Call to Artists

Open Call Art Nature Card: INSECTS Jan 2024

Art Nature Card: INSECTS (2024) Artwork

Thank you for your interest in this very rewarding and fun community art project. Please read the following information about this project, and then the more specific submission guidelines:

Please complete and submit the following information to apply to draw/ paint an insect for Metchosin ArtPod and Metchosin Foundation’s Art Nature Cards 2024: INSECTS. Applications for signing up will close when 36 insects have been spoken for (usually we fill up quite quickly). 


This project is, first and foremost, a COMMUNITY-BUILDING project between you, the other artists, the naturalists helping to create these art cards, and the insects that are your subjects, not to mention an integral part of our “natural community.” 

More explicitly, Metchosin Foundation is helping underwrite start-up costs and is organizing the supporting naturalists who will be truth-checking the art submissions. We are lucky to have secured the assistance of Claudia Copely (naturalist, educator, Entomology researcher at RBCMuseum) to write up the nature facts for the back (verso) side of the cards. Metchosin’s own Kem Luther (naturalist, educator, past -president of Metchosin Foundation, co-author of Mushrooms of BC) has volunteered to merge image with science and organize printing and packaging. And lastly, Metchosin ArtPod is co-ordinating artist sign-up and communication and overall project logistics. Card decks will be for sale at ArtPod at the end of all this.

The project is also a FUND-RAISER for Metchosin ArtPod and Metchosin Foundation, both local non-profits in Metchosin, B.C. All monies raised goes directly back into additional programming for local arts and environmental projects.

Lastly, it is an opportunity for artists to DEVELOP their skills and SHOWCASE their talents. Artist names and social media information will be featured on the front of each art nature card for the world to see!


This is the general timeline for the project:

  • Jan– open signup and advertise to get 36 artists. NB: ONLY ONE INSECT PER ARTIST TO MAXIMIZE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
  • Feb 29- First Draft image submitted  Often images need to be edited if they do not contain critical features necessary to the identification of the insect. Artists must research their bugs! Please read below for recommendations on how/ where to research the distinguishing characteristics of your particular insect. 
  • Mar 15- Second Draft images submitted– artists to finish creating/ scientists to work on verso and ground-truth images presented by artists.
  • 31 March- All artwork complete.  Claudia Copely ‘s science facts complete.
  • April- All art and verso information compiled. Kem Luther will merge the front image with the back containing corresponding science facts.
  • May– card printing 
  • End of May/ start of June– (TBC) Artist and Scientist appreciation event and card decks available for sale
  • 24-30 June 2024– (TBC) World Insect week event 


You will create an image that will ultimately fit (or can be scaled down to fit) in vertical / portrait orientation (NOT landscape) a card that is 6″x4″ including a white border that is 1/4″ all around. The insect itself should take up at least 1/2 the card… probably more. If your insect has characteristic other forms that people see out and about, include! (ie: some caterpillars are equally or more distinct than their butterfly or moth form!). Drawing out all the lifecycle of a bug is not necessary though. 

Your insect must be identifiable. An entomologist will be checking the art works for scientific accuracy and your work will be sent back to you if parts are missing or incorrect! Take some time to research your insect using the latin/ scientific name. This step is inspirational, and you will get some ideas of habitat etc.. that might inform what else you put into the picture. 

Insect Research Resources: 

iNaturalist link to our local insects: This app/ website is a treasure. If you are not familiar with iNaturalist you are in for a treat, and you just might find a new passion! Amateurs and/or experts upload photos of insects (and mammals, plants, fungi, mosses, birds, fish… you name it) and other contributors ID or confirm the ID of the uploaded subject. It is the ultimate in citizen science and it is brilliant. Some lovely photos in there! 


Bugs of BC (book) by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon (can be tricky to find, but libraries should have in their resource section)

Online: There can be good information on line, but also mis-information. Images and photos may be inaccurate or mislabelled. Before you draw anything, make sure you have consulted reputable sources (quality insect ID books, government and university sites are usually dependable) and looked at multiple local images (iNaturalist) and have a clear sense of what the insect is supposed to look like. If you have questions that you cannot answer please send us a note before you add that 10th leg or 4th eye. We will have a number of entomologists on call for this project and they are here to support our artists’ efforts.

We do not want your originals.  Finished images are to be photographed and uploaded at minimum resolution of 300dpi.  Ensure you plan to have enough time to get your image properly photographed (schedule in 1-2d to get your image photographed properly, in advance of deadlines). 

To get a good image, you need to photograph under bright filtered light (outside on a bright cloudy day is ideal) and use a camera on a tripod. No shadows. Ensure your image is well centred and that the image borders are straight and in line with the edges of the photograph. If you are not experienced with photographing art, it could take you quite a few trials. Be patient. Give yourself time. This is an artist skill you need going forward. You are skill-building. Please contact us (early) if needed. 

Click here to choose your insect and complete the signup form that follows the list of insects.