If you haven’t noticed by now butterflies and moths are kind of my thang. No seriously, I love them! This next post is ALL about the butterfly, that love and how you should take advantage of my illustrative skills and introduce me to your favourite species. 

The Benefits of a Custom Butterfly Commission 

You get Something Unique to You

When this is all said and done, you’ll have a piece featuring your favourite species that is completely unique to you. No other person will have a similar drawing… Unless you give me permission to make prints of course. 

The most recent commissioned butterfly I completed was the Blue Morpho Butterfly or the Morpho Peleides. Which is typically found in Central to South America, this particular species is well known for its bold iridescent blue wings. 

Liquid Morpho Butterfly

Did you know that the genus this butterfly belongs to houses 29 different species, and an impressive 147 subspecies. The number of variations and wing patterns are out of control. 

I can recall the first time I experienced a Blue Morpho, it was in the amazon exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium. They were celebrating a huge hatching event. I would highly recommend going. 

Another Butterfly I illustrated in a liquid state is the Monarch Butterfly. One of my personal favourite species. These guys have an impressive migration pattern. The Monarch have been known to migrate from southern Mexico up to southern Canada. I have personally seen them here in Edmonton. They’re hard to miss with their fiery wings. 

Liquid Monarch Butterfly

Anyway, I’m just spewing random information. Is it obvious I have a love for this kind of thing? Just call me Blathers. 

Another popular request lately is a small series of a favoured species. 

Like this trio of Sulphur butterflies.

Sulphur Butterfly Trio Staged

This trio of Common Cabbage Moths

Cabbage Moth Trio waiting to be framed

Or this trio of Common Blue Butterflies. My personal favourite. Sadly the individual who commissioned these decided to cancel. They are unfortunately not available as a trio anymore. 

Blue Butterfly Trio Staged

Cruelty Free Lepidopterology

If you’re anything like me you probably already know this term and don’t need any explanations. 

For those of you that don’t know, and I spiked your curiosity Lepidopterology is a branch of entomology that concentrates on the study, and appreciation of butterflies and moths. 

Typical when it comes to displaying said moths and butterflies their bodies are usually removed from the wings, and preserved under glass. Killing them in the process… 

The benefit to my version of Lepidopterlogy is that it’s cruelty free! No critter had to die in order to preserve its beauty, and you won’t creep out your friends displaying dead bugs on the walls. NEAT!

Something you might find interesting. The majority of reference I use, especially for species local to Alberta are photographs I’ve taken myself. 

I Can Frame the Artwork

I do all of my own picture framing as well. I have just over five years of experience with picture framing. I’ve worked for a few galleries over the years. 

I have the majority of the equipment and supplies to frame your commissioned work or your prints. If you’re interested in this service. You should definitely ask. I’ll run down your options, and explain what I can do for you. 

Picking out the frames and matting for the Sulphur Butterfly Trio

You Support a Small Business, and an Artist

With every commission or sale you are directly supporting my small business, and you’re supporting my artwork. 

I want to be transparent about this stuff. The money I receive goes directly back into my business. It allows me to continue to buy supplies, pay the bills, buy groceries, experiment with new products, explore new ideas, etc.

Without your support I wouldn’t be able to continue what I love. 

The Symbolism

If you’re new to the sight, you’ll see this repeated a few times. So I’m apologizing in advance for repeating myself. 

Butterflies and Moths are dripping in symbolism. It’s something I love to portray in all of my work. Butterflies and moths directly parallel the behaviour of thought, and dreams. Butterflies deal with your waking mind. Moths your subconscious. 

Of the Butterfly

We often describe our thoughts as fleeting, and lucid. 

When I attempt to explain this to anyone I always use the way a butterfly flies as an example. They move with intention but are influenced by the elements. Changing directions suddenly. Fleeting, as if from one subject to the next. Darting from idea to idea. Interest to interest. 

When I first discovered this idea I had a light bulb moment. I started to explore different ways to illustrate this new found inspiration. Early drawings were strictly traditional sketches. Eventually I explored the inclusion of lucid thoughts. 

Thats when my series of liquid butterflies first took shape. 

Think about it, for most of us when we imagine something. Say an apple. We can clearly see it in our minds but the edges of that thought is soft, almost fuzzy. Thats where the liquid forms in my illustrations come in. The subject remains in focus, and holds its shape. You can clearly see what it is, but you also know it is both real and imaginary. Depicting the edges of thought.

Liquid Monarch Staged

Of the Moth

Our dreams are usually our subconscious minds pushing us towards our goals and desires. 

Moths share a lot of symbolism with the butterfly but typically deals with the subconscious side of our minds. The more surreal side of things. Dreams. 

The same concepts apply here as with the butterflies. 

When you wake up in the morning you can recall your dreams but again the edges of that dream are fuzzy, before they disappear completely. I like to depict this in all of my moths. You’ll notice the fraying of the wings are normally more pronounced and wide spread in my illustrations of moths and the meanings are almost always related to a dream or a goal. 

Faded Dream Staged

How to Start A Custom Butterfly Commission

It’s pretty easy in all honesty. 

You just need to decide on a few things first. 

What would you like me to depict. 

Is there a specific size you want. 

Will it be a gift. 

Is there a date you need it by. 

The link below will get you in touch with me, and I’ll get back to you with a quote. 

That about sums up what I set out to say. Thanks for sticking around until the end I know this was a long read. I look forward to seeing which species you love. 

Stay Creative,

Justin Erickson 


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