Nathan was engrossed in college football on Saturday, so I finally got around to doing some butterflies of my own. I know that what I've done isn't art. What Paul Villinski does is art. What I've done is just a bit of DIY decor. Nonetheless, it's a fun project. You should try it.
Here are the results of my attempt:
I adhered each fly with a bit of pre-fab, sticky-back velcro, which allowed me to reposition. (Important if you don't want to plan a layout in advance.) Finally, I folded the wings away from the wall to give each butterfly dimension. (If they lie flat, the effect is completely different.) Villinski actually adheres his on posts or pins (see photo of the orange butterflies, below). They cast shadows, which is nice.
1. You need a lot of butterflies to make this work. If you make too few, your installation will look banal... like something pre-fab or purchased. I have just under 30 in my display and I feel that's the bare minimum.
2. Small butterflies work much better than large ones. The large ones I made almost ruined my display. Aim for butterflies with a wingspans ranging between 2 and 4.5 inches. Also, remember that bigger butterflies weigh more. I used a light weight paper for mine and the big ones droop. The little ones don't.
3. Sharply cut shapes are much more striking than the blobby, amorphous butterflies I made. I was lazy. Go the extra mile and make sharp cuts. Think points. Plenty of wing points.
4. A heavier material, like cardboard, will work better than paper. I actually like the way my butterflies flutter and droop, but I know they'd be more durable and easier to work with if I'd used something tougher.
5. Placement is difficult. You want the display to look natural and appealing. At the same time, you want it to look random, but to imply movement and direction. Play around until you find a configuration that appeals, and be patient. The trial and error placement method could take a while. (Tip: try to put each bug at a different angle, like they're headed in slightly different directions, and don't space them evenly. Crowd some, put others at a distance.)
For more inspiration check out Paul Villinski's site or this Apartment Therapy post. (Or, just peep the final photo of one of Villinski's installations, below.)
Love, love, love.