Oct 28 2011

#181 “Tutorial”

From “Pro Sew Comedian” in Fort Worth, Texas

So you’ve got a problem: There’s a stirring deep within your bones urging you to construct your very own lupine masterpiece, but you simply don’t know where to begin. Fear no more, my friend. Allow me to introduce “Pro Sew Comedian” and his wolf-drawing tutorial with personality the size of Texas.

With step-by-step instructions to take you all the way from inception to finishing touches, this training session allows even the greenest of wolf-artists to achieve the pinnacle of lupine creations. Now is the time to let your spirit howl without limits. That’s right, no more excuses. No more hiding behind claims of novice-level skill or artistic ignorance. The day of reckoning is upon us. It is time to conquer the intimidation of the pen and vanquish all self-doubt. With the help of “Pro Sew Comedian” each of us can join the ranks of such famous wolf-artists as Kim Diment, Julia Hargreaves, Karla Mann, and Michael Dumas.

As far as the question that this contributor posed is concerned, I did write back with a response, but I fear it was not with the answer he was hoping for. This blog is really the only “corkboard” that I have on which to display the artwork I receive. The organization of the physical collection mainly consists of a pile of notebooks with plastic protective sleeves. Not much to look at, but effective nonetheless. Who knows, though… perhaps someday there will be a marvelous and unified display of all these masterpieces.Then we shall all lay eyes on them together and bask in their glorious radiance. And when that day comes, I hope we are all there to see it together…

Oct 7 2011

#160 “Spark of Life”

From Cooper in Ft. Worth, Texas

The famous astrophysicist Carl Sagan once said, “We are made of star stuff.” But what did he mean by this? Well, I’m not sure that I’m qualified to deconstruct or analyze the words of a man so renowned for his astronomical intellect, but what I believe Dr. Sagan was getting at is the fact that the same basic particles make up every object in our known universe, no matter what that object is. In some ways this statement has the potential to make us feel very small, but in another sense it is wonderful to know that we are able to transcend the boundaries of the known universe simply by examining our own physical makeup.

On another note, even though we might all be made of star stuff, there is a certain magical quality that I will call the “spark of life” that separates animate from inanimate objects. I know that this sounds simple and elementary, but in some ways, it truly is amazing to ponder the fact that there is a certain something that transforms our physical beings from lifeless piles of particles into living, breathing creatures that are capable of thought, love, and the appreciation of beauty. This is perhaps why we find the idea of inanimate objects having the capabilities of conscious thought so intriguing (like in the illustration above): it gives us a chance to break down this natural boundary between us and everything else in the universe and let our imaginations play. We are able to create a unique world in which all objects can interact in a way that is typically reserved only for those beings that are gifted with the spark. What would it be like if ice cream cones could really think for themselves? I’m not sure, but I bet it would make us examine the world around us a little bit differently.

Regardless of what your thoughts are on the human soul, our internal spirit, the spark of life, or the nature of animate and inanimate objects, as you go throughout your day today try to remember this simple phrase: “We are made of star stuff.”

May 7 2011

#7 “Lucha Libre”

From Simon in Wichita Falls, Texas.

The sport of lucha libre is not one that I am especially knowledgable about, but I do find it to be quite interesting. Let’s be honest, any activity that involves donning a mask but that also seems to strictly forbid wearing a shirt is bound to be intriguing.

In doing a little research on lucha libre, I discovered a few details about the “máscaras” that the brave wrestlers wear, and through my study I have come to believe that this illustration is attempting to make some important statements through the use of this mysterious athletic accessory.

It seems that the wearing of masks in Mexican culture has a historical significance that dates back all the way to the ancient Aztecs. However, when they were first introduced into the lucha libre, their function was relatively simple: they often merely distinguished one wrestler from another through various color schemes. Over the years, though, the masks began to symbolize certain features or character traits of the opposing wrestlers and often were often meant to call to mind images of animals, gods, or ancient heroes.

When we examine specifically the idea of a wolf sporiting one of these máscaras, we must ask ourselves what image or idea the wolf is attempting to evoke. In other words, if a man dons the mask to bring to mind a wolf, what thoughts does the wolf want to induce through wearing the mask?

Here are some of my personal theories about the mask’s significance:

This illustration suggests that there is more hiding underneath the surface of the wolf’s exterior than meets the eye. We think we know the animal, but do we really? What lies beneath?

This picture represents the carnal identity that every man engaged in sport is attempting to take on. By competing against one another, man is transformed into beast.

Could it be that this illustration is suggesting that we are all really animals underneath the “masks” that we wear as members of a “civilized” society?

Or does this picture suggest that we are pitted against the wolf in a battle of survival on this earth? Is this picture perhaps a plea to the viewer to realize that we have made an opponent of our lupine brethren?

Despite the accuracy or inaccuracy of these interpretations, one thing does remain clear, and that is the fact that this illustration is mind-numbingly awesome. I really must offer my most earnest thanks to Simon for contributing this piece; it is truly one of the most unique and creative works I have received. I have a feeling that this young man is going to go far.

Keep up the good work, my friend.