by Bob Ostrom

Yes Readers, we are officially entering Keee-runch time for the SCBWI fall event and that means anything that needs to get printed or shipped has to happen this week or it starts costing extra. I’ve steadily been checking items off the list all weekend. 

  • Postcards
  • Connections requests sent out on LinkedIn
  • Big Giant Handout for breakout group

Only a couple more items and I’m good to go. If you can believe it I’m actually ahead of schedule on most of my check list items with the exception of announcing the wrong date on The Friday Hangouts show over at Drawn By Success. Not sure what I was thinking, this thing has only been in the works for the last 4 months. Must have had my wires crossed for a second there. I’m sure anyone who caught the episode is probably thinking that I’ll be that guy standing in the lobby of the hotel on the wrong date wondering where everyone is, or worse yet that guy getting the panicky phone call from my co-presenters 15 minutes before the event wondering where I am. Don’t worry guys, I know the date and I’ll be there ready to go if my name isn’t
Cornelius VonBlatenshcnuoozen… the third.

Part 4 – SCBWI and Getting Lost in the Woods

picture of Bob Ostrom at Umstead State Park Vanessa, Deb and I have come up with an amazing handout we will be presenting to all the illustrators who join us at the SCBWI fall conference in Charlotte. This thing has turned into quite a large project. It’s basically a guide to running your own art business. Working with Deb and Vanessa has been so much fun. I always look forward to our Wednesday meetings. Since we’re almost at crunch time this weekend was dedicated to getting the layout together. I’ve been capitalizing on all my mad InDesign skills to come up with a rocking layout for you guys. Can’t wait to share it with you.

Saturday as I was working on the design I came to a section where we focus on health, handling stress and taking care of yourself. Part of staying healthy means not spending marathon sessions at the desk without a break or exercise. That’s when I realized I had been sitting at my desk for a marathon InDesign session. I decided I should take my own advice and get outside for a run to enjoy the beautiful afternoon.

My favorite kind of running is on a trail in the woods where I can be alone and decompress. There are some great trails near my house at a huge park called Umstead. These trails go for miles. I planned to run for about a half hour…easy-peasy in and out then back to work. I love is to run trails I haven’t run before so I picked a new one that I hadn’t tried yet. I’ve only run at Umstead a handful of times so most of the trails are new to me. This one was amazing and started out by following a deep wide stream. Umstead is quickly becoming a favorite place to run.

illustration of cartoon alligator by Bob Ostrom
Work in progress for the SCBWI fall conference.

Anyway to make a long story short I got a little turned around as I made my way along some very long unfamiliar paths. Not knowing exactly where I was I ended up running pretty deep into the woods and spending much more time there than I had intended. MUCH more time. In fact let’s just put it thus way if I had been in there any longer, I probably would have made the evening news as one of those, old guy lost in the woods search and rescue stories. It was a humbling experience but yes, I made it out alive and am all the better for it. By my best estimate I probably ended up running for about 3 or 4 miles and then walking around 63 miles. You would think I’d be discouraged but honestly I can’t wait to go back and run it again. Well, not the exact same trail but this time however I think I’ll print out a map before I go… and maybe pack a flare gun just in case.

Here is a little piece I’ve been working on to help promote Bob Ostrom Studio at the event. Once this campaign is complete I’ll post it here on the site for those of you who aren’t able to attend this year.

The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference – Part 3 and Charlie the Intern

charlie the intern photo

Hey Readers,

Two things I wanted to cover this week. First was to introduce my new intern Charlie and the second was to talk a little more about my continuing plans for the SCBWI fall conference. Charlie is joining me from the AOIT (Academy of Information Technology) program at Apex High School. He will be helping me with the day to day tasks here at the studio as well as doing a little illustration work with me. Charlie is no stranger to Bob Ostrom Studio and has helped with several illustration jobs in the past. He is a very talented young artist who is excellent with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as having great technical skills. You may have noticed a few changes to this website and also to BobTeachesArt.com thanks to Charlies and his behind the scenes modifications.

Last week I had put together a little check list of items I wanted to get done for the fall SCBWI conference this year.  It seems the conference date is creeping up quickly and things are starting to pick up at Bob Ostrom Studio with fall right around the corner. I’ve been making steady progress with my list but it looks like I’m going to need to pick up the pace a little since I plan to add a few additional tasks this week.

  • Make new business cards… the real kind, not the cheap-out inkjet card stock kind
  • Get shirts printed
  • Begin printing out new pieces for the portfolio 
  • Design a rocking new postcard
  • Think of super cool affordable giveaway item
  • Take a nap
  • Continue working with my co-hosts on the business of art presentation

This weeks mission is to reach out to some of the other presenters and introduce myself. I’ve found it’s always helpful before an event if you can make a few connections ahead of time. That way when you get down there you can always find a few friendly faces and say hello in person. My plan is to see if I can find a few of the other faculty members I don’t know yet and introduce myself on LinkedIn.

So as many of you know I don’t do a lot of traveling for the business and speaking at this conference is a little bit a stretch for me. The way I see it though is if you never stretch you never grow and it’s time to do a little growing. What are you guys doing to stretch yourselves? Do you have any events planned this year to get you out and meeting people? I hope any of you who prefer to hibernate, like I do,  are pushing just a little bit harder to step outside your comfort zones and do a little growing. Well that’s all I have time for today. Lots of deadlines looming and lots of extra work to do for the conference. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape wit the check list and with the help of my new intern Charlie I’ve got things well in hand.