Additionally, Beck has collaborated with New Zealand company Icebreaker, as well as the beer brand Corona for a piece in the Argentinian Andes. He was also the subject of a short film in Norway, which was selected for National Geographic
’s short film showcase
. Further, Beck has made some 100 pieces in sand, which are replicas of his snow-bound shapes.
His methodical process often begins with a drawing. “Usually, I sort it out on paper a bit beforehand,” Beck said, “because then, you make the best use of the space you’ve got.” He then ventures into the snow for roughly two hours of precise measuring with a prismatic compass and pace-counting (occasionally, he employs a rope and anchor to measure circles’ circumferences). Next, he takes around four hours to carefully plot points and chart lines, before focusing on adding shading with snowshoe tracks. Finally, he affixes a border, often comprised of “frilly” fractals, for another six hours. After approximately 12 hours of work (in ideal circumstances, though many pieces take much longer), he calls it a day, then returns the following day for touch ups and to take photographs.
Even with copious planning, nature often has a way of changing the game plan. The texture and density of the snow, the sun’s location, and cloudy skies can have outsized impacts. “You just gotta make the best of what conditions there are,” Beck offered. Weather or arithmetical errors can cause a radical redesign, yet Beck lauds the element of the unexpected as both beneficial and challenging to all outdoor activities. Often, you “get a drawing that doesn’t look like what you originally planned, but it still looks good,” he remarked.