Dec 28 2011

#242 “Penguin?”

From a stranger in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Well… I guess I’ll go ahead and address the elephant in the room… or the penguin, if you will. This picture is obviously not of a wolf, but at the same time, I love it just as much as any other illustration to arrive in the WBS post office box. While some may see this picture as an example of good-natured trolling. I see the work of a man who knows his skills and talents. I see the work of a man who chose to contribute his artwork even though the focus of the project was not his forte. I see a man who thinks outside the box, who is a pleasantly square peg in a round hole and who likes to shake things up a bit. So… while I don’t see a wolf when I look at this illustration, I do see something just as inspirational. And in the end, I guess that’s all that matters.

Nov 9 2011

#193 “Freak Show”

From Stefan in Canada

A glance at this tasteful yet creative illustration may very well cause the reader to question the title that I have chosen for this post. In many ways it seems that this piece of artwork is anything but freaky. Overall the piece possesses a uniqueness of texture that is unparalleled and is a strikingly beautiful portrayal of a haunting lupine subject with lifeless white eyes. But freaky? It’s just not the first word that would pop into most people’s mind.

But then again, most people may not be familiar with the larger body of Stefan’s work and the wonderfully strange boundaries that he is pushing with art. His collection presents a world that could only be described as pleasantly disturbing and shocking in a weirdly comforting sort of way. Check out Stefan’s deviantart incredible page here and you’ll see what I mean. As soon as you click on the link, you’ll be transported to a strange Noah’s ark that’s headed straight for the mystical shores of an isle rife with supernatural freaks of nature. The animalistic subjects that Stefan focuses on will confound you in the most pleasant ways. His work represents a twisted circus of epic proportions where not everything is as it seems. One gets the sense that fair is foul and foul is fair in the wild world that Stefan has created. Ultimately, you may not be sure if his creations will nuzzle up to your ankle and look up at you with an approving smile or if they will leap for your jugular with an unparalleled bloodlust.

But either way, the creatures Stefan creates are like no other. In all honesty, I would love to post more of his work, but since this is the only picture he has specifically sent to WBS, you’ll have to check out his other masterpieces on your own. Have fun, and for goodness sake.. be careful!

Sep 8 2011

#131 “The Big Fun Party”

From Hannah in Orange, California

It doesn’t get wilder and wackier than this, my friends, but it also doesn’t get any more lupine. For most of you, the last word that you would use to describe this wolf illustration would be “traditional.” I won’t disagree with this; this picture truly isn’t a conventional rendering of the wolf, but it certainly does encapsulate many aspects of the lobo very accurately.

Let’s examine some of the elements of this picture and discover how they relate to the idea of the wolf as a whole.

The burger: This fleshy delight truly represents the carnivorous nature of the wolf, but the fact that this wolf is dining on what appears to be a traditional cheeseburger also represents the fact that we are linked to the lobo by our own carnivorous nature. We don’t necessarily view ourselves as being carnivores because our food is presented to us on classy glass plates. But this doesn’t change the fact that what we are eating is still just a hunk of meat, sometimes still dripping with blood.

The ribbon/hair: While much of this wolf’s coat seems a little straggly, the bow adorned across the top of its brow accentuates the fact that the wolf’s appearance is both beautiful as well as raw and sometimes even crude. The animal is the perfect combination of natural beauty and inherent coarseness.

The feces: Nothing suggests the primal nature of the wolf more than this steamy, stinky pile of refuse. It suggests a nomadic nature and an unrefined and unabashed lifestyle. It suggests that the wolf exists clearly outside of human social norms and suggests and a raw instinctual nature to simple follow the body’s urges to the utmost degree. The wolf does what it wants, regardless of what others may think. It is its own master, and follows the urges and impulses of its own body.

The spots: This aspect of the wolf’s appearance represents the fact that each wolf is unique. With the birth of each creature, the mold is broken. The spots could never be recreated the same way on any other creature. Each one is special. Each is a snowflake of individuality.

The skull mask: This item is indicative of the fact that the world the wolf resides in is one of constant struggle and hardship. Literally, everyday the wolf must make choices, the results of which will result in either life or death. The wide eyes set inside this morbid disguise clearly are meant to point to the stressful toll that a life of daily survival must take on an animal. It’s true that the being is one that is created and equipped with the necessary mindset to handle such pressures, but with the ever increasing encroachment of man into wolf territories and the increased prejudice against the animal, who can blame this particular creature for his apparently worrisome outlook?

Overall, this illustration has to be one of the most beautifully twisted and creative that I have received thus far over the life of this project, but trust me, this picture isn’t the only trick that Hannah has in her bag. If you check out her website here, you will be transported into a world of warped wonder in which you will be introduced to fantastic and whimsical creatures of all shapes and sizes. It’s a “Big Fun Party” of magnificently perverted beauty that will suck you in and dig its claws deeply into you, but trust me: I think you’ll like it just the same.

