TWITTER
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

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.