Aug 3 2013

#462 “Odd Collage”

From Aimee in Apopka, Florida

I’ve had this wolf collage and accompanying envelope in my possession for more than 2 years; however, I’ve never displayed this unique masterpiece on wolvesbystrangers.com because I never knew exactly what to say about it. I never knew how to interpret what I was looking at or how to analyze its idiosyncratic nature. But this morning a revelation descended upon me: I don’t need to understand the work. I simply need to share it. So, here it is, world. Here is the bizarre and quirky work of Aimee. Do with it what you will. Attempt to unfold its mysteries for yourself or simply bask in the glow of its unusual glory. The choice is yours…

Also, in case you’re wondering, the attached note says:

“And the wolfman’s brother
the wolfman’s brother is coming down on me.”

Hi, Wolfman~ thanks for turning a boring Tuesday evening into fun. Emily texted me about your project and I was hooked. I miss Chattanooga! Your creative energy still calls me – even here in lovely Florida

Love Alway, Aimee


Jul 30 2013

#460 “Body Art”

From a stranger in Australia

A kind stranger in Australia emailed this picture a few days ago with an accompanying note which said she was afraid that it might not count because it was not technically a drawing. How silly our fears can sometimes be… Of course this counts! There’s no greater dedication to an artistic subject than to have it permanently affixed to one’s body. Not to take away from the hundreds of contributors to this project to date, but I am especially impressed with this stranger’s submission. While all contributors who submit artwork to WBS are giving a piece of themselves, this brave soul is going a step further in a way and laying bare her dedication to the spirit of the wolf in the very flesh. What a beautiful sight to behold…


Jul 28 2013

#459 “A New Nation & A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”


From Jeremy in Nashville, Tennessee

At a glance it seems like these two pictures from Jeremy may not have much in common; however, in light of recent national events, I would say that there’s actually quite an interesting link between the two that make them applicable to all Americans. With the recent revelations made by Edward Snowden about the NSA and other information about secret courts, etc., coming close behind, many Americans are indeed feeling like the nation they thought they knew and loved has pulled the wool over their eyes. The fact that we’re basically begging Russia to deliver Snowden to us with assurances that we won’t kill or torture him is an extraordinary statement about the recent history of this country. While I love this country, I’m afraid that in some ways Lady Liberty has indeed taken on a savage new visage in my eyes, one that has been hidden behind an innocent mask for far too long…


Jul 21 2013

#458 “A Step Forward”

From Misha Misha

An unanticipated benefit of the WBS project is that it sometimes allows us as an international audience to witness firsthand the artistic strides that some participants make as they continually advance their craft. Case in point is this submission by Misha Misha wish we may compare to a work submitted by her back in January of this same year (click here). While both pieces reflect an artistic ability worthy of envy, we can see that this young artist is growing by leaps and bounds. Let’s just hope she continues to allow us to experience her creative bildungsroman firsthand…


Jul 14 2013

#457 “Totally Random”

From Mike of the Jungle of TEAM WOLF in London, England

So… here is a crude drawing of a wolf, complimented with what appears to be a couple of elephants and horses… and a pig… along with busts of Bart and Home Simpson. Enjoy!


Jul 10 2013

#456 “Alpha Stranger”

From WBS Artist in Residence: Victoria Witt

A few months ago, I experimented with a variety of social media outlets in an attempt to bring more attention to WBS project and increase submissions to the collection. Being new to many of the of the latest developments in social media, I struggled quite a bit with the learning curve associated with some of these new technologies. One media outlet in particular that I couldn’t quite get the hang of was Twitter. I’m still not sure what it was, but something about this medium just didn’t click with me. First of all, when it came time to name my newly created account, I was vexed when I discovered that “WolvesbyStrangers” exceeds the character limit by just one letter. Then, when I started to post various tweets, I discovered that I felt like I was engaging in shameless self promotion. While I do want to advertise the project as much as possible, I just couldn’t get used to constantly tweeting in what seemed like a narcissistic way. While it’s true that the tweets often revolved around the fantastic artwork that the project was receiving by generous, talented strangers, something about it still seemed egotistical and vain.

