Q&A: Robert 'Rob O' McCallum

Rob O's good people with talent and heart. Check him out over at TesTstudios or head over to his blog, roots and rooftops. Much respect goes out to you 'big coz' and thank you so much for taking the time.

Hey Rob O, can you please tell us a little about yourself? 
I'm an East Coast citizen, but I rest in Portland today. I run a design company called TesT studios that focuses on telling stories though product design. I have been a designer since 1990. I used to freelance with record companies in NY while in art school in Philly. I dabbled in t-shirts over the years, but I stumbled into the industry when I became a lead graphic designer for Ecko Unltd. I moved from JC [Jerz!] to Portland for an opportunity to work with Nike and Adidas. Since then, I have been blessed to work in apparel and footwear. I am currently working on a 2 minute short about an installation I did for De La and putting together a 2011 product exhibit.

What do you appreciate most about graphic design?
I love the range of communication graphic design creates.

What most inspires you?
My son inspires me. Music inspires me. Traveling is a huge inspiration for me. My history inspires me. Seeing my peers stand strong and achieve inspires me. I can walk down the streets of JC and NY for instant inspiration.

What do you enjoy doing on your spare time? Fave spots in Portland (hometown) you'd recommend?
For a good night out I like checking Live & Direct in Portland and in NY, Le Poisson Rouge. Back East, I always hit up my peoples in Brooklyn Circus and Goliath for a refreshing take on design. In Portland, you can usually find me at Kinokuniya Japanese book store.

Your most preferred travel destination(s) is:
Hong Kong, Toulon, London and Mexico City. Jah willing, one day that list will include Japan, Brazil and Benin.

When traveling, what can't you leave home without?
Without a shadow my music, sketch book, Mac book and Clarks.

Music playlist must include:
Father Bently mixes, Samba, Soca, J Period / Roots live mix tape, Rich Medina mixes, Joel Ortiz, Jay Electronica, Consequence new mix tape, Janelle Monae, Bilal's first album, still playing Distant Relatives, Fabio and Groove Rider...

Can you share with us your most prized possession or most cherished memory?
My most prized possession is all the people I call friends and family that I have been blessed to know all these years. I have so many cherished memories. The most recent was going to the NY Comic Con with my son for the first time. That was a super moment for me.

What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives?
The computer is another tool, always believe in your raw talent. 
Always test your skills. That's what keeps you sharp and fresh.

What's your motto?
-If it don't make dollars then it doesn't make sense.
-Always forward.

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