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. 

 

 

 

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