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April 12, 2022
We are delighted to host Emma SanCartier, owner and creator of OddFauna, for two in-person workshops at our Seattle headquarters this June!
While illustrating for a diverse range of clients, she has also participated in conventions and gallery shows all over the country. She is currently art directing an indie game based on her OddFauna creatures where each character in the game is hand sculpted.
Emma will be teaching how to create whimsical plants & flowers in 'A Garden in Miniature,' June 3rd & 4th, and fantastical creatures in the class 'Finding Your Familiar' on June 4th & 5th. To give you an inside look into Emma's inspirations, and a taste of what you'll learn in the workshops, we conducted a little interview below.
How did you first form the world of OddFauna?
I started making little one of a kind creature sculptures over 10 years ago to sell alongside my illustration work at shows. A friend of mine showed me how to make a simple one-part mold, and things kind of took off from there. I taught myself different mold-making and casting techniques and, through lots of trial and error and playing around with different materials, I was able to expand what this little one person shop was capable of creating.
Inspired and influenced by many things that I’ve loved since childhood, I feel like the seed of OddFauna has existed in one way or another for as long as I can remember. This beastly world grew organically over the years as I painted and sculpted different characters and stories. Often playing with opposites, this strange world of mischievous beasts can be dark and funny, beautiful and unusual.
When creating your fantastical creatures & flora, do you draw inspiration from the natural world?
Definitely! I’m kind of obsessed with watching nature documentaries and find a lot of inspiration in the natural world. There are so many strange creatures that exist, and bizarre animal behaviors to draw from. A new creature idea can stem from some widely unknown animal or plant, or can simply be inspired by a leaf or lichen that I come across on a forest walk in my neighborhood. The OddFauna world that I’ve been creating is really a mixture of all the things that I love. I also find a lot of inspiration in mythological creatures and cryptids, often combining elements of different creatures (real and imaginary) to come up with something that is unique in itself.
Do you have a favorite part of your creative process?
Oh boy, that’s hard to say! I kind of love all the stages, but it depends what sort of mood I’m in. It’s always exciting to start a new big creature sculpture. I love the challenge of translating my 2D work into 3D, especially when an image has a lot of flowy movement to it. It’s kind of like a puzzle to solve. Trying to bring the lightness and energy of a watercolor painting to a solid form is tricky, and I am always playing around with different techniques to try to achieve the right balance which keeps things interesting.
Painting a sculpture is a little more meditative for me which I love in a different way. I like to throw on a podcast and just get lost in the details.
Without giving too much away, what are you most excited to share in your upcoming in-person workshops at Moth & Myth?
Besides sharing some of my favorite techniques, (and hopefully without sounding too cheesy) I think that just sharing the joy of sculpting with others is going to be a real treat. One of the reasons I love sculpting is that a part of me feels like a little kid who gets to play with clay all day. No matter what your skill level is, making things is fun, and I’m so excited to see what adorable tiny things everyone in class comes up with.
December 10, 2021
We are incredibly thrilled to share the first ever Moth and Myth pop-up installation at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle! The vision for this dreamy space covered in swirling clouds of butterflies had been many years in the making, and we felt beyond lucky to have such a stunning venue to bring our whimsical dreams to life.
For this installation, we used the brand new Mint Morpho Butterfly Set, which features the same butterfly (Morpho catenarius) in various sizes, giving depth and volume to the flurry of butterflies. Once our team had styles the wings, we spent all week covering the gallery in a flock of thousands of butterflies, which fluttered up the walls and windows and across the high ceilings.
At the centerpiece, holding our large-scale bell jars, is the fanciful Moth and Myth 'ice-cream' cart, which we can't wait to take to events and conventions!
All you need to create a wall of butterflies at home is paper butterflies, and a bit of double-sided photo tape! To create this look, we gently shaped the butterfly wings by curling them around our fingers, adhered a bit of double-sided photo tape to the back (which features an alternate gold design!), and pressed them firmly to the gallery walls.
This installation will be up for the rest of December 2021, and runs in conjunction with two fantastic art shows. Roq La Rue gallery is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 12-5pm
We were so delighted to meet everyone who was able to come to the opening reception - it's one of our greatest pleasures to meet the artists and creators who are inspired by the realistic vegan specimens we create! We hope to see you again at future Moth and Myth events!
