From Brennan in Mission Viejo, California
As you can see from the date on this piece, I received it quite a while ago. When I first examined Brennan’s playful (yet thoughtful) contribution, I knew that a special chord had been struck inside me, but the combination of notes was one that was unfamiliar; and as a result it has taken me quite some time to fully discover why I love this lighthearted illustration so much.
In the end, the answer was right in front of me the whole time. The transformation of the smiley face into that of a rascally, good-natured wolf is a small representation of the artist’s ability to see nearly everything in life with a “wolf’s eye view.” While it is true that we live in a world that is far removed from the one that the wolf resides in, this doesn’t mean that we must become slaves in our thinking to the ties that bind us to our lives of convenience.
In everything you do, everything you see, everything you say… look for the wolf. Let the attitude of the creature guide you. Let its essence wash over you until you see the world through its eyes. Strive for its divinity, call up its courage, seek its gentleness, summon its spirit… Become one with the wolf. And when you do this, when you truly see the wolf in everything, then the circle of your life will be complete and you will have achieved true enlightenment.
Thanks, Brennan. Now we’re all one step closer.
From a stranger in San Diego, California.
In my postings thus far I have not divulged any personal information about myself other than a few childhood memories and whatever information can be gained from my nonsensical and verbose philosophical ramblings. This picture, however, inspires me to reveal one small detail about my identity: I have no tattoos. Not a single one. This is not a groundbreaking revelation, but it is a true one.
What might be slightly more interesting, though, is despite the fact that I personally don’t have any tattoos on my own body, I am absolutely enamored by tattoos on other people. I find it especially fascinating when someone has dedicated his/her entire body to serve as a true canvass for self expression. When I reflect upon the individuals whose tattoos inspire and intrigue me, I often think of Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kat Von D, John Mayer, Tim Commerfort of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Tommy Lee, Travis Barker, Nikki Sixx, and Trace Cyrus.*
This idea is partially why I am so taken with this particular wolf illustration. I not only admire the artist’s willingness to use the entire figure of the wolf as a canvass for artistic expression, but it is also the skill with which this is accomplished that is astounding. No space on the creature’s body is left barren or naked. No detail is spared; every inch is embellished and appreciated. In my mind, this symbolically expresses the complexity and all-encompassing beauty of the wolf. Every aspect of the animal is intriguing. It is not just the face, the eyes, the silhouette; it is every part of the creature: from the tip of the tail to razor-sharp point of each claw.
Bravo, stranger from San Diego. Bravo.
*My appreciation for a celebrity’s tattoo is not necessarily an endorsement of any other aspect of that individual.
From Natasia in Alameda, California
Why is it that when I think back to my childhood some of the most sexually charged images that come to mind seem to feature wolves? I know it sounds strange, and I can’t necessarily name a particular character or a certain episode of any specific program, but I can clearly see this image in my mind’s eye: A scantily clad redhead is performing on a stage in a dimly lit theatre. The audience spread out before her is comprised of people smoking cigars, seated at circular tables which are only slightly illuminated by small yellow lamps in the center, the glow of which is faint and sexy.
There in the back of the theatre a cartoon wolf appraises the scene. He notices the woman on the stage. Perhaps she winks at him. At that moment, the most hyperbolic of all reactions simultaneously overtake the wolf. He begins shaking and running in place. His tongue droops heavily from between his fanged teeth while his eyes bolt sharply from their sockets. Then, after a brief moment of composure is regained, a howl is released from the lungs of the creature that signifies a deep sexual longing.
And that’s all. That’s the image from my childhood. No plot. No story. Just this one image. I wasn’t even sure if this memory was real or fabricated until I found the additional picture that is featured below. I remember thinking when I was a child that it must be ok for me to watch this; it was a cartoon after all, but it was also overtly sexual, and that meant it was dangerous and taboo.
What I didn’t really pay much attention to at the time, however, was the wolf. Why did the wolf so often seem to be the overt symbol for sexual longing? Was it his wildness? His savagery? His inherent ferocity and lack of restraint?
I’m not sure. But I am surely grateful to Natasia for this illustration that transports me back to such a more innocent albeit confusing time. I love this wolf’s classy yet creepy appearance and his cool but ominous demeanor. And of course, I love the fact that the attention is now directed towards me, the collector of wolf pictures from strangers. It’s a valid question: Have I become the lustful lobo of my youth?