Hi readers its another busy week here at the studio. You may have noticed me posting a few videos last week. They are for a new class I have coming out starting November 6th. It’s called, Advanced Line Art Techniques and focuses on the methods I use to create line art with Adobe Illustrator. It’s a two part class and is for all skill levels. If you’re interested or would like to find out more about the class come see me at: BobTeachesArt.com
This time of year things tend to get busy for us illustrators. That can mean long hours and a lot of time spent organizing schedules, trying to find new projects and wondering where the last week went. Here’s a little tip for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts or needs a little pick-me-up. Go into your calendar and schedule a few positive reminders. Have your calendar send you those reminders on an alert at random times during the week. Next change the settings on your computer so it speaks your alerts. It’s hilarious and usually pops up right when you need it most.
Here’s how it works for me. I’m sitting at my desk after a long week of deadlines, maybe putting together some new ideas for a big program or something else I’m planning. The infamous artist’s self doubt starts to creep in and just as I begin to think maybe my high school guidance counselor was right and I should have considered a career as a pet waste fecal matter removal engineer my an alert goes off. My computer says in it’s slightly weird, slightly mispronounced computer voice, emphasis on all the wrong syllables ….” Excuse me Bob… You are a rock star!”
Ok yeah, not quite as funny in print but I highly recommend trying it because even though it’s silly and ridiculous it reminds me to lighten up, get my head on straight and quit worrying about things I shouldn’t worry about. Thanks computer, you’re a rock star too…
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.
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.
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.