Posts Categorized / Main Blog
A few weeks ago, I found out about a one-day event happening near me (for once!): Locust Moon Comics Festival at the Rotunda in Philadelphia. It was too late to consider exhibiting, but once I knew some other bug artists would be in attendance, my decision to go was made. Even though I wasn’t able to stay the whole day or attend the panels offered at the nearby Locust Moon Comics store, I did snatch up a bunch of great art and comics and had the pleasure of meeting some lovely artists I sure hope to keep in touch with going forward! It also provided a good opportunity to get an idea of how things tend to differ at a comics-specific event from the furry conventions I’m used to selling at.
The weekend train on the Media Elwyn line is still non-operational, so I took the replacement shuttle down to the University City station and walked 20 minutes or so to the Rotunda. I’d actually not been in that area of Philly before – my usual haunts are a few stations further down. The venue was on the small side, but light and airy; the crowd seemed of adequate size for the show while I was there, neither too sparse for the number of exhibitors nor too difficult to navigate.
A large print of this year’s poster hung at the entrance to the Rotunda.
I made a brief lap around the room and then approached the group of artists I was most eager to meet. They were all sitting together. There was some combination of them recognizing me from my bug blog and art and me introducing myself. Right away I picked up some bug stickers from Esabelle Ryngin and a comic about wasps from Carly Tribull. I also spoke to Shoona, who I’d recently interacted with on Tumblr. We chatted for a while and I gave them each a flyer with my special event coupon on the back. Who knows, maybe we’ll geek out about bugs some more in the future or end up tabling at the same event someday!
There were other goodies to grab, too. Andrea Tsurumi had a great “Nobody Listens to Worf” poster I picked up along with a short double comic. Stevie Wilson had a fun zine, “Cat Help is the Best Help,” which I’ll be giving to a dear friend who has two very “helpful” cats. My biggest splurge was a copy of Vattu Book 1 by Evan Dahm – he signed it and drew in the cover! I devoured half of it on the bus home (it would have been the whole were I not susceptible to headaches while reading in moving vehicles).
A view from one corner.
Eventually I returned to the buggy tables and talked a bit more with the artists there. Esabelle had a number of tiny sculpted insect jewelry pieces: grub earrings, a stag beetle necklace and earrings, and a bee pin. They were all well-made, but I was most interested in the bee. Esabelle was beyond generous in straight-up offering it to me and making a tiny little envelope for it right there so I could get it home safely! I hope she gets a shop up soon; I’m very eager to point bug fans to her products and handiwork.
I had to leave shortly after that, but I had a great time! I hope all the artists did well and had safe trips home. Perhaps I’ll consider exhibiting myself next year when I have a few more of my short comics finished. For now, I’ll be enjoying others’ work and finding inspiration in it, no doubt!
My haul of stuff!
Yesterday I enjoyed attending Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences. After missing out last year, I wanted to see what sorts of cool displays and events they had at their seventh annual presentation, themed “Beauty and the Bug.” The weekend event offered something for all ages, with crafts and activities for kids as well as a variety of speakers, cases of live and pinned insects, and art displays. I enjoyed my visit and would love to attend again next year!
These Ulysses butterflies were the most incredible shade of bright blue.
Gorgeous Sunset moths from Madagascar.
Locally caught moths and other insects.
I chatted briefly with some of the experts and volunteers at the tables while I was browsing the display cases. Then I had the pleasure of running into Greg, the curatorial assistant I’d met at the insect pinning class I took in September. He loved my Bugdana and took some pictures of it, then gave me his card. Suffice it to say there may be more drawn-from-life bug studies for me in the future! Greg also introduced me to the friendly woman at one of the tables in the North American hall (whose name sadly escapes me at the moment). She showed me a treehopper and some beautiful bug photos, and we geeked out over how amazing they were.
Live scarab beetles climbing on some leaves.
A leaf insect hanging from the top of its enclosure.
There was a special display of the art of Christopher Marley in the Art of Science Gallery. His work involves creating beautiful arrangements of insects in a way that turns them into jewel-like objects of art rather than the idea of ugly “creepy crawlies” many people jump to when thinking about bugs. I had a calendar of his work a few years ago and found the actual pieces even lovelier in person.
A selection of insect art by Marley.
I also had time to attend a talk by entomologist Faith Kuehn, who presented some of her collection of insect artwork. She owns over 4,000 pieces including artisan and costume jewelry, ephemera, and other beautiful items – a few were present in a glass case on the second level. It was encouraging to see bug art appreciated by the people doing bug science!
The Academy was more crowded on Saturday than I’d ever seen it; there were so many families with kids interested in bugs. I’d like to get back again before long and will hopefully be able to attend Member’s Night. Bug Fest made for a fun afternoon and gave me some new ideas for insect art to do in the future. If you’re local and you like bugs too, consider attending next year!
A brilliant common green birdwing butterfly.
Everyone probably knows by now how much I love moths, so it’s no surprise I’m excited about National Moth Week! From July 19-27th, people all over the country and the world will be learning about moths and attracting them at mothing events. I hope to make time to do some mothing myself! You can learn a lot about my favorite bugs and National Moth Week at nationalmothweek.org.
But wait! To celebrate Moth Week, I’m having a sale in my shop! Lots of items from original art and prints to neat merch like the bugdanas are discounted for the duration of National Moth Week. Check it out!
I’m also starting to make more merchandise available through on-demand storefronts, so be sure to check out my new Teepublic and Design By Humans accounts for shirts, phone cases, and prints in the coming weeks!
And if that’s not enough for you, even more projects and neat designs are planned and underway for the months ahead! It’s been a fabulously busy summer so far. Hope yours is going well, too!