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. 

 

 

 

The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference – Part 2

SCBWI children's book layout showing alligator illustration

Does anyone out there still have a printed portfolio? I think the last time I showed mine I was wearing a leisure suit and a pair of earth shoes (sorry kids, you have to be over 40 to get that joke). Turns out a printed portfolio is one of those things that come in really handy at an event like an SCBWI conference. Who knew? Looks like I’m gong to have to add it to the list. I’m also guessing only a fool would show up without some kind of handout or giveaway so I’m also adding business cards and postcards to the list as well. Whoa, all of the sudden a month doesn’t sound like a lot of time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years though it’s how to get things done quickly. So here’s my “to do” list for the 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

There you have it readers. That’s my list and I’m sticking to it. I’m going to have to ask you guys for a little favor or two, if you’re up for it. First if any of you guys catch me slacking off or straying from the list feel free to call me out on it.

Second, if you’ve ever attended one of these shindigs and would like to write a little guest post or share some advice on my blog please get in touch with me and let me know. It doesn’t have to be the Carolina’s event. Any SCBWI annual would be cool.

Okay, all for now gentle readers. Updates soon….
Bob

The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference

SCBWI - fall event logo

SCBWI Fall Conference

Hey did I tell you guys I’m going to be at the 22nd annual SCBWI fall conference of the Carolina’s this year? Yup, I’m gearing up to step out of the office and spend a couple of days down in Charlotte this September. Not only am I attending the event but I’ll be speaking and reviewing portfolios as well. How’s that for following up on my pledge to get out of the office and attend more events this year?
This is a first for me so I thought it might be fun to chronicle the experience and talk a little bit about my take on things as a rookie SCBWI attendee/speaker. Let me just preface by saying I have never been to a SCBWI event before and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. I will be speaking along side two very talented artists. Vanessa Brantley and Deb Johnson about the business side of art. I also will be reviewing portfolios as I mentioned earlier. Both of which are super cool because as any of you follow me on the vid-cast I co-host Drawn By Success know this is right up my alley. 

I’ll be updating you with posts about the event in the coming weeks including how I do with my speaking engagement. It should be quite an adventure and I’m really looking forward to it. If any of you are planning to attend the event please let me know and maybe we can plan a meet up. I always look forward to meeting new friends and saying hello to old ones.

scbwi logo

Summer Vacation – by Bob Ostrom Studio

Cartoon illustration of summer vacation on the beach

Summer Vacation!

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Last week I headed down to the beach here in North Carolina for a short little summer vacation. Unfortunately it rained harder than I’ve ever seen it rain. It was one of those rains where you think it can’t possibly rain any harder but then it does….all day. Just as we checked into the hotel it started let up. The sun popped out for about an hour and half so the kids and I grabbed our boogie boards and headed down to the ocean. Right about the time we decided to to get out of the water the rain came back. And so it went the following day. Two hours of sun at the beach in the morning (with the darkest storm cloud I’ve ever seen on the horizon) followed by a torrential down pour. Since we don’t live too far we decided enough was enough, jumped in the car and headed back home. All in all everyone had a pretty great time. I think maybe we’ll head down another time before the summer is done and see if we can’t get a little better weather.

The Blue Sky Folder

childrens book illustration of mouse falling off bike, blue sky folder, ostrom, mouse, bicycle, crass, illustration, photoshop, illustrator

The Blue Sky Folder

Deep in the archives of my computer there is a small beacon of light that shines brightly through the darkness. It’s called the Blue Sky Folder. Inside is a collection of sketches, experiments, new styles, new techniques, story concepts and a bunch of projects in various stages of completion. This folder is basically a resting place for all the ideas that rattle around inside my head long enough for me to get them down on paper or into various stages of digital completion. Like many other artists I’m always restless to try new things and this is my outlet. 

This is a Blue Sky piece I began almost 3 years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed with it at the time so I put it in hold to work on other things. I had totally forgotten about it until I was leafing through the the folder recently when it caught my eye. One of the main reasons I had put this one on hold was that the techniques I’d used to create it were very time consuming and a bit unrefined. Looking at the piece again I realized that the solution was sitting right in front of me. I didn’t have my Cintiq tablet when I started so any digital freehand drawing was pretty much out of the question? As I popped the file up on my screen I realized that was no longer an obstacle. It only took me a few hours to finish the piece and I’m psyched because now I finally have a great way to save time and paint right on the computer.

Below you’ll find a few more images from the Blue Sky Folder. Each started out as just an idea, some were developed further and others are still waiting for the magic touch. Occasionally I will show images from this folder to publishers or clients when we are looking for new ideas. Sometimes they become the catalyst for something new other times they are just a launching point to help spawn new ideas. having a Blue Sky folder is something I would recommend to all artists and writers alike. Never stop creating, never stop inventing because you never know….

Click on any of the images below to start slide show.