Awaiting a transformation

chrysallis

Just found this little guy while clearing out the shed and he’s kindly been modelling for me. I absolutely hate caterpillars, I’ve had one or two horrible horror-movie experiences, including a 5-inch hawkmoth caterpillar dive-bombing me from a tree and a swarm of tortoiseshell caterpillars swarming up my legs without my noticing while I was fishing. These instances have left me with a phobia that I can’t seem to shake off. To be fair I feel stupid writing this, I’ve never met anyone else with a caterpillar phobia and I can’t even find the proper name for it but they terrify me.

I’ve been trying to shake the phobia off for a couple of years now. Each summer I find a caterpillar and keep it in a jar in my room and look after it like a pet. Yes I know that sounds slightly insane but it is all in an attempt to tell the irrational part of my brain to grow up. It hasn’t worked so far but I seem to have developed a bizarre empathy towards them so much so that, when I found this chrysalis in the shed, I couldn’t just get rid of it. So he is now my bizarre little lodger, currently employed as my subject for drawing! I did actually manage to pluck up the courage to touch the chrysalis earlier, so I’m hoping that’s a small step towards getting rid of this, frankly stupid fear. Haha, I sound like a right coward.

I’m just glad I’m not arachnophobia as well!

(Illustration created with fineliners, tinted brown using Photoshop).

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