Announcement   All butterflies from now on will ship via Priority Mail. All other unmounted insects will ship First Class Mail with upgrades available.

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Welcome to my shop and the home of Insect Art! I go above and beyond the typical insect display to make you a piece of art that is sure to be a conversation-starter. I also provide the tools and resources to help you create your own works of art, whether you're a beginner or advanced hobbiest.

My insects come from insect farms which help to provide a sustainable and eco-friendly living for people in developing countries. By purchasing from me, you are supporting people who make their living by working with nature, not against it. Thank you. For more information on insect farming please visit my blog: http://www.insectartonline.com/2009/10/where-do-my-bugs-come-from-part-one.html


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Facebook with Insect Art! Become a Fan of Insect Art on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/InsectArt

Follow me on Twitter! My name is insectartonline

Expanded Website/Blog: If you can't get enough Insect Art here, please visit my website, www.insectartonline.com. There, you'll get more photos and other info. that can't be squeezed into this etsy site. Thanks for looking!

Announcement

Last updated on Aug 8, 2018

All butterflies from now on will ship via Priority Mail. All other unmounted insects will ship First Class Mail with upgrades available.

****

Welcome to my shop and the home of Insect Art! I go above and beyond the typical insect display to make you a piece of art that is sure to be a conversation-starter. I also provide the tools and resources to help you create your own works of art, whether you're a beginner or advanced hobbiest.

My insects come from insect farms which help to provide a sustainable and eco-friendly living for people in developing countries. By purchasing from me, you are supporting people who make their living by working with nature, not against it. Thank you. For more information on insect farming please visit my blog: http://www.insectartonline.com/2009/10/where-do-my-bugs-come-from-part-one.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Facebook with Insect Art! Become a Fan of Insect Art on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/InsectArt

Follow me on Twitter! My name is insectartonline

Expanded Website/Blog: If you can't get enough Insect Art here, please visit my website, www.insectartonline.com. There, you'll get more photos and other info. that can't be squeezed into this etsy site. Thanks for looking!

Katie VanBlaricum

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Katie VanBlaricum

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Making earrings for everyone’s Suzy Bishop Halloween costumes!
Opening up one of these for a customer.
Opening up one of these beetles as a custom order for a client.

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About

Art Bug: Story about Insect Art from the local newspaper

Some people see beetles as slime on the bottom of their shoes.

Katie Jennings (now VanBlaricum) sees them as art.

For the past five years, the Lawrence artist has been trying to create a buzz by mounting exotic bugs of all sorts in shadow boxes, with art paper for background.

"I wanted to do something cool that nobody else was doing," Jennings says.

It's starting to take off. Jennings has a show at Art Realm, 4821 W. Sixth St., that runs through the end of the month. And she's a regular exhibitor at 6 Gallery, 716 1/2 Mass.

"I've never seen anything like what she does," says Sally Piller, 6 Gallery owner. "I've never seen anybody put (insects) into any kind of format that turns them into art. That is what makes Katie's pieces so unique."

Jennings, 29, grew up collecting bugs and often put caterpillars in an insect box to watch them turn into butterflies.

At Free State High School (and in college), she was a potter. But it didn't occur to her until college, when she took a Kansas University class on the biology of spiders, that she could turn critters into art.

She started selling her artwork earlier this year at galleries, art fairs and at her Web site, www.insectartonline.com.

Jennings orders her insects through several worldwide distributors. Most of her works are made with beetles and butterflies, though she uses an occasional cicada or moth.

Most of the insects come from Asia. A few are from Africa. She says all are sustainably caught or farmed.

When they arrive in the mail, Jennings rehydrates them using damp paper towels and an anti-fungal agent. Then she pins them to Styrofoam to get them into the desired position for her art.

"The antennas come off all the time," she says. "I just do a little surgery with Super Glue."

Eventually, she selects the color of art paper she wants to use for a background and mounts the insects to that paper using glue. All of that ends up in a shadow box.

"I'm kind of on a kick of complementary colors, like a blue butterfly with a bright orange background," Jennings says. "It's bright, but it looks good. I have a bunch of art paper, and it's sort of trial and error."

Sometimes she gets especially creative with her works. For instance, she painted spiders gold and gave them gold strands to swing from against a black background. Her most recent piece for 6 Gallery used honeybees to make a honeycomb pattern.

For another work, Jennings painted and affixed jewels to a brown beetle, and had other brown beetles following it in a row.

"If you look closely," she says, "in my personal opinion, the 'ugly,' plain beetles are more beautiful in their own right. The moral is you don't have to be rich and flashy to be beautiful."

Jennings admits some people are automatically turned off by bugs.

"The best compliment people pay to me when they walk out of my tent (at an art fair) is, 'I don't like bugs, but I think yours are pretty,'" she says.

Jennings, who graduated from KU in 2005 with a degree in anthropology, hopes her art can help educate people about the animals she loves. She calls her home "pretty much a zoo," with fish, cats, frogs, a tarantula and a gecko.

She lists Steve Irwin, the late "crocodile hunter," as one of her inspirations.

"He would teach people all animals are beautiful, even the ones that are not fuzzy or cute," Jennings says. "He helped the world love crocodiles and snakes and those kinds of things. It's an important mission, to help people be environmentally minded, to conserve things that people don't necessarily think about."

