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Share this project

Photo original
A modern illuminated manuscript based on one of the most important books in history.
Created by

Kelly Houle

172 backers pledged $16,423 to help bring this project to life.

Adopt-A-Beetle and help raise $15,000 for the Illuminated Origin of Species!

First of all, I am overwhelmed. The theme of the last few weeks has been "Be careful what you ask for." The project has exceeded every goal I've set so far, and I'm thankful to everyone who has jumped in. I know I've said this before, but you are the true visionaries of this project. You are the ones who see what this is, and what it can be.

We've done $3000, $6000, $9000, and $12000. The next logical step is to go for $15,000! Every donation counts, and I'm looking forward to addressing the envelopes, writing letters, boxing cards, and painting beetles! 

Here are a few studies I did under the tutelage of Elaine Hultgren, botanical artist, wonderful teacher, and acclaimed animation storyboard artist. (Who remembers "The Tick?" That was her!)

What does it mean to "Adopt a Beetle?" It means you get to choose your favorite beetle in all the world for me to include in the pages of The Illuminated Origin of Species. It is estimated that there are over 400,000 species of beetles on the planet, and the diversity of shapes, colors, and sizes is astounding. The REALLY amazing thing is that there are new species still being found all the time! In fact, two of the people who have already adopted beetles are coleopterists who want me to paint new species they've only just discovered while working in the field! These are species that don't even have NAMES yet. Other beetles, however, have been around for a long time and are still waiting to be adopted. Will you help them find a home in the opening pages of The Illuminated Origin of Species?

Helping can mean a couple of things here. You could donate $250, choose a beetle yourself, and receive an ORIGINAL matted painting. Or, you can tell your friends, and maybe one of them will want to adopt. Either way, I appreciate your help. 

I want to thank Jerry Coyne for his post about the Illumianted Origin of Species yesterday, and all the readers of his blog who have come to this site to help out. Go "Like" his Facebook page, subscribe to his blog, and buy his book "Why Evolution is True," if you haven't already. I will be listening to the audio version in my studio.

I feel truly supported in this endeavor, and I look forward to sharing my progress with you!