June 10, 2021
Making bell jars is a fun and affordable project in which you’ll create a beautiful gift or piece of decor for your home. We’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to build bell jars with our paper butterflies and moths, and are delighted to share a step-by-step tutorial explaining the process! We recently released Multi-Packs that make it easy to do this project! You can also follow along as we go through these steps on YouTube and TikTok!
Butterflies: We’re working with the Blue and White Morpho Butterflies. Any of our multi-packs are great for this project!
Bell Jar: Ours is from IKEA and is 10 3/4” tall. You’ll want to find a bell jar with a wooden base, since you will be drilling into the bottom.
Rod: We use a clear plastic rod sourced from a plastic supplier.
Wire Cutters: To clip the plastic rod.
Drill: You’ll use the drill to make a hole in the wooden base of the bell jar.
Hot Glue: To shape and attach the butterflies.
Plus: Your hands and creativity!
Our Blue and White Morpho Multi-Pack comes with 15 of the same type of butterfly. For this size of bell jar, you’ll only need 10 butterflies, which means you’ll have extras for other projects, or to attach to the outside of the bell jar. Any of our Multi-Packs are perfectly suited to this project!
Step 1: Shape the butterflies
We begin by making our butterflies look as lifelike and 3D as possible. With your fingers, gently curve the upper and lower wingtips away from you. Place a tiny drop of hot glue on the upper edge of the lower wings, and gently fold the upper wings over the glue, pressing down until the glue has hardened. This simple styling give the butterflies the appearance of flying and makes them sturdier to work with!
Step 2: Cut the rod to fit the bell jar
Your plastic rod may come in a very long piece, and you’ll need to cut it down to fit your bell jar. We approximate and measure by eyesight, and then cut the rod with wire cutters. The ends don’t need to look pretty because they’ll be hidden by butterflies and the wooden base of the bell jar!
Step 3: Drill a hole in the wooden base
You’ll need to drill a hole in the wooden base of the bell jar, for the plastic rod to sit in. Match the diameter of the rod with the size of your drill bit, for a snug fit - this way you won’t need to use any glue to keep the rod in place! Just be sure not to drill all the way through the base!
Step 4: Arrange the butterflies!
Now comes the fun part! We like to start at the upper tip of the rod and work our way down, attaching each butterfly with a drop of hot glue. Angle the butterflies to give them the appearance of flying and to create volume. Remember they can fly in any direction!
Since our specimens are printed double-sided, they'll look great from any angle! Rotate the rod as you work to make sure you’re filling in any empty spaces. Experiment with placement before you commit to glue, and have fun with your design!
Step 5: Put it together
Once you’ve attached your butterflies to the rod, all that’s left is to put the bell jar together and to enjoy it!
If you've drilled a tight enough hole in your base, you won't need to use glue to hold the pin in place, but you can always add a bit for extra stability!
We hope that this tutorial has given you some ideas about how you can work with our Single Specimen Multi-Packs! Remember bell jars come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no limits to what you can do. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!
April 18, 2021
We are offering a free coloring book page as part of our Customer Appreciation Week!
Right-Click the image below to download and print the full-size sheet, or follow this link to download the image.
"In the popular imagination the butterfly has long served as a symbol of transformation and change. We are awed by its progression - from egg, to caterpillar, pupa, to winged adult. It is easy to see why the butterfly reminds us to change and grow, to evolve gracefully through the stages of life in order to one one day emerge in a more glorious form.
The cicada, in contrast, offers a more radical and challenging symbol. Cicadaʼs have no pupal state. They transform abruptly and mysteriously from nymph to airborne adult in a single molt. Depending on species, they may spend one to nine or more years as underground larvae before eventually emerging into the heat as a singing scion of summer.
The cicada reminds us that sometimes we must embrace radical change, rather than gentle transformation. There is a time to cast off the old and break with the known. The skulls and flowers included in this illustration are reminders of the way death yields new life, the changing of season, and the inexorable march of time." -Siolo Thompson
March 12, 2021
Making shadowboxes is a fun and easy craft project to do at home, and a wonderful way to create new art for your walls. Using our lifelike paper specimens makes it sustainable and vegan! While there’s many different styles of shadowboxes you can make (including one we've already shared!), today we’ll walk you through how to put together a Kaleidoscope Shadowbox with our paper Monarch and Viceroy butterflies.
