Category Archives: Real Life Adventures of an Illustrator

Holiday Cheer with Elves & More

Holiday Cheer with Elves & More

Summary: Sharing holiday cheer about a wonderful charity that I contributed to this year in Ohio, and the gift of a logo illustration. 

The final Elves & More logo illustration with digital color.

When I was growing up, my friends and I would ride our bikes everywhere in our small rural Ohio town. Since then, one of my biking buddies, Brian Miner has gone on to co-found a charitable organization called Elves & More.

Elves & More is a nonprofit organization who deliver quality bicycles to over 1,100 children in nearby communities. Throughout the year Elves and More does the good work of raising funds, gathering the donated bicycles, engaging with local bicycle clubs and service organizations, and securing the volunteers necessary for the assembly of the bicycles.

All of this work culminates on one frosty morning in late December when Brian and his cohorts drive semi-trucks full of shiny new bikes into communities, and simply give 1,100 bikes away to children. (Take a moment to let that sink in.)

I had planned to visit my family in early December to celebrate my father’s birthday and have a family reunion. As fate would have it, my trip also coincided with “The Day of the Great Bike Build.” On a cold and blustery December morning in a warehouse about 300 volunteers gathered to build all the bikes. The day was a big success. We had a great time and built all 1,100 bikes in record time!

from L to R: Brian Bowes, Brian Miner, Bob Bowes at Elves & More 2016
from L to R: Brian Bowes, Brian Miner, Bob Bowes at Elves & More 2016
My dad and I together at the bike build.
My dad and I together at the bike build.

The Elves & More Logo Illustration

In addition to building the bikes, I also donated a logo illustration to Elves & More. The design was used on the t-shirts and thank you gifts that will be given away, and I hope they will continue to use it for years to come. (click to see it larger!)

The final Elves & More logo illustration.

These are sketches that I shared on Instagram (follow me on instagram!)

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger version and slideshow.

I also put out a few videos on Instagram which show me inking. I’ve put them together with some music and additional notes for your enjoyment!

As ever, thank you for reading. I respond well to enthusiasm, so feel free to leave a comment here, drop me a line, or follow me on the Insta-tweet-a-books.

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Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Sleepy San Francisco Squirrel

Summary: An illustration based on a recent trip to my old stomping grounds, San Francisco. The illustration MFA program that I am enrolled in is great and has us traveling around the country for different contact periods throughout the year. We meet three times a year, spring and fall, and we always go to Hartford Univeristy in Connecticut inContinue Reading

Inspiration in a Surprising Way

Inspiration in a Surprising Way

Summary: During three different school visits, I shared my work and talked books with 3rd graders. In the process I found joyful surprises on many different levels. I have been on the road quite a bit during February and March, visiting the Salinas School District on three different occasions to share my work and talkContinue Reading

5 Days in LA; Lessons from the 2012 SCBWI Conference

5 Days in LA; Lessons from the 2012 SCBWI Conference

Summary: Upon returning home from the Summer SCBWI International conference. My mind is totally a-washed with good ideas and information that is keeping me jazzed. In this post, “Who’s Bryan Collier anyway?!” Now, there’s no way that I could possibly cram a whole experience into a blog post, well there is but nobody wants to read theContinue Reading

Watercolor Process