With the recent bug project for my sister-in-law's wedding, I was provided with the perfect opportunity to return once again to my own illustration roots, while also practicing what I preach to my students. My first stop, soon after learning about this illustration "assignment," was none other than the library. Up the stairs I went, straight for the Smithsonian Handbooks. The photos inspired me, sketches ensued, and before I knew it, I was transforming my insects into finished digital illustrations.
These little bugs reminded me that I was meant to be an illustrator. There have been times in my life when I've wished I had the typography sense of a graphic designer or the eye of a photographer or the touch of a sculptor. These skills somehow seemed more glamorous or artistic or bohemian. But, with each new assignment that I tackle, I am reminded again that being an illustrator holds a unique and creative eye all its own. In fact, illustration, in some senses, combines the skills of so many various art forms. I am proud that I can call myself an illustrator.
It's funny the lessons that can be learned from a dozen or so tiny insects.