#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.