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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

Saturday
Jan032015

Auld Acquaintance

To ring in the New Year, here's a few fond memories. I discovered these mementos while moving my studio this past year. I have always wanted to document the labels designed for Hillier Wines and Glenora Springs Brewery. These companies were pioneers in the incredible success and development of Prince Edward County, now a trendy tourist destination and home to a thriving wine-producing region.

Work like this is about the people you deal with, the relationships you develop, and the passion and interest that underlies the product. Dan Taylor commissioned the Hillier Label designs, his efforts focused on Pinot Noir varietals. Prince Edward County has long been a productive farming area, and was a long-time producer of canned fruits and vegetables. We worked together to create a visual tribute, reflecting the design qualities of vintage canning labels.

My friend Ruth Gangbar put me in touch with Christopher Gentile, who photographed the bottles. He has a masterful eye and did an amazing job with these.

I also worked with John McKinney at Glenora Springs Brewery. His feature product was Triple Chin, a rich, dark, full bodied ale with a light finish. I play hockey on Mondays with a group of players John put together over the years. Here's to hockey and a good pint!

Sad to say both of these companies have changed hands and the bottles are a relic of the past. But we can raise a glass to those who have paved the way and made the sacrifices. In days of Auld Lang Syne.

 

Thursday
Nov202014

New & Notable

 I posted earlier about the image created for the Land Gallery in Portland. It was a group show called Work & Play, and it was a commentary on the life of an illustrator. Sometimes the balance tips, towards work most often, but I found the right balance this summer. The jurors at the Society of Illustrators liked the balance too - I am honoured to be included in the 57th Illustration Annual and show. I've been inspired by all of the great pieces posted online this week, the medals awarded went to the best talent in the business. My piece will be in the January show (Uncommissioned and Institutional). Third year running!

Work & Play - Digital collage

This week I also resumed my regular gig for the New York Times Science section. I do a monthy contribution to the Raw Data column, written by George Johnson. This month he wrote about a huge monolithic radio tower erected by the Soviet Union in the 80's, on the doorstep of Chernobyl. The echoes of the Cold War still reverberate in many ways and the nuclear threat has never really disappeared. Great read!

 

I took a few different approaches to this piece, but settled on a graphic approach. The red background speaks to Soviet design, but also reinforces the message of danger and threat.

There's always a little room for experimentation too. I'd like to find more time to develop ideas and collect images for new collage work, but I have two book projects on the go right now. Here's the latest creation from the collage labratory:

 

 

'Power lacks moral or principles. It only has interests.'
- Horacio Castellanos Moya

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Monday
Nov172014

A Season of Change

I've had some time to settle in, to establish new routines. Change is good - we lived 16 years and established strong ties to our previous community. But we also felt restless - new opportunities and living in a larger community were a big draw. My family is changing quickly - my oldest son is getting ready to go to University and my youngest is always looking for new sports to get involved with. They have been thriving, going to a good school and getting involved, volunteering and making new friends. 

I also gave up my studio, which I designed and built myself. It was a beautiful space, but over the years was burdened by clutter. Putting things into their right place is a good process to go through, even if it means filling a dumpster or two. I now feel motivated to make new things and explore new directions.

I've had an incredibly busy fall, with two book projects on the go and some fantastic editorial work (more on this later). 

Here's an inside view of the studio. North and South facing windows. Nice, bright and open space to work. I have a lot of art to frame and hang, but the essentials are there - the light table, computer desk and flat files.

Here's a view of my cluttered desk.

And a few knicknacks and books from my well-curated collection.

 Time to get to work!