Well that’s odd I thought?!….
Some time ago I happened to look down into a small bowl of water outside and saw 3 dead flies floating in it. They were all distinctly small, medium and large in size. They were all floating in proximity to each other, and immediately I had this image in my head of this little fly family that had together decided to end it all! Clearly that’s not what happened, but I found the image I had conjured so sick and funny at the same time that I just had to do something with it. I decided to fish them out of the water, lay them on a piece of paper and stick man style, represent them as a happy fly family standing hand in hand with the smallest one holding a balloon. I posted the image on Intagram (@unclewillard) and it clearly struck a chord with those who saw it. The very next day my wife found 2 dead bees on our windowsill, and how could I not show these deceased little pollinators the same respect?
This was the beginning of my Killer Bee series. Since then my daughters have been collecting dead insects whenever they find so there dad can help give them a richer and more humorous afterlife.
To date I have probably done 40 or 50 Killer Bee sketches, and I continue to be surprised that the ideas and warped scenarios for these bee cadavers just seem to keep coming. Personally, I find great joy in the process of creating these images. But perhaps more importantly I love the humor and charm these images seem to evoke for those that view them. As sorry as I am that these winged beauties can no longer make honey, I find the gift they help me give by making others smile every bit as sweet.
Join us at Stripe MEN Friday September 4th from 5-9 to enjoy Darrin's creations and a delicious Stripe "Mantini"