Fun Fact: Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a Kaleidoscope?
To start, we got a Keepsake Box from a craft store. These boxes are great for displaying memorabilia and curiosities. The one we chose is 11”x14” with a 1.5” depth, and features a back wall covered in felt.
To adhere our butterflies to the box, we used one-sided velcro with sticky adhesive on the other side, which we cut into small pieces to fit the butterflies. This strategy worked well given the material of our shadowbox, but you can also use small pins to pin the butterflies, as you would with real specimens.
While working with hot-glue is a great way to make your shadowbox durable, we suggest finalizing your layout before using such a permanent option!
Starting with the center of your design is a great way to make sure the kaleidoscope spirals out evenly. We decided to work outwards from small to large, but the opposite looks great as well!
To make your butterflies appear more lifelike, bend them at the crease between wing and body, and gently curve their wings with your fingers.
Continue working outwards with your design. We made many adjustments along the way depending on what looked and felt right. There’s no right or wrong - just have fun and play with the placement!
Look at what you're doing from different angles to get a new perspective!
When you’re happy with your butterfly kaleidoscope, simply put your Shadowbox frame on the backing, and enjoy it!
We chose the Monarch and Viceroy butterflies for this project because they are available in three different sizes in our shop (Life-sized, Mini, and Micro), but you can create wonderful kaleidoscopes using just regular sized butterflies or minis as well!
If you would like to order any style of butterfly in bulk, as we used in this project, please email us at email@example.com
November 16, 2020
It can be a challenge as a new or experienced artist to take photos of your own work. As a tool for our lovely network of creators, we wanted to share our simple guide for shooting outstanding product photos with your phone! These are tips we've learned over time, and we think you might be able to benefit from them as well. All you need is a phone with a camera, a background, and a little patience and creativity.
Pick a spot that has natural lighting but not direct sun light. Natural lighting helps the color look the most accurate. A shaded outdoor patio is a great place to set up for your photoshoot!
Avoid: Fluorescent, over head, and direct sunlight. Any light that skews in the extreme can cause unwanted shadows, make the work look flat, causes glare and alters the color, which can be hard to correct.
Select a simple, clean, light or dark background. This will help your artwork stand out and look its best. We used a large white piece of drawing paper on a clipboard for our shoot. If your artwork is light, a dark background may help it pop instead!
Avoid: Cluttered and patterned backgrounds. These distract from the work and pull focus. If you do have a patterned background, use a Tilt Shift tool on the Instagram photo editor, or shoot in Portrait Mode to soften the background and make your work stand out (example with the fern photo below).
Shooting straight downwards at your piece in a flat-lay is a great way to showcase your work. Our set-up was on low table so we could shoot directly downwards at a comfortable height. You should have at least one photo of your piece that represents it in this way. Try other angles too that you can share and add to the product listings.
Look through your photos to see which ones stand out the most, and edit those! If your photos are shot in soft, natural light, they won’t require much editing, but a few tweaks like added brightness can help them shine! Since most platforms favor square photos, make sure your artwork is centered in the frame and leave yourself a little room to crop on the long sides of your shot.
Best Filters to use on Instagram:
Before and after comparison of the edited photo and original. We used the Instagram edits listed above, increasing brightness, brightening highlights, dialing up contrast for clarity, and increasing saturation for vibrancy.
The last step is simple...
Share your work! You've shot multiple photos, edited the ones that stand out and now it's time to share! Hooray!
Portrait Mode: If your phone camera has Portrait Mode, try using it when shooting your artwork! This setting will blur the background like a traditional camera lens would.
Find your style: Have fun and play around - don’t be afraid to try things that don’t end up working, and discover what fits your unique artwork!
Humanize the photo: We naturally respond more to photos that have a human element, and this is easy to utilize in your product photography! Try taking photos of your hands holding your artwork, or enlist a friend to help you get the shot! This will humanize the photo as well as your artwork.
We hope this has been a helpful guide. Have fun with your shoots, and tag us in your photos @mothandmyth! We can't wait to see what you'll create!
Thank you to Breana Murphy (IG @slightlycrude) for lending us the beautiful resin piece for this tutorial!