However, there is one bright side that came out of my experiment with Twitter: the moniker of “AlphaStranger”, which became my handle in lieu of “WolvesbyStrangers”. In a way it’s a fitting label. While I have chosen to introduce myself to a few contributors to this project, most wouldn’t know me from Adam and would walk right by me on the sidewalk, having no knowledge of the fact that we have actually interacted with each other in a most unusual way. And likewise, many participants in this project choose to maintain their anonymity was well. And that’s just fine… In fact, this may be the very lifeblood of this project: the chance to be whomever we want… or to be no one at all… to let our artwork speak for itself and create a wolf portrait to be  our voice, our identity.

The funny thing about this particular illustration by Victoria is that it actually captures my true identity quite well. From my eye color to the depiction of me as my favorite wolf (the Alexander Archipelago Wolf) to my work attire… it’s surprisingly accurate. So, if any of you have actually wondered about the man behind the wolves… here I am. Of course, I have to end with a special thanks to Victoria for her time and attention. This work represents another triumph and another step towards a bright future and a wonderful career in the arts.


Jul 7 2013

#455 “Electro-Wolf”

From AMSeaFang (Kailah)

In March of 2012, WBS experimented with a “Music Month” in which each illustration was accompanied by a wolf-themed song which seemed to fit the picture’s mood and tone. All in all, this was one of my favorite times in the brief history of the project thus far, and I am grateful to AMSeaFang for temporarily reviving this artistic crossover. As far as her particular subject is concerned, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate artist to anthropomorphize than Skrillex. His unique music, as well as his eclectic appearance, embody the wildness of the wolf well: Skrillex is an artist that attacks the eardrums of his listeners with a biting sound full of ferocity as well as beauty. It’s a combination that is as fierce and alluring as the wolf, itself

For more artwork by AMSeaFang, click here.


Jun 30 2013

#454 “Pretty in Pink”

From Jordan in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Instead of taking a walk on the wild side, sometimes it’s nice to indulge in the softer side of life. The talented Jordan artfully reminds us of this fact with a dainty doodle of a fetching female wolf subject. While it certainly isn’t complicated, the portrait does prove to be an uplifting testimony to the power of simplicity and the magic that a well-trained hand can create in fewer than a dozen strokes. As I approach the birth of my first daughter in less than 2 weeks, this wolf has brought a sense of calm and peace to an anxious soon-to-be father. Thanks, Jordan.

Also, if you’re interested, you can click here to see another unique wolf portrait submitted by Jordan back in December of 2011.


Jun 23 2013

#453 “Supermoon”

From Jama in Heiskell, Tennessee

Given the recent phenomenon known as the “supermoon,” I thought it only appropriate to post this lunar masterpiece by the talented Jama. While the wolf takes center stage in this portrait, the majestic creature is magnificently framed by that lovely guardian of the nighttime sky which calls not only to the wolf, but to us as well. It is a celestial body that links man and wolf in that it calls to the wildness and virility in both of us. A special thanks is due to Jama for this timely reminder which couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment.

The timber wolves will be our friends.
We’ll stay up late and howl
at the moon ’til time ends,
before going on the prowl.

- Calvin and Hobbes


Jun 16 2013

#452 “796 days later”

From redditor “dontragemebro”

Over two years ago on March 11, 2011, the WBS project first gained international notoriety when a UTC student named Eric posted one of the original WBS fliers to the website reddit.com. If you’d like, you can read more about this incident and how it helped WBS reach a mass audience by clicking the tab at the top of the page entitled “The Story.” Anyway, earlier today I was reading back through the original comments on that fateful reddit post (perhaps out of boredom, perhaps out of nostalgia), and I noticed that I had overlooked a contribution to the project that was delivered via a comment by a redditor with the handle  of “dontragemebro.” After 796 days, it’s time to give this contributor his moment to shine in the WBS spotlight. It’s just the right thing to do. The project has been incomplete without this illustration, but I’m proud to say that it’s finally made it home. Welcome to the pack, little pup. We’ve missed you…


Jun 9 2013

#451 “Pride Rock”

From Melissa in Hixson, Tennessee

I know, I know… “Pride Rock” is a Lion King reference and has nothing to do with wolves whatsoever. Still, I couldn’t help seeing that inspiring seat of power when I took in this poignant illustration by Melissa. There’s something heartwarming but also haunting about the two young creatures playing joyously atop a rock precipice while their watchful parent looks on with what I can only suspect is a calm but firm sense of pride and virility. As the sun sinks low in the background, the sky is washed with a frenzied rainbow of color, and above it all the wolves stand silhouetted in black- a constant fixture, firm on the rock of natural wonder while the world turns madly on… A masterpiece if there ever was one…


Jun 2 2013

#450 “The Terminator”


From Jeremy in Nashville, Tennessee

“I’ll be b-… pack!”

