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Scott Bakal
To Kill A Wolf - Sierra Magazine
posted:
I was fortunate enough to create art for a sad, yet introspective story for Sierra Magazine. The project became sort of a 'zen'-like exercise in painting using varying shades of reds to convey a sort of violence but more in emotion than in action. The wolf was not aggressive to the locals. A snip from the story:

"In October of 2009, the story goes, a large habituated black wolf approached an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a trail head north of Juneau, Alaska. A window was rolled down, a .22 caliber rifle was aimed, and the wolf was killed. Two men hefted the carcass into the back of their truck and brought it to a local taxidermist to be skinned and tanned. Killing wolves in Alaska is commonplace and rarely sparks much of a reaction. The trouble was this was no ordinary wolf. It had been Juneau’s darling for seven years, frequenting the edge of suburbia near Mendenhall Lake--and it had become the most photographed “wild” wolf ever."

The art director, Tracy Cox and I concluded that the story really just needs to be a portrait of the wolf rather than a direct scene from the story. My little 'conceptual' touch to this is the wolf fading away - which can be interpreted as death and fading from the lives of the townspeople.
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!