About Bob Ostrom Studio

The thing I love most about cartoons is the humor. I've always been drawn to the way great cartoonists could say so much with so little. Simple line and gesture, bright flat colors and modest shading, yet there is no mistaking the meaning of each drawing. I never got bored looking at or reading a cartoon or comic strip. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate fine art and the work of the masters too but as far as I’m concerned visiting the great art museums of the world would be a lot more fun if they included a few cartoonists.

I knew that one day I wanted to find a job that allowed me to draw cartoons for a living. I wanted people who saw my art to have just as much fun looking at it as I did creating it. I wanted a job that was fun and where my art would be appreciated. I wanted a career where my job was to make my boss laugh. So just how do you go about finding a job like that. It’s not as easy as it looks….

When are you going to get a real job?

When I graduated college and started to look for work I quickly realized there were not a lot of want ads for cartoonists. So instead I landed a job with a small ad agency creating ads and designing logos. It’s funny how things work out though. It was a good job but eventually, I grew restless so one day I introduced something a little different. I added a cartoon illustration into one of my layouts. To my great surprise, the client was thrilled and asked that I head up their new menu campaign. The agency discovered they had struck gold and I began introducing cartoons to some of our bigger clients as well and guess what?…it worked. Suddenly I realized that cartooning wasn’t just about animation or the funnies section in the paper, cartooning also had a place in the business world. I knew if I looked hard enough I could probably find other places where cartooning could be an even bigger part of my job.

Cartooning is Big Business

The more I looked around the more I realized cartoons were big business and they were being used to sell anything from toys to books, to cereal, and more. I quickly developed a portfolio reflecting my new-found knowledge and completely changed my marketing plan. In 1998 I started my own studio where my job was to create exactly what I loved most all day, every day. As my business matured I began to look at ways I could offer more to my clients. That's when I began to study marketing and branding. If I could find a way to offer my skills as more than just a single illustration or design I knew I could make a bigger difference for my clients. I could offer them a way to expand the look and feel of their company and help them expand their presence in the market place. By using my unique skills as an illustrator and combining it with my talent as a designer I was able to help them stand out with a unique look that was guaranteed to grab attention as well as delight their customers.  

Since then it’s been an incredible journey.

Understanding cartooning as an incredible marketing tool with the potential to reach millions of customers has changed everything. Since I opened my studio my work has been featured on everything for toy boxes, to clothing, I’ve done mascots for professional sports teams and designed hundreds of logos for both large and small businesses all over the world but that’s not all. My experience with the children’s market allowed me to follow another dream, illustrating children’s books. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some of the biggest names in publishing. My art has been featured in over 250 books so far and I can’t wait to do my next 250. Illustration And Design | Bob Ostrom Studio