I’ve been a naturalist and an artist as far back as I can remember, playing in the woods among the pillbugs and spring tails, watching a dragonfly at the stream’s edge, and sketching in the outdoors were some of my loveliest childhood memories. A hard work ethic was instilled in me at a very young age from a wonderful father who encouraged me to wear lace and ruffles when I wanted, but to also go fishing and “bug hunting” when I wanted as well. I even learned how to work on cars, fix pipes, and put in drywall from him. I can remember being just 5 or so and accompanying him on insect surveys for the Nature Conservancy to set up protected lands. As I grew up I decided to make this passion for insects and protecting our natural world my vocation, and got my PhD in Entomology. I remember being amid all of my pre-med friends in college and thinking, ” I want to be an earth doctor.” I wanted to heal the earth, and that’s my goal for Insect Diva, because even small actions like wearing a pair of nature inspired earrings can spread awareness and have a big impact.
After I was finally done with all of my undergraduate and graduate studies I realized that what I wanted more than anything was to share all of the knowledge and experience I gained about these sometimes scary, and yet sometimes adorable six legged critters. After all, over 50% of all species diversity on the planet is insects! What does that mean on a practical level? That means that insects have evolved to fill an incredible amount of ecological niches and can tell us more about the health and complexity of our environment than most other organisms out there. From the insects that pollinate our crops to ones that try and devour those same crops, or those insects that we use in medical treatments to those that transmit deadly diseases, you cannot escape the incredible impact that insects have on all of our lives.
So I started making jewelry that was inspired by insects and nature, using so many of those skills I grew up learning from my dad. The pipes I soldered taught me the skill I needed to solder jewelry, the tools I learned to use fixing cars were many of the exact same types used to make jewelry, and the elbow grease and attention to detail learned putting in drywall were all invaluable skills to jewelry making. And as for my formal education, I use the knowledge and wisdom I accrued throughout my years of education to write up information cards about the biology behind the inspiration of each piece. I believe knowledge empowers, I see everything I’ve learned as key in getting me where I am today, and I want to give back and share the knowledge and understanding I’ve learned with all of you.
xoxo, Dr. Diana