Currently viewing the category: "Bug Art"

January 25, 2012
Daniel, the WTB? Bugman, makes quilts in his spare time, and though this is occasionally mentioned on the website, there is no photo-documentation of it.  Today, we created a new Bug Art category, and it seemed like a good time to post a few photos of bug inspired quilts.    Back in 2002 when the website was originally designed, the childlike font used as the logo was created from a photograph of the embroidered title of a large quilted picnic blanket of the same name.  Daniel and Lisa Anne were relaxing on that quilt when the photographer from Sunset Magazine dropped by the offices back in 2007.

WTB? Staff on What's That Bug picnic blanket

Alas, there are no good digital images of that quilt, so when time allows, we will make sure there is a new photo taken.  Meanwhile, Daniel completed another quilt called World Wide Web several years ago, and we present that photo for your artistic critique.

World Wide Web quilt by Daniel Marlos


Location: Dearborn, Michigan
January 24, 2012 7:20 pm
I just thought you’d enjoy my interpretation of a Green Darner in quilling. Really enjoy WTB.
Signature: cathyort

Quilled Green Darner

Hi cathyort,
Thanks so much for sending us an example of your insect inspired art.  We are inspired to create a new Bug Art category and we have to search our archive for a few other examples of sculpture and tattoos we have received over the years to include there.  Daniel also makes insect inspired quilts in his free time.  Perhaps he will post some examples.

November 17, 2011
Hi, guys!

I’m sharing some images of some art I’m doing as a hobby. It’s masking tape, newspaper, wire, indian ink, acrilic paint and stuff.
Cesar Crash

Monarch and Preying Mantis

Hi Cesar,
We are posting your insect art.

Insect Art

November 18, 2010
Ed Note: WTB? has maintained a confidentiality agreement regarding this sculpture, but we are now pleased to post the images and the name suggestion request.

Hi Daniel,
You may recall the conversation that we had below.
I have finally finished the sculpture and, since the show opens on Tuesday, I am free to share images with you.
I would be delighted if you were to suggest a proper name (see original request below).
Here is a link to a splash page for the piece.
I have attached some images at the bottom of the page.
Warm regards
Dean Colls

Alexander the Great Sculpture by Dean Collis

Help needed in naming new species
January 20, 2010
Dear What’s That Bug,
Firstly I would like to thank you for your most excellent site.
Your humour and obvious love of our invertebrate cousins make your site one of my favourites.
I too am a great lover of invertebrates and have never understood the “Eeew a bug!” mentality.
I am a professional sculptor and amateur coleopterist based in Melbourne Australia and I’m working on a new piece for a major exhibition that I would like some assistance with.
Yes, I have hooked you in with a false promise in the subject line, I am really asking for help in naming a sculpture.
My sculpture is a 7.4 meter long beetle, closely related to the Australian Christmas beetle but not intended to be an existing species, more a newly discovered specimen that (apart from it’s enormous size) could easily be placed among it’s close relatives.
My working title for the sculpture is ‘Alexander the Great’ and references the song ‘Alexander Beetle’.
What I am hoping that you will do for me is to help me come up with a pseudo-scientific name that fits logically within the taxonomic lexicon and is also suitable for the art world and general public.
Here is a brief version of my concept for the sculpture –
“Human beings, as a group, have a particularly self centred view of the world. Whilst it cannot be denied that we cast a long shadow, there are other inhabitants that are far more important to the day to day running of the biosphere than Humanity.
It has been suggested that if we were to disappear tomorrow, life on Earth would continue with barely a shrug, but if the insects were to disappear, most terrestrial species would be extinct within a few of years.
In terms of population size and biomass we are dwarfed by other inhabitants; one in five terrestrial species is a beetle, they make up a greater portion of biomass than we do and yet, as adults we rarely stoop to notice our diminutive neighbours.
My sculpture “Alexander the Great” stands as an Avatar for this unnoticed but essential world and as a champion for that sense of wonder and exploration that many of us leave behind as children.
The piece will be 7.2m long, 2 m high and 5.3m wide, with its imposing scale I am jolting the viewer into a new experience, shifting the centre of the universe away from the human perspective and reclaiming the significance of the unseen world around us.
I have chosen the medium of rusted Corten steel to transcend our idea of beetles as “natures jewels”, to strip away the gloss and show the beauty of the form that lies beneath. It is a medium that sits well in the Australian landscape and adds a sense of age and gravitas to the piece.
“Alexander the Great” is to be the first work in a series exploring the difference between our self perceived importance to the biosphere and the reality; and how this relates to our understanding of the true impact and significance of other species.
I am excited by the collaborations that I have formed with scientists and researchers that have been an important part of the preparation for this body of work.
I have always been fascinated by the places where Art and Science meet: the intellectual and aesthetic beauty of field notes and illustrations from the age of discovery by such men as Banks and Darwin, the dance of engineering, aesthetics and psychology that is architecture, the majestic beauty of modern astronomical photography and much more besides. This pairing of Science’s power of discovery and Art’s ability to enlighten and transcend is our greatest means for understanding the world around us and our place within it.”
I am not prepared to have my work released before the show opens and would be grateful if you could keep any details of this project out of the public eye.
I will be happy to share images with you but first need you to agree that you will keep them confidential (tiresome, I know but necessary).
I will, however, be delighted if you were interested in posting the finished work at the appropriate time. Not fishing, just offering.
Please let me know if you are prepared to keep this project confidential and I will be happy to send you images of the design, maquette and work to date.
I understand that you are very busy and would be grateful for whatever you are prepared to offer.
Warm Regards
Dean Colls

