Meet General Bob: Veteran, Photographer and RMCAD student
In honor of supporting the brave men and women who have served our country, we are highlighting one of our RMCAD students in recognition of Veterans Day, which is on Nov. 11. General Bob Felderman is a storyteller who travels America and the world confronting challenges in the global art community through media. Along with his wife Nancy, they are often found wayfaring along backroads and river roads capturing sights and scenes not noticed in today’s frenzied and fast-paced life.
Sometimes Felderman’s creations are planned shoots for a client, or they just pop up, which is why he always keeps cameras and lenses readily available. Bob lets the location and human interactions motivate his stories while traveling the earth, but often his camera view is through his drone flying the view of an eagle, or he is crawling in the mud or dirt making images from a grasshopper’s level. He is becoming known for his architectural 3D Virtual tours of houses, businesses, and museums, as well as a philanthropic entrepreneur photographer. Until a few years ago, he was more of a natural editor making limited adjustments to his raw photographs, but now he creates images taking them to new skills that tell many a story through his imagination.
His personal art energies were developed with fine art competitions in mind, working to develop his writing and image styles, through his experiences, and his inspirations from people. Bob’s images highlight aerial, commercial, entertainment, and human interactions that create storytelling efforts through his studio at General Bob Photography, and as himself – Bob Felderman; Storyteller through media and images.
Bob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management & Flight Operations from the University of Dubuque, Iowa; and a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University, Washington, DC. He is certified as a Legislative Liaison from Georgetown University in Washington, DC; and he is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General who served an illustrious 36-year career. We asked the photography major a few questions about his experiences as a veteran and artist:
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
The opportunity to set my own pace, my own style, and follow my passions.
How has RMCAD helped you become a better photographer?
I enrolled primarily to learn the missing “nuts and bolts” of photography, the reasons why and how we photography, in hopes of making me a better image-maker.
How has your military background translated into your creative work?
I learned quickly in life that having confidence in your abilities and your desires will allow you to open doors, and to advance in your career. I have stopped using the word “work” as much as possible because this is a passion that is allowing me to use the right side of my brain for “art” not work.
What is your advice to other veterans that want to pursue a creative degree at RMCAD?
First, check to see what VA programs are available. I am 100% Full and Permanent Service Connected Disabled, but that only came about recently. I was 90% for the past 8 years. While getting treatment from my VA psychologist, he mentioned the VA Vocational Rehab Program, which pays 100% of tuition, books, supplies, and even a larger stipend than the regular GI Bill. It has allowed me to attend RMCAD full-time online, which has given me more skills quicker than part-time and allowed me to live and learn in my home. Once you have the info, reach out to the career counselors to learn where you fit into the opportunities available at RMCAD.
What are your goals after earning your photography degree?
There are two paths I am considering; one I will do for sure and that is to expand my travels towards the goal of making more fine art and to identify clients to pay me to travel for shoots. Ideally, that would be with National Geographic or some travel magazines. The second path would be to use my remaining GI-Bill and Post 9-11 GI Bill to get my Masters in Fine Art,
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
I come from a volunteer family, my father is retired Navy, I am retired Army, my younger brother served 3 years in the Army, my sister was Peace Corps, and my youngest brother is retired Navy. I continue to volunteer in many veteran organizations, and Veterans Day means recognizing of the 1% of the U.S. population who have been willing to stand up and put their lives on the line to defend the citizens and freedoms of the American Constitution.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Please reach out to veterans in your age group, I am an old guy by age (65-years) but am very young in my life-style and my activity level. America needs more young veterans to step up and join the many available veteran organizations or they are going to fade away. Please consider the American Legion, the VFW, or the DAV. We need you to help keep us viable and to spread your knowledge to our communities. “Charge On!”
Felderman currently holds press credentials with 365Ink Magazine, Julien’s Journal Magazine, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), The American Legion Media Alliance (TALMA), and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).
Felderman is an award-winning artist and writer who competes in local, national, and international fine art competitions to enhance his talents. His photography assignments include magazines, television, movies, music albums, advertising, private art commissions, and fine art exhibitions. He is more of a generalist in his skills, with significance in commercial, aerial/drones, landscapes, travel, entertainment, food, and human photography. You can click here to see his portfolio. We encourage you to also follow Felderman on Instagram. Below are a few work samples of his.
RMCAD embraces active duty service members, National Guardsmen or women, Reservists, and Veterans. Whether you pursue your studies on campus or online, we work tirelessly to help you achieve your career goals in art, design, technology, and art education. We encourage you to learn more about our military students by clicking here.