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Carl Wiens
Life, the Universe, and Everything
posted:
I had the honour of working on this cover image for Queen's Alumni Magazine. Dr. Arthur McDonald was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for his research and discoveries in physics. This assignment combined my love of science with a challenging cover assignment, to explain the unseen, the subatomic, the Neutrino Breakthrough.

I am not a particle theorist, but I know this. Dr. McDonald and his team of researchers built an observatory 2 km deep in a mine shaft in Sudbury. What they discovered enhanced our understanding of physics and what we are made of, energy and the universe around us. The name of the observatory was SNOLAB, filled with heavy water and removed from man-made electric energy fields and interference.

Every second millions of neutrinos pass through us, unhindered and non-reactive, generated from deep within the sun. So then, how can they be observed and quantified?

Here's a very brief synopsis.

1.      Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles coming from the sun.
2.      There are three “flavours” of neutrinos: electrons, muon, and tau.
3.       Neutrinos switch flavours during their oscillation.
4.      Their oscillations prove that neutrinos have mass.

The SNOLAB observatory was able to record the oscillation of neutrinos. During oscillation, energy is released in the form of a photon. Observing this phenomenon established the mass of neutrinos, and enhanced our understanding of the universe in terms of it's overall mass, which affects how we understand where we came from and where we are heading.

The final illustration depicts a logorhythmic chain of images, from the sun to the earth to the SNOLAB sphere to the inner workings of an atom. A window into what we are made of.

Thanks to Andrea Gunn, Dr. Arthur McDonald, and the people at Queen's. Keep up the good work!
 
Neutrinos and the acrylic sphere used in the experiments.

Earth. I enjoyed putting the elements for this together, a crazy combination of vector layers in Illustrator.

Final cover

Happy Holidays
posted:

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season.
Cheers
A World of Trouble
posted:

Trying to make sense of things day-to-day is disorienting enough. Trying to take in the bigger picture on a global scale is an entirely different story.
I was thrilled and challenged when this assignment came through from designer Louis Fishauf, for Global Briefings magazine. The cover image was based on the title feature: To Do or not To Do - Doing Something, Doing Nothing, and Avoiding Breaking. We live in an age of peril and uncertainty, and I wanted to reflect that in a strong, central image. On one side - financial markets (in turmoil) and on the other, contagion and environmental risks. Getting a sense of balance/imbalance and the headache-inducing choices we face was the focus of this piece, and Louis was great to work with. Here's the final:

Designing on a black background was a new challenge - I worked up some sketches directly on the background, and tried to strike the right balance with colours & objects.I also liked the idea of our institutions in crisis, so I drafted up concepts involving a legislative/financial building as a base. Here's a concept I worked up that wasn't used:

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Next we tackled the inside feature: "Man and His Economic-Financial Crises." This was about the mechanisms and massive scale of the economic machinery behind the meltdowns. The lowly repairman about to ascend into this massive machine again punctuates the enormity of the issue outlined.

It's a pleasure get immersed in an assignment like this, with it's weight and complexity. I constructed a mechanical globe and populated it with gadgets, gauges, engines and monitors. I also created an alternate, darker version here:

I am happy to be working with i2i Art, and reps Angela Dunning & Shelly Brown. You can see my portfolio and read about this assignment on their website:
i2i Art Website
Global Brief Article
Purity
posted:
I've had the chance to relax and reflect this summer, always a healthy combination, right? Isn't that what summer should be?
September has hit me with a wave of responsibility and new work. I will be taking my son Jacob to University next week. He is going to Lakehead, in far-flung Thunder Bay, for a combined Outdoor Rec and Science degree, complete with an academic scholarship. New adventures, and real excitement for him. A mixture of nostalgia, anxiety and pride for Mom and Dad.
I got a call from Greg Klee last week to illustrate a book review for Jonathon Franzen's new book, Purity. I didn't have much to go on, but having read The Corrections and Freedom, I know it's going to be a great book. It's about a young woman's journey, looking for her father, and her relationships along the way. Obviously, with Franzen's attention to detail and finger on the zeitgeist of society, it's much more than that. So I wanted to capture that feeling of starting a journey, searching for something. Technology plays a role in driving the story, so I pictured her on her cell phone, in an urban environment where the story begins.

I'm looking forward to the fall, the routines and challenges. Also finding the time to read this book!
Here's a few process shots, taken while I was inking the final. I love drawing detritus.
Here's a parting shot - I framed this print, from my collection for my friend Ruth Gangbar. This used to hang in a local hangout and breakfast joint called Chesterfields. It's a nice tribute to past, preserved, framed and ready for the future.

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