A Lifelong Love of Butterflies

A Hidden Delight –

I love butterflies. I remember chasing them as a child, making arts and crafts to resemble them during grade school and high school, and working hands-on with them at a nonprofit university research facility called Monarch Watch. So, you can imagine my delight when I saw a big butterfly on our downspout last week.

Spicebush Swallowtail 2

The butterfly didn’t fly away when I got near, so I took a closer look and found out why. It was just inches away from its chrysalis (i.e. hard shell casing), drying its wings and body after freshly emerging from within. I wouldn’t have known it otherwise, but since I worked at Monarch Watch for a few years, I’ve seen the emerging process thousands of times over. And I must say, it’s truly amazing!

Basically, when a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, its body and wings are very damp and flimsy. In other words, the butterfly can’t just fly away immediately. Rather, they have to hold themselves up and allow their body and wings to become dry and strong. It’s usually a pretty quick process. Then off they go, flying away to explore the scenery and looking for nourishment from the local plants.

Spicebush Swallowtail

I knew it wouldn’t be long before that pretty butterfly was exploring the town. So, while I had the chance, I took a few pictures! First, I had to google what kind of butterfly it was. I’m no biologist, but I was pretty sure it was a swallowtail. And I was right, but more specifically, I learned it was a spicebush swallowtail. Second, I decided to make the butterfly my muse for the week. What better way to show my love for the small creatures!

Here’s a glimpse into the process behind this art-turned-design project:

1. Hand Sketch

Butterfly Sketch

2. Digitally Outline

Butterflies Step 1

3. Fill in Background

Butterflies Step 2

4. Outline Pattern

Butterflies Step 3

5. Combine Background with Pattern

Butterflies Step 4

6. Experiment with Color

Butterflies Step 5

7. Experiment with Background

Butterflies Step 6

8. Experiment with Background + Color

Butterflies Step 7

9. Select Favorite Style + Typeface

Final Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

10. Mock up Final Design

Spicebush Butterfly Mockup

“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.”—Louie Schwartzberg


– The Mock up Template: Free Mockup Zone




  1. Love this!

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