“Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.” –Tom Freston

If you work it right, what you love to do will continue to transform over the course of your life. For Steven Kutcher, his love for bugs has found its way into different professions in the stages of his life’s work!

Now, stay with us—even if bugs aren’t entirely up your alley, let’s just see how this artist (who has brought bugs into some of your favorite movies) has managed to bring his passion into all corners of his life. His innovative ways may be something we can all apply to our own lives!

Starry Night no. 58 made by a Hissing Cockroach, courtesy of Steven Kutcher

Starry Night no. 58 made by a Hissing Cockroach
Courtesy of Steven Kutcher

The gentleman we’re meeting in the video below was a self-proclaimed “bug lover” growing up. Steven Kutcher developed a fascination and love for bugs at a young age. They became his life, quite literally, as he’s made a career of them for many years—as an entomologist caring for the insects in films like Hocus Pocus, Jurassic Park, We Bought a Zoo and Matilda (more on that later).

But due to the development of computer-generated imagery (CGI), the need for real bugs in movies has decreased. So he looked somewhere else. A friend suggested to Steven that he make art with his multi-legged friends… and what they came up with is absolutely beautiful.

One of the beautiful opportunities of our era is that you can look at your library of interests and come up with something completely unique; something for you. And then find a niche in the world that might need your talents in that arena.

After studying businesses, I’ve learned that there are usually byproducts of what you’re already doing that might be tremendously valuable to you or someone else. Whether you’ve collected years of insights in a particular field and you begin a blog, or you utilize the waste from your profession and turn it into energy, there’s always another innovation to be made from what you’ve created if you stand back and look.

So whatever’s happening in your life… could there be another outcome you can create?

Image: Steven standing in front of Dancing Beetle. Courtesy of Steven Kutcher.

Steven standing in front of Dancing Beetle.
Courtesy of Steven Kutcher

Image: Darkling Beetle with paint on its legs making tracks

A Darkling Beetle making tracks.
Courtesy of Steven Kutcher

Image: A painting created by Zophobas grubs that looks like a Bromeliad

Bromeliad No. 1 no.113 Zophobas grubs (a.k.a. Super Worms)
Courtesy of Steven Kutcher

Image: Steven Kutcher painting outside of the Peabody Essex Museum

Steven Kutcher painting outside of the Peabody Essex Museum
Courtesy of Steven Kutcher

The bugs in action!

This short video from 2010 gives us a more in-depth look at how these art pieces are made! Steven Kutcher walks us through the inspiration behind wanting to paint with insects, to the application (and removal) of pigment to the insect and how the insect makes the designs. It’s fascinating! Take a look.

You can see more of Steven’s beautiful work and video links by visiting his website, bugartbysteven.com, and bugsaremybusiness.com.

8 minutes

Insects Have Never Looked So Good!

The amazing, intricate structures of insects are something that belongs in museums—oh wait, they're already there! Photographer Levon Biss has teamed up with one exhibit to bring us closer than we've ever been to these tiny creatures with his Microsculptures. You'll never look at a bug the same way after you see these.

Read More

Now, how did Steven work with bugs in movies?

Okay, so Steven is known as the go-to guy for bugs in movies. You can see his handiwork in blockbusters like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Jack, Race the Sun, and Arachnophobia, amongst many others (which you can see on his website.)

But how do you control a bug?

Well, Steven says you can’t. You just have to get to know them and understand their behaviors. But a lot of us live in cultures where people are afraid or disgusted by insects, so understanding bugs is rare. Which makes one of Steven’s main inspirations to help people really see how wonderful these creatures truly are.

“When you can understand how they work, the world is a better place.” — Steven Kutcher

This fantastic video from Business Insider sits down with Steven as he describes techniques behind some of the most iconic insect scenes. (To see a written version of this interview, click here to visit Business Insider’s site.)


Pretty cool, right? It’s easy to see how some of the skills he honed by working with bugs in movies help Steven create the beautiful works of art we looked at earlier.

I’d like to thank Steven for the wonderful chat we had last week and for sharing these photos with us! He’s such an insightful person, doing what he loves and sharing that love with the world.

What do you think would happen if more of us opened up about what we love and why we love it? How many more connections could be made? Who could be inspired to follow what makes them happy, just by watching someone else do so?

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”—Albert Einstein 

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  1. The Atlantic. “The Secret Artists in Bugs.” YouTube, 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ItyBVgt4Fc. Accessed 9 June 2020.
  2. “Bug Art by Steven Kutcher – Video (Excerpts).” YouTube, Steven Kutcher, 8 June 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDm5jX7-Nh4. Accessed 17 Dec. 2018.
  3. “How Bugs Are Trained For TV And Movies.” YouTube, INSIDER, 15 June 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPsZfw9ADkY. Accessed 17 Dec. 2018.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.