The making of Alexander the Great

Hi Dean,
We remember your request and we are very happy you finished the piece and that we are finally able to post your letter and request.  We will make this a feature and hopefully you will get some suggestions from our readership, many of whom are experts in beetles.  We agree that Alexander the Great looks to be related to the Christmas Beetles.

Alexander the Great's eye and antenna

mardikavana requested a dorsal view, and this is the only dorsal view Dean sent, of the eye and antenna.

Hi Daniel,
I have not managed to get a decent dorsal view of Alexander the Great but I do have one of the maquette.
This is the cardboard model that I produced first to refine my patterns before cutting the full scale sculpture out in steel.
I have painted the maquette to resemble rusted steel.
Hope that this helps.
The full sized work is made of a number of different pieces that needed to be bolted together from the inside.
The scutellum acts as the exit hatch.

Maquette of Alexander the Great

Hi Daniel et al
The official opening of the exhibition was yesterday and Alexander was very well received.
I have an artist’s talk to give tomorrow at the gallery and I am very pleased that I can now answer the question “what kind of bug is that?”.
Thank you all for your assistance, Plusiotis australiensis is a lovely name.
Warm Regards
Dean Colls

Get the Bugman on Martha Stewart
June 24, 2010
I have been working diligently with my editor Maria at Penguin/Perigee regarding my book, The Curious World of Bugs, which is due out in October.  Now I have been assigned a publicist who will be targeting various publications and radio and television shows for potential interviews, appearances and reviews.  I have gotten a Bee in my Bonnet regarding an appearance on Martha Stewart, and I am bound and determined to do my best to get Martha to notice me.  Of all the television shows, this seems like the best fit for my book.  Though we have never conducted a user profile of our visitors to What’s That Bug?, homemakers, who also comprise Martha’s target audience, make up a large percentage of the website traffic.  Somehow, I think that a personal touch will be required to get Martha Stewart to notice me amidst the deluge of appearance requests her staff must field daily.  To that end, I am designing a pair of oven mitts, making them and then hand quilting them as a gift to Martha.

Oven Mitts

The image is of a vintage drawing of a dragonfly that is one of the art illustrations in the book, and I have rendered it onto canvas in both a positive and negative form, utilizing the photography techniques I teach to my students in the Creative Photo-Vision (Photo 22) class I teach at Los Angeles City College.  This cyanotype process dates back to the 19th Century, and interest in the process is getting a Renaissance among photographers.  Please let us know if you would watch the Bugman on Martha Stewart by posting a comment.
Daniel Marlos, AKA The Bugman

Detailed Butterfly tatts
Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 2:37 PM
Hi Bugman,
I wanted to share my beautiful (if I do say so myself) ink. I picked up the three mounted species during my travels and brought them in to get exact replicas (thanks Mark Mahoney). The top one is Trogonoptera brookiana (a birdwing?) , Monarch and a Ulysses. He got them perfectly, right down to the veins in the wings and the red marking on the thorax of the birdwing.
I read your site everyday and can’t get enough!
Hope to see you guys at the bug fair at the Natural History museum in May!
West Hollywood

Anatomically Correct Butterfly Tattoos

Anatomically Correct Butterfly Tattoos

My My Andrea,
What anatomical perfection.
Seriously though, Mark Mahoney did a wonderful job on the Raja Brook’s Birdwing, Monarch and Ulysses Swallowtail. As if the drawing we just posted of a Solpugid wasn’t enough to dispel any rumors that we are a serious insect identification website, your tattoo photo might just send the purists into a tizzy. We do like to keep things light and entertaining.
We often attend the Bug Fair, but as guests. Dare we ask how we will recognize you should we cross paths? Perhaps we will talk to our agent about getting a booth at the fair this year. It might be a good way to begin to publicize the book we are writing.