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Tuesday
Mar312015

Health and Wellness

Is flu season over yet? Just when you think spring has arrived, and you are out of the woods, it hits you. Like that last winter weather event, just after you took off the snow tires.

At this time of year, it's a matter of recharging the batteries, gearing up for spring. Can't wait for the warmer, friendlier weather, and the sense of purpose and energy that comes with it. I've been busy with a lot of editorial work so far this year. For some reason, most of it has been health related.

Yes, I am fine, thank you. Doing well. But this kind of work can make you start self-diagnosing.

So here's my recent medical history, illustration-wise.

Learning to Say No to Dialysis, written by Paula Span for the New York Times Science section. Art director Audrey Razgaitis and Cathy Gilmore Barnes.

Becoming Bionic, for the Robb Report, about advances in transplant technology. Art director Lisa Lewis.

 

Remembering Mom - a woman reflects on the legacy of her mother after her passing. For Texas Co-op Monthly, art director Jane Sharpe.

 And lastly, here's a full-page illustration for Reader's Digest Canada. It's a testimonial of a woman who endured two years of a debilitating spinal condition, suffering misdiagnosis, confusion and then a full resolution of her health problems. Not really my kind of story, but my Mom was totally impressed by seeing this published.

Gesundheit!

Sunday
Mar292015

Walking away from Winter

I had the pleasure of speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in late February. I am watching the snowbanks melt and dreaming of spring. Being in Boston after the record snowfall was an interesting experience. The locals were talking about breaking the all time record. A competitive attitude! I travelled with fellow illustrator and Sheridan instructor Julia Breckenreid. The trip was exhilarating and slightly exhausting (due to the 6 ft. high melting snowbanks). I truly enjoyed speaking to the students and doing a demonstration of collage techniques.

I was inspired by the surroundings to create this image, a snow-making machine:

 

Working in front of a group of students can be daunting. I don't normally reveal my working procedures and tricks of the trade. But I put it all out there. I'd love to have the chance to conduct a full workshop or do another speaking engagement along these lines.

Here's a few images from the trip. Thanks to Jim Burke for the opportunity! (Jim's the guy who commissioned the Spring Peeper image for the Frogfolio project).

 

top row: Julia demos in front of the students, the auditorium ceiling (a great venue for a presentation), skiing at Sunapee

bottom row: snow-filled sidestreets in Boston, the beautiful Museum of Fine Art in Boston, lunch with Rob Dunlavey, Polly Becker and Scott Bakal.

Working as an illustrator has its rewards. I have moved towards teaching and am now in my second year at Sheridan. Amazing and positive environment, with an incredibly talent-rich faculty and dedicated illustration students. Right now I am busy with assignment work and wrapping up the school semester.

A couple of weeks ago, we brought live birds of prey into the classroom. Kathyrn Chorney, an endless source of energy and enthusiasm, put this event together with the Peregrine Foundation, who rescue and rehabilitate injured hawks, owls and falcons. We had the pleasure of meeting Oscar, a peregrine falcon, Highway, a red-tailed hawk, and Tiguaq, a snowy owl. Incredible.

Gotta run!

Wednesday
Mar042015

Walking Cycle

I've talked about animating my figures for a while. I think the vector format I use lends itself to animation. So, here's a crude walking cycle. Imagine jangling sounds and that drummer from Birdman in the background.

Oh, yeah.

 

Wednesday
Feb182015

New Postcards

Just released this pair of postcards. Yes, I still print my artwork. Look for a copy in your mailbox soon, art directors!

If you would like to be included on my mailing list, please send me a note with your mailing address. wiens@kos.net

I also created a newsletter of the projects I've wrapped up in the last few chilly months. Take a look here:

New & Notable - 2015

Wednesday
Feb112015

Where to begin?

Off to a big start in 2015. I wrapped two book projects, and was handed a stack of assignment work. It's good to be busy when the snow is piling up outside!

Here's a few highlights:

I created this robotic character for a magazine project. The client dubbed him 'Buddy'. I like that name, because it's a challenge to make something mechanical look friendly. I'll post more images once the issue comes out.

I've been working with Adam Ruppel from Crazy Canuck events over the years. I don't think I have posted any of the obstacle drawings before. Mud Hero is a fast-growing series of endurance events held across Canada. These look like so much fun. This year they are taking over Ontario Place in Toronto. Here's the course map.

I continued my work for the New York Times in January. This is for an ongoing, monthly feature called Raw Data.

This piece was a challeging topic - understanding the correlation between the causation and occurance of cancer. It's a confounding and sometimes random genetic event, with devastating implications. Read about it here: Random Chance’s Role in Cancer

Always great to work with NYT AD Peter Morance and writer George Johnson.

I also do regular work with Roy Comiskey at Security Management.

This is about the risks of GPS scramblers and the potential consequences of misuse.

I'll be posting more work soon. I just sent two postcards off to the printers. If you would like to receive a copy of either one (or both) of these, please drop me a line, and I'll be happy to put you on my mailing list. wiens@kos.net