Original Story with Pictures and Video: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/nov/12/art_bug/

Shop members

  • Katie VanBlaricum

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    I'm a 35 year old stay-at-home-mom to a 6 year old girl. I also have many pets, plants, and a room FULL of dead bugs! I went to college at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. I was born in Lawrence and grew up there. I live near Topeka now.

Shop policies

Last updated on January 22, 2018
Hello! Insect Art has been "making bugs cool since 2004". I've been selling on etsy for over ten years now. You can also see my work in various galleries and shops throughout Kansas. I make my pieces out of real dried insects; each piece is 3-D and one of a kind. I work out of my home, and I do everything myself (I don't have any employees). This business is my full time occupation, so I am quick to answer any questions you may have and I'm available to make custom pieces with fast turnaround time.
The philosophy of my business is basically this: I want to impress and amaze the general public with the natural beauty of insects. In doing so, I want to inspire a conservation mentality. I believe that when people discover new and exciting parts of nature, they will become more conservation-minded.
In case you were wondering if the dried insect trade is responsible and sustainable, here is where they come from: I do not catch the insects myself; I have a Wildlife Import Permit that allows me to purchase dead insects from worldwide insect farms that cultivate insects specifically for scientific and art purposes. I do not deal in any endangered insects (that is illegal), and I deal with very few CITES species (just the occassional birdwing butterfly); always with the proper permits. Insects used for my purposes are usually farmed in a sustainable fashion. To find our more about insect farming, visit my blog post here: http://www.insectartonline.com/2009/10/where-do-my-bugs-come-from-part-one.html
I am very conservation minded, and occasionally have events where I donate part or all of my sales to various conservation or animal welfare organizations. My proceeds also help support a local Pitbull dog rescue every month.

Become a fan of Insect Art on Facebook in order to find out about new offerings, exclusive coupons, and Free Friday giveaways. www.facebook.com/InsectArt

Accepted payment methods

  • Visa
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  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Apple Pay
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  • GiftcardAccepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
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Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns, exchanges, and cancellations
Contact me within: 3 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 7 days of delivery
Request a cancellation within: 12 hours of purchase
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
Questions about your order?
Please if you have any problems with your order.
Returns and exchange details
If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, you may return it to me within 7 days of receipt. I will refund your purchase price, minus the shipping. Exchanges are also possible.

Also, please take note, Spread Butterflies are NOT eligible for return because of their fragility. If they arrive to you damaged, I will, of course, refund or replace your damaged item(s).
Payment
I prefer PayPal or Direct Checkout via Etsy, but also accept money orders and checks via snail mail. I may wait for your personal check to clear before I ship.
Shipping
Shipping confirmation and tracking are included with every purchase. All orders are guaranteed to arrive intact.
Additional policies and FAQs
Wholesale & Consignment Policies:

If you are interested in carrying my pieces on consignment, please contact me privately. I do consign my pieces to a few local shops on a regular basis. I generally do not consign to out of state stores, as I have had bad experiences with this in the past.
I do offer wholesale discounts for orders of unmounted insects over $100. The discount is 20% and it applies towards unmounted insects only. This would include pretty much everything in my shop except jewelry and spread butterflies. Papered or laminated butterflies are applicable towards the discount. If your shopping cart is full of $100 or more of unmounted insects only, please contact me for the 20% off coupon code.


Framed Art Displaying Information:

Although the materials I use are acid-free, the insects are not. Therefore, they may be subject to fading over time if not displayed properly. To display your insects properly, do not expose them to direct sunlight. Some insects, such as butterflies and moths, are more susceptible to fading, while other insects, such as beetles, don't fade hardly at all. Hallways, rooms with one or two small windows, and basements are all great places to display insects. However, they can be placed in almost any room in the house with a little common sense.

Jewelry pieces have been tested for durability, and each piece comes with care instructions. I expect them to last for many years with the proper care.



FAQs

The most frequently asked question I get is "do you catch the bugs yourself?". I do not usually catch them myself. The insects I use are not usually from the USA.

The second most frequently asked question I get is "are these bugs real? Do they really look like that in the wild?" The answer to that question is usually 'yes'. The vast majority of my insects have not been altered in any way; I choose to work with the most impressive kinds of insects in order to show you how beautiful insects can be. I do occasionally paint or otherwise decorate some of my insects in order to make an artistic statement. If this has been done, it should be obvious and I will make it clear in my item description.

Where do your bugs come from?
Please see this article on my blog for more information: http://www.insectartonline.com/2009/10/where-do-my-bugs-come-from-part-one.html

More information

Last updated on Jan 21, 2018
Frequently asked questions
Care instructions

Care instructions cards are included with your order if applicable.

Gift wrapping and packaging

All jewelry comes gift wrapped. I can always include a card to the recipient with your message for free; just contact me with your message.

Wholesale availability

Please contact me regarding this. I do offer wholesale discounts for orders of unmounted insects over $100. The discount is 20% and it applies towards unmounted insects only. This would include pretty much everything in my shop except jewelry and spread butterflies. Papered or laminated butterflies are applicable towards the discount. If your shopping cart is full of $100 or more of unmounted insects only, please contact me for the 20% off coupon code.

Where do your bugs come from?

Please see this article on my blog for more information: http://www.insectartonline.com/2009/10/where-do-my-bugs-come-from-part-one.html