Sep 4 2011

#127 “Corbin & Josh”

From Corbin and Josh in Salt Lake City, Utah

Dear Corbin and Josh (and Wolfie),

Thank you very much for your beautiful illustrations. I am extremely impressed with the Sonic Dubstep Wolf that eats evil and crushes peace. He certainly seems to be quite the super-wolf. Although dubstep is not my favorite genre of electronic music (I prefer electro-funk and future-synth/nu-disco), the idea of a wolf that is able produce the wawawawawawawa effect of dubstep is extremely interesting, and I certainly hope that I get the chance to meet him someday.

Your additional wolf drawing of the lonesome lupine standing in the snow is very pleasing as well. I feel like the peacefulness and quietude display in this piece creates a nice juxtaposition when viewed in conjunction withe the “rowdier” illustration of the Sonic Dubstep Wolf. All things considered, both these illustrations are special to me for a variety of reasons, but instead of waxing eloquent on the nature of the illustrations, themselves, I would prefer to answer the questions that you thoughtfully included in your letter.

1. What is your favorite type of wolf?

Asking this question is tantamount to asking a loving mother to choose which child is her favorite. In truth, all wolves are precious to me in their own way. I love the classic universality of the Grey Wolf. I love the dark mystery of the Hudson Bay Wolf. I love the earnest look of the Interior Alaskan Wolf, the purity of the Mackenzie Valley Wolf, the primal nature of the Honshu Wolf, and the strangeness of the Golden Jackal. I love them one. I love them all. I’m sorry that I cannot be more specific than this in identifying my favorite. I suppose I never will be able to pinpoint one wolf that reigns supreme among them all in my heart, but I can tell you that lately I have been particularly drawn to studying the Alexander Archipelago Wolf.

2. Do you know a lot about wolves?

I wish I could say that I was an expert in all things lupine, but this is simply not true. My obsession largely lies with their aesthetic appeal, although I must say that I do find the scientific study of them very intriguing. In some ways I am afraid to delve too deeply into the realm of objective wolf education. While I do (perhaps) possess a lupine knowledge that surpasses that of your average person, I am afraid that studying too deeply would cause a portion of my passion to be sacrificed. In short, one of the aspects of the wolf that I enjoy most is its mystery, and at this point, I am simply not ready to give up that alluring secretive appeal for cold, hard fact.

Thanks again, Corbin and Josh. I hope these answering have been satisfying. Please write back soon.

Post Scriptum: I hope you enjoyed the picture of the wolf that I sent to you in return.


Jul 24 2011

#85 “Inspiration”

From Adam in Alexandria, Virginia

Several days ago, I posted a picture that was drawn in MSPaint and was comprised solely of scribbled lines. In that post, I briefly discussed the wonder involved in an artist’s ability to take “trash” and turn it into “treasure.” I also included a link in that post to a website that featured 40 fantastic works of art that were created solely from “everyday” discarded items.

Today’s post is like that one in some ways but is also totally different. As you can see from the picture above, this illustration does not appear to be comprised of pieces of trash or discarded items, but it does possess a look of construction that suggests to the eye that there is a “whole” here which is made up of a variety of “parts” or “pieces.” In a brief email exchange with Adam, I told him that it appeared to me that the illustration featured a wolf made out of pipe fittings. His reply struck me as truly interesting; he stated that he had not been inspired by pipe fittings but rather from an interesting and unusual conglomeration of wildly different stimuli. Here is the list of inspirations that Adam referenced for this piece: A leaking condensation line on a central HVAC, corrosion and decay in his townhouse, the “Pump House” level of the old Jurassic Park video game for the Sega Genesis, various robots and specifically Autobots, and finally, the White Zombie album “Astro Creep.”

I was a little confused by the White Zombie reference at first, but when I watched the video for “More Human than Human,” I began to understand. All in all, after reading the entire list and weighing what Adam had said, I was very impressed with this list of broad inspirations for a single illustration. It made me realize that ALL art is a connecting of dots, a polygamist marriage of various partners, a collection of guiding lights and ┬ámuses and models and stimuli.

We are all touched and influenced by so many different factors everyday. We are all different and unique and special, and we all interpret things differently. How else could you have a collection of illustrations with wolves being the only focus and end up with so many different styles and pieces?

Jul 6 2011

#67 “Wolf Wackiness”

From a group of strangers in Georgia.

There’s a lot to be said about the insanity that is apparent in these illustrations and a lot of conjecture that could be presented here in relation to them. Perhaps these pictures are the result of imaginations which simply ran wild, or maybe they represent the whimsical fancy of artistic children. On the other hand, could these illustrations possibly be the offspring of brains that veered off the tracks of normality in a more serious manner? Are they the deranged product of sick minds steeped in an unhealthy surrealism?

The world may never know the answers to these questions, but whenever I encounter something as wild and weird and these pictures, I like to reflect upon the words of one of the most strange and unique writers of all time, Stephen King, who said, “I think that we’re all mentally ill. Those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better after all.”

With that being said, I think I’ll go fix myself a heaping bowl of ice-cold Wolf Cream.