Post #450 is quite a milestone for the WBS project, and therefore it’s only fitting that we celebrate this momentous occasion with a fantastic illustration that is dedicated to a particularly groundbreaking (and somewhat applicable) film. Many times throughout the past several hundred posts, I’ve commented on the significance of the dual nature of the wolf, but no illustration thus far has captured this idea as marvelously as this pop culture portrait by Jeremy. While the terminator is an autonomous cyborg comprised of living tissue covering a mechanized skeleton, the wolf is a muscular mass of flesh and fur covering… well, that’s the mystery, isn’t it? Underneath the sometimes soft, sometimes savage exterior of the wolf, we don’t really know what exists. We study the creature’s habits. We examine its lifestyle. We analyze its genetic makeup, scrutinize its diet and admire its physiology, but what’s really hiding underneath the surface? I suppose that’s anyone’s guess. In the end deciphering the psyche of the wolf may be as challenging as reading the mind of a robot… If it can even be done at all…


May 26 2013

#449 “In a Barrel?”

From a student at SAU in Collegedale, Tennessee

A while back I posted a group of illustrations from some students at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee; however, at the time of the original post, I chose to put this particular illustration on the back burner. Why? Well, simply put, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what this picture is all about. Is it a pop culture reference? A historical allusion? A complicated metaphor? Or just an inside joke? After a little research, I discovered that a manufacturer called Lone Wolf makes gun barrels which are popularly used in Glock firearms, but somehow I don’t think that’s quite right. But regardless, the quaint mystery behind this piece will be keeping it on my mind for some time to come… and maybe that’s what the artist had in mind all along…


May 19 2013

#448 “Alpha/Omega”

From Laura in New York

While I know that it’s not my mission to take an artist’s work and apply it personally and individually, I simply can’t help viewing each WBS submission through the lens of my own existence. While this may distort the original message that the artist intends to send, this is a beautiful blessing of artwork in general: the fact that each work is open to personal interpretation and the fact that different individuals might approach the same work of art from different viewpoints and thereby walk away with different interpretations. Keeping this in mind, I hope it is not out of line for me to say that when I lay eyes on this piece I am overcome with thoughts and feelings related to the love that I share for my beautiful wife. Yes, I know that this is probably not a subject of interest for the faithful readers and viewers of WBS, but without her this project would have become defunct long ago. She has been my strength and my rock, my support system and my encourager, my partner and my critic, my alpha and omega. If you enjoy this project, then you owe a small thank you to her for keeping this crazy thing going for so long. And also, of course, I owe a special thank you to Laura for this inspiring submission that is able to rouse such overpowering feelings of love and admiration…


May 12 2013

#447 “Unseen Forces”

From David in Lithuania

Every day, all around us, energy swirls and pools in eddies and puddles of unknown magnitude. There are forces at work in this world that are beyond our imagination and exceed the musings of our wildest dreams. Each step we take, we wade through streams of power and rivers of universal agency that set in motion the mysteries of our very existence. Some enigmas are known to us and some are not. And while we may not know the answers the riddles, we are familiar with the questions themselves: What exists inside the annals of the wolf’s animalistic mind? What is his greatest desire? How does he commune with the infinite universe that surrounds him? How is his existence similar to or different from mine?

It’s questions like these that sometimes keep me awake at night, and although I know these mysteries are unsolvable, this doesn’t mean that pursuing their ends is not a worthwhile endeavor. As I take in all that David has to offer in this magnificent portrait, I’m reminded of these universal enigmas and of the unrevealed secrets that the almighty universe has chosen to keep from our uncomprehending minds. As humans we have explored these mysteries with theories, estimations, symbols and philosophies, but we may never know the truth.

Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of all is whether we are the most capable of creatures in exploring these questions. We set ourselves as lords above the physical reality in which we exist, but what if there is one among us who understands these eternal riddles more readily than we do… and he just won’t tell us the answers?


May 5 2013

#446 “School Project”

From Jecobia

Having relinquished my official role as a student for quite some time now, the world of formal education has become a relatively foreign place to me. Given this fact, it came as quite a surprise when Jecobia sent me this tasteful video which she produced for a small classroom project. To say I was honored would be quite the understatement. While I have always hoped that this global gallery of lupine artwork might serve to inspire a smile from time to time or create a pleasant diversion from the rigors of daily life, I had never imagined that it might provide some educational value to America’s youth. I couldn’t be more pleased than to imagine a group of students taking note of WBS and using it to further their studies. So, to Jecobia, if you are reading this: Stay in school and keep on the straight and narrow path. Always allow your heart to be your guide and trust your instincts. Search for inspiration in the unusual and never allow detractors to distract you from your goals and dreams. Also, while you pursue the soul of your education, don’t neglect the education of your soul. And finally, always keep that small and sacred part of your heart reserved for the wolf; it will never lead you astray.


Apr 28 2013

#445 “Toothy Grin”

From Laura in New York

While aggressive wolves with teeth bared in militant hostility are often the focus of lupine artwork, the talented young Laura offers a different perspective with her lighthearted portrait of a particularly friendly subject with an almost goofy smile. And while some individuals might say that this is not an accurate depiction of the noble savage, it does capture a very real side of the beast – a side that desires acceptance and even friendship. And while the wolf’s request for acceptance may not literally come in the form of the wide-eyed and friendly portrayal offered up by Laura here, her illustration does serve as a reminder that at the heart of each and every creature lies a desire to simply be – a wish to coexist and fulfill an individual purpose. And while sometimes this desire does bring the wolf into a necessary conflict with other beings, this reality is always better faced with a smile…


Apr 21 2013

#444 “Beyond Borders”

From Gabrielle in Redlands, California

There’s something uniquely inspiring about viewing a piece of artwork that cannot even be contained by the very paper on which it is printed… something that suggests that the artist was so captivated by her subject that she completely disregarded the notion that her work could be contained. Such is the case with this latest contribution by California native, Gabrielle. I know that you cannot experience the full grandeur of this piece because even my own scanner could not accommodate the size of this magnificent masterpiece, but as you may be able to tell, Gabrielle leaves no space untouched by the artistry of her pencil, and her artwork proceeds to the very edges of the paper and perhaps even beyond. As a result, the fervor and passion that would inspire her to utilize every square inch of parchment to express her passion is nothing short of  moving and encourages each of us to reach beyond our perceived limits and break free from the cages that attempt to contain us…


Apr 7 2013

#442 “Long Distance”

From Ania in Krakow, Poland

I read somewhere that a wolf’s howl can be heard up to 6 miles away in a forested environment and that on the open tundra those lonesome cries have been known to travel for up to even 10 miles. However, in a truly amazing feat, the howl of Ania’s awe-inspiring lupine subject will reach every corner of the globe. Yes, it sailed across the ocean through invisible electrical currents from Poland all the way to the American Southeast, and now it is recreated and amplified here in this public forum for all of you.

So remember: no matter which city or which country you lay your head down in tonight, you can rest in the assurance that the wolves are howling all around us to the very same moon in the very same sky, and even though we may not hear them with our very own ears, their cries are not in vain. They are absorbed into the night sky where they dissipate for all of eternity, raining down on us in the winter snow and rising from the earth in the morning dew. They twinkle in the stars that shine overhead and warm us through the sun’s rays on a springtime afternoon. They inspire us to create artwork to share with strangers, and in this way the wolf’s cry is never silenced and reverberates into eternity…


Mar 31 2013

#441 “A Bone to Pick”

From Zachary Sweet

“I didn’t expect her to counter my plans with nakedness.”
- Matthew Miller (whoever that is… I think…)

I can’t remember where I heard this quote, and I have no idea who/what it is in reference to, but I ran across it some months ago, and when I laid eyes on Zachary’s wild wonder of lecherous lupine artwork, the saying just popped back into my head. I don’t know… it just seemed to fit.

As always, to see more of Zachary’s “sweet dreams and